Holed up in a camper van as the cyclone rips through

BLAISE TAPP: Absolutely stunned by Manchester atrocity

0
Have your say

They’re calling it one of the worst floods in Australian history.

Cyclone Oswald ripped through Eastern Australia on the day we picked up our rented camper. Coincidence or just my luck?

During our mammoth trip to far-flung parts of the world to film a TV programme about vegetarian food, we’ve stayed in amazing places – hotels, apartments, lodges, even huts.

We’ve had a blast doing it, but until this point we haven’t really lived like a backpacker. It was important to me that Matt and I try something new together and so I had carefully planned this part of the trip to coincide with the near end of Australia, thinking that the perfect way to get from Brisbane to Sydney would be by motorhome.

New South Wales is supposed to be stunning and I had even pre-booked our one-night camping stays at adventure parks dotted along the way down to Sydney.

But the cyclone decided to hit the region, causing havoc for absolutely everyone, including ourselves who were holed up in a camper van for three days.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was kind of exciting at first. Ironic too, given that it’d been blisteringly hot our entire time in Australia and yet the heavens decided to open up the day we started to camp.

The drama of trying to beat Oswald down south was quite something.

Except I’d forgotten that I’m not travelling with my usual companion, sister Michelle. No, I’m travelling with Matt and he has OCD – badly.

Picture a motorhome that has been designed to store away all your ‘essential items’ such as pots, pans, and utensils. There are also clever hiding places for your table and chairs, your blanket and bed etc.

Then picture monsoon-style rain, hurricane wind, mud and all sorts of debris.

We had to listen to the emergency radio on our way down from Yamba to Lemon Tree Passage to check on road closures. We saw trees in the road, trucks overturned, cars smashed and heard reports of missing people and town evacuations .

The motorhome has held together well, but perhaps someone, somewhere is trying to tell me something.

Back to the top of the page