Day 67 Friday, 15/7/2016, Cape Hillsborough to Mackay, bloody wet …and cold
By the time we’d finished Woody’s birthday dinner last night we didn’t really notice the foul weather. It wasn’t until we woke up this morning that we noticed that the caravan leak has come back. It’s above the bed head and thankfully it isn’t too bad, just annoying.
The rain hasn’t stopped for twelve hours. We pack up, which is considerably easier for me than Woody as all of his ‘blue’ jobs are outside in the rain and mud. As we drive into Mackay we pass the scene of an accident where a car has overturned on the wet and winding road.
No sooner do we get settled in the van park and start drying ourselves off than Woody races back outside and soaps the van up. He comes back in all wet again but pleased that the rain will do the rinsing.
We’re invited over to F & L’s place for afternoon tea. They’re the Sugar City Pioneers caravanners that we met in Charters Towers and again in Rollingstone. F&L live in a 70year old Queenslander style house in Mackay. I’ve been busting to see inside one of these houses forever so I’m just a little excited. The inside walls are of vertical timber boards that stretch right up to the 14 foot ceiling. The windows are shuttered (for the tropical breezes) and doorways are crowned with pretty fretwork. We have tea on the wide teak verandah overlooking the garden and the rain that tumbles down unceasingly. F&L describe how they use the verandah as their living area most of the year and how they have to pack the furniture downstairs when cyclones come through. Suddenly there’s a booming roar as a plane descends directly above us. “He’s missed the runway” says L casually “He’ll go around again shortly.” And he does, about 15 minutes later to the same comment. “If he doesn’t get it next time he’ll go back to Brisbane.” We find out next day that L’s brother was on that flight and the plane did indeed go back to Brisbane and he missed that night’s family dinner in Mackay.
Apart from planes not being able to land, the people here don’t seem to notice the constant rain. They use umbrellas but walk around in shorts, thongs and even bare feet. Four days of non-stop rain is normal and expected we’re told. If anyone ever knocks Melbourne weather again I think I’ll strangle them.