Covid Chess

That’s what we called it before we left home. But 3 months ago it was all fairly straight forward and things had settled down. Not today…

We are at Kirra Caravan park and will be here until the end of the Qld lockdown on Friday evening. From there it’s a toss up again. Part of our decision making going forwards is shaped by Covid factors and part by an issue I have been battling since before we left – some sharp musular pain in the glute area – probably referred from the back. I have been walking like an old man lately, struggling to move and my attempts at hitting the water have been fairly futile as I just can’t snap to my feet and I end up getting rolled by the wave or frustrated! I’ve been to a few physios now but because we are transient no one gets a really good crack at the problem.

So the choices from here are: a) back into NSW to go surfing along the north coast. Before we left this was the part of the trip I was hanging for. Truth is we may go back there now and I may not be able to get myself out there. And then we risk getting shut out of every other state… So NSW may be a bad choice if we ever hope to come home!

We had originally planned to head for far north Qld, but given its around 2000kms away and we know the territory between here and there fairly well I’m less inclined to do that kinda drive. I’d like to see the country beyond Cairns, but I wouldn’t be devo if we missed it.

We have family in Port Hedland wed’ like to see so we could go across the middle and up to the Kimberleys then down again. A long fairly uninteresting drive for a lot of it, but pretty ‘covid-friendly’ and should allow us to get home again in time.

I’m pretty disappointed about the muscular pain. I managed to ‘walk it out’ while in Tassie but since Newcastle it’s just flared more and more. So part of me is just in the ‘bugger it – lets go home’ frame of mind. Another part of me hopes that every morning when I wake things will be different.

In terms of where we have been since my last ‘travel post’, I think we have been to many places, but at times it has felt a little like wandering rather than travelling. We finished Tassie with a few days in the little town of Penguin where we had dinner with some old friends from Lesmurdie days. Then we made the crossing to Vic, where we had to drive straight thru to NSW in one hit due to the Covid flare there. A bummer as we missed 3 catch ups with friends we would have really enjoyed, and I missed the 2 hours I had booked at Urbn Surf, the Melbourne surf park – although in hindsight it may not have been a bad thing as I have since discovered that water temp in the park is 12 degrees… icy!

We spent a couple of nights wandering thru inland NSW, driving thru snow and enjoying the diesel heater that kept us warm in the middle of it. We were scheduled to visit friends in the Blue Mountains on a Saturday, but as we headed towards their place to spend one night in Katoomba, the crazy traffic had us wondering what was going on that we didn’t know about… Turns out it was a long weekend and with the first snows every man and their dog was heading out of the city and there was no space anywhere for vagrants like us. On very short notice we lobbed in our friends a day early and ‘camped’ in their street for two nights. It was wonderful fun catching up again, and then from there it was off to the Central Coast – ‘The Entrance’ for a few nights – a beautiful part of the world – before 10 days in Newcastle with Danelle’s sister and the family. The kids came to join us for this part and we all had a fun time catching up again and hanging with famlly.

The kids were due to fly out last Sunday evening, but with the dramas unfolding in Sydney they were going to have a 2 week lockdown when they got home. We made a snap decision to bolt for QLD thinking that if we had a spontaneous family holiday for two weeks then they would evade that problem. It would also mean Danelle and I didn’t get ‘locked’ in NSW. So last Saturday we drove the 8 hours up to the Gold Coast where we lobbed in on some other friends, who had moved house the day before. Again it was great catching up amidst their boxes and renovations, but the plans got cut short again when WA closed its borders to QLD and the kids realised there was no avoiding lockdown.

Bummer – so they flew out Sunday evening and we headed back to Kirra for a few days of chilling and working out ‘where to next’. My hopes are on heading south the NSW for some fun waves, but realistically we will probably call it a day on the surfing and head across QLD for the NT and then WA.

We have moved from ‘Plan A’ to B to C and we are up to about Plan Q now… I think we can sometimes make life on the road sound like one endless euphoric experience. Reality is it has its ups and downs like life at home and sometimes there are complexities that make it a little more uncomfortable than home life.

That said – I always tend to hope for the best and seeing the sun peeking thru the cloud just now I will finish this blog and drag my body down to the beach in hope that maybe this day I will feel better and will enjoy the ocean again! We have an hour of exercise while in lockdown so maybe this will be mine…

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