Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cooma - Sydney: The Great Flood

Yup, rain again. Absolute downpour, but no sign of snow or sun. All the food stores were closed, so I had to get myself a temporary breakfast from one of the supermarkets.
My goal for the day was to get to Sydney, to stay at either Iains or Katherins. So I set of out of Cooma with two possible options. Take the main road to Canberra and then get on the freeway to Sydney or take backtracks to get to Wollongong. Not being the largest fan of the main roads I took the backtrack towards Braidwood, through some small settlements and forests. A bit of a risky thing to do in hindsight. The first few kilometres were all right, with sealed roads. After passing through one of the last towns it turned to dirt road. Now, driving through the outback I was rather used to them, but this was in mountainous terrain with a storm blasting through the entire area. Most of the track was all right with only the occasional branch having been dropped. The only other lifeforms I saw were drenched Kangaroos jumping near to the road. Other than that the rain was my only companion. All went well until a small town called Jinden. Town is probably to generous, farming community fits better. Well, as everyone probably had 4x4 in the area, you don't always require bridges. The first floodway I got to was not to much underwater, with the creek just crossing the top a bit. The second one was an entirely different thing. Now, it may sound a bit weird for all 4x4 drivers out there, but 20cm of water is rather high for something like a Subaru. As I didn't want to drive the hundred of kilometres back to Cooma to get on the main roads again and I had seen a few farm around (in case of trouble) I gave it a try. After all that build up of anxiety it wasn't to bad actually. Wouldn't try much higher than that, as water and petrol most likely don't mix well.
A few more floodways were in the way to the nearest main road, but none as bad as the previous one. At some point I even got a tarmac road again, on which I saw my first Wombat (not alive, unfortunately).
Arriving in Braidwood I gave Katherine a call if I could crash at her place for a while, to which she had nothing to object. The original plan had been to stay at Iains for one day and then go to Katherins, but just go to her straight away and save making an extra bed.
Then it was back towards Sydney, this time on main roads. I didn't want to take my chances with the back road down the mountains to the coast and Wollongong. Passing through Goulburn I got on to the Hume Highway (M31) and had some intense bad weather driving. Forester handled it well, but no relaxing. Arriving at Campbelltown I turned off and was greeted with rains on a biblical proportion. Main roads being flooded, football pitches under water and driveways drenched through. Should have installed a propeller on the car, too. But in the end I got to Iains no problem, them living up in the mountains is most likely a positive thing in theses conditions. Said hi to them and had some dinner whilst talking about what we had all done in the year since I had been there last. Also met Cassie (Leannes daughter) who had been in Nesselwang with mum and all over Europe whilst I was in Australia.

After tea I said goodbye and drove to Katherins with Angus for the night.  

No comments:

Post a Comment