GAME: Frangipani Island

4 days of solid rain has finally passed and instead we’re experiencing humid heat, I wouldn’t say it’s a pleasant change but immediately take back my earlier comment on how it was lovely to finally hear the pitter-patter of rain after 2 weeks of heat waves and bush fires. If only I knew then the onslaught to come, I would be reminded of my hatred for wet weather.

Now you see the bridge, 3 hours later you don’t and it won’t be coming back for another 3 days!

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The experience of a natural disaster was exciting at first, but then lots of non-exciting things followed…the electricity went out on the second day, which instantly collapsed the water pump. We ended up having to fill pots and pans with rainwater to wash up, make cups of tea and brush our teeth. Thank shagging hell the toilet was working! It wasn’t until day 5 that the fridge had to be cleared with food on the brink of mould and flies promising to invade.

The main concern was the running river that sits just by us; this also holds the bridge connecting us to the rest of the world. At 10am on Sunday I was standing on it, just 3 hours later it was gone – the river at this point was 6 metres higher than it was meant to be. We were in a sense totally buggered; or rather we became the Frangipani Island – cut off from the world, but with plenty of wine and just enough cheese to keep the French man happy.

The river eventually rose by 10 metres nearing the gates of home. The real worry that set in on Monday afternoon was the possibility of the dam collapsing (located just up the road). If it did we would be its first point of call and the nursery would be swept under, possibly with the cottage and us in it: suddenly not so fun.  

This little adventure was starting to get scary as we monitored the site: (Bureau of Meteorology) for checks on water levels, trying to figure out what our emergency plan would be – which was effectively to move higher to the hill top.  

Alas, the river has now resumed its normal level (1 metre) and the bridge has presented itself again with very little damage, a wonder as we were half expecting to re-build it today. We drove over the bridge and finally entered civilisation…well, Uki village. The people at Uki Café House donated to us bread, cheese, butter, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, milk; never underestimate people’s generosity, we were completely blown away and will always remember it.

The experience in how to survive as though camping indoors, in extreme weather conditions, has certainly highlighted a few creature comforts: light bulbs, warm showers, running water, working fans, easy mechanics: kettle, toaster, fridge.

 We have survived and are back in the game!


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