The recent weather event (read, nearly cyclone) left me stranded on my way home from a workshop in Brisbane!
Sooooo, I was stuck in a crappy motel room in Ballina – riding out the weather. I knew it was time to pull off the highway when I felt like I had to call Lloyd, sobbing, to tell him to let the kids know I loved them in case I didn’t make it – in was seriously in that much fear for my life.
It is by far the worst weather I have ever driven through, with zero visibility due to driving rain at times and my tiny Micra nearly getting blown completely off the road by the wind. Cars were doing 40kms in the 100 zone and then, when the shoulder opened up, lines of cars were pulled over to the side, hazard lights on, waiting out the worst of it. Then when there was a bit of a break in the rain, I carefully pulled back onto the highway, and took the next exit into Balina. Even then it was scary! There was flood water across the road and, to the sides of the road, caravan parks were under a foot of water. Trees are down and there is just debris spread all over the road.
So, there I was, on my birthday, in the first crappy motel I could find, eating leftover Indian food, and waiting out the storm.
I ventured out during a break in the weather to try and get photos – and two guys in the room next to mine saw me, shivering, camera in hand, attempting to get shots – and thought I was slightly mental haha! I just explained that, yes, I was a crazy photographer, and I was stuck about two hours from home, in this crappy motel room, on my birthday. So they offered me a drink! Great guys. Spent an hour or so spinning stories and laughing – so at least I wasn’t totally on my own.
The next day, I drove into Sawtell to stay with a friend, looked around at some of the damage the storm had wreaked – while I waited for the flood waters to recede and I could finally go home.