Thursday, 14 June 2007

Let There Be Floods

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, June 14, 2007 with 2 comments
Queensland Travel Story
Sunday 3rd was the day of Half Marathon at Doomben... It was humid and warm and windy, but the locals said it was cool. Everything is relative! I hadn't run much in preparation because my hamstring/glute was too sore ... sure enough, I couldn't achieve the 4 minute k target at all, the legs just would not turn over fast enough (does anyone else have this problem?) ... at 3k in 13 mins with sweat pouring off me from the effort, the body said "enough" ... at 5k in 23 minutes I told my body to take a running jump and picked up the pace a bit again, the incentive was to stay in front of the 100 minute balloons. Which I just managed.

Monday 4th was stinking hot at lunchtime when I jogged for two hours. And the hammy was a bit sore, But hey, where did that calf pain come from?

Tuesday 5th we went out to a playground with our grandchildren, the sun disappeared and it became cloudy and cool. The word best describing this is "harbinger". No run today.

Wednesday 6th we decided to go to Australia Zoo but the heavens opened and it poured; we drove up the highway 20kph under the speed limit given the conditions. (But we noticed that, as in Canberra, Brisbane truck drivers and P platers are exempt from driving safely). The lovely scenery was not visible. At that stage the weather was confined to SE Queensland and wasn't predicted to move SW and take hold in NSW the way it did. No run.

Thursday 7th we drove to Tenterfield. A pleasant drive.... No run. and Friday 8th to Muswellbrook. Not having a radio in the car, we had no idea that storms had hit the Hunter region. On the way there, Armidale at lunch time was freezing cold; the servo attendant said it had been beautiful weather until that day. Soon after Armidale we experienced light drizzle, which continued for the rest of the afternoon. At Tamworth we had to get out of the way of police cars and ambulances tearing up the highway to an accident in the wet, presumably. When we arrived at Muswellbrook we had no trouble finding accommodation, as many of the long weekend events had been cancelled due to the weather. Yes, lots of rain, news to us. No run.

Saturday 9th we visited a Hunter winery and cheese factory, quite a few tourists actually, and locals talking of heavy damage to their properties the previous day. Afterwards the drive to Newcastle that afternoon was through flood waters the whole way - the highway was open and the towns weren't cut off yet; water was receding but there were many abandoned cars, a common sight for the next 24 hours. After we had passed through, the rivers rose and did cause many closures. (We also saw for the first time the open cut coal mines; the previous day was the announcement that despite protests another would be built). Newcastle itself was a scene of devastation - many streets closed, traffic bottlenecks towards the CBD, most places without power, only a few service stations operating, cleanup work being done everywhere. We didn't get to see the big ship washed up on Nobby's Beach - that would have been some sight, but traffic jams put paid to that idea. We called in to see some friends in Adamstown (Newcastle suburb) and then found that the motels we had planned to check out were without electricity (watching TV by candlelight would have been tricky), Our friends had the bright idea of letting us have the house across the road for the night while the occupants were away! With their knowledge of course. So we had luxury for one night of our holiday. No run.

Sunday 10th we drove to the Central Coast to visit my cousin who had just returned from his mother's funeral in Adelaide (we hadn't known about this Aunt dying until the 9th, messages were left only on our home answering machine; that's all 3 Aunts departed in close succession) - saw damage everywhere first hand again including road subsidence (five people died in a car when the highway collapsed under them; how close were we?), then headed home to find Canberra had no rain at all when these storms were happening further North-East... and the rivers were kind enough to rise and cut of roads and towns only after we had passed through the storm ravaged areas. No run.

It's good to be back. But it sure is cold here. Yesterday the minimum here in Belconnen was minus 6, the maximum plus 7. Last night it rained; snowed in some areas (Sutton, Bungendore). And yes, I have a hamstring tear; sustained in fact way back on Anzac day when I stretched too far forward trying to hand a baton on in a relay race! Monday's attempt at running was my first for a week and I won't run again until this is fixed. 'Cause, the next big event is four months away and I want to be right for it. The calf is not torn, it just went out in sympathy.

Photos. I have updated with new photos of all the grandchildren, including the Brisbane ones of course.

I am cutting down to one cup of coffee a day. Of course, it is a LARGE cup.
You go away for a few weeks and when you return, Geelong are on top of the AFL ladder. That can't be right!


  1. Gees, what a trip home you had. I guess that is only good thing that came out of the terrible flooding, it stopped you from running.

    Good luck with the hammy. I'll be very interested to see what the recovery process is.

    Hope you come and visit our fair state again soon.

  2. AND Carlton won two games in a row - ain't life grand!!