My Australia Day Wet Dream

26 Jan

Happy Australia Day Everybody.

Its that time of year again where the Ozzie’s pull on the green and gold, wave their Australian flags and listen to the Triple J’s hottest 100 songs from the previous year………………….and have the biggest party of the year.  Good on them I say.

Australia Day last year I had just arrived in the country, and what a welcome.  My Australia Day this year was a lot different to last year.

baron-red-dirt-meets-greenery

Australia Day this year you could say was very Australian, in a very different way. I spent it at work, which involved camping in the middle of the Australian Outback.  An Australia Day weekend it was.

We had a 2-day field trip where we convoyed down to our southern most prospective drill sites for the coming season.  It was always going to be touch and go with the weather, as it’s cyclone season and the daily weather forecast constantly forecasts possible thunder storms. But in the true spirit of explorers, we went ahead.

gday-mate-we-see-you-hiding-there

We drove for 10 hours, without seeing a person, this is not unusual, infact it is the norm, but it made me realise the sheer isolation of where we were.  How many places in the world can you drive for 10 hours and not see a single human being I thought to myself. 

bush-mechanics

It makes you think that you have to be self sufficient and prepared, as if you break down, you can’t flag over a passing motorist to help, and heaven forbid needing medical treatment.

After 10 hours of driving on outback roads and a bit of bush bashing we set up camp for the night on a dried up river bank. We had just finished laying out the last of the swags (Australian invention that encompasses a sleeping bag and mattress inside a canvas zip-up bag/shell), lit the camp fire, set-up the grill plate for dinner. Then it was as though someone was watching us.  First we were hit by a sand storm, then by a good old fashion Australian Outback downpour.

marshy-the-human-condom

At first it was all laughter, as its a welcome relief from the heat and flies.  Then after an hour when the rain showed no sign of giving up, and the water level around was increasing, it was time to throw everything into the back of the trucks and head for safer ground. 

great-weather-for-camping

 As I said in a previous post, storms out here are not to be played with, the photo below shows debri 5 metres up a tree that had been deposited there by floods. What the photo doesn’t show is the creek bed also drops off another 5 metres to the left of there, so really those branches/debris are 10 metres off the ground.  Water rises quick, and flash floods happen.  6 months ago we had 3 road trains (trucks that tow 4 trailors, 40 metres long in total) washed out by a flash flood at a river crossing. Apparently within 3 mins the creek bed went from normal to raging, raging meaning it had the capacity to take down 3 fully loaded 40 metre trucks!

how-did-that-get-up-there1

Long story short, we made it to safer ground, climbed into our swags at 10pm and fell asleep to the pitter patter of rain on our faces.  In the middle of the night I awoke to the feeling of a wet groin area, and this was weird as I had put on my last set of dry clothes before going to bed. Yep, you guessed it………………………….my swag wasn’t totally waterproof, I was sleeping in a “water-bed”.  The rest of the night was spent reassuring myself I had not wet the bed, and hitting off the pools of water that had settled into the hollows of my swag. That was my Australia Day wet dream!

a-water-bed

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