Susi and Austin's
Travelling the Rivers and
Canals of Europe
Mind Shift during the pandemic
Monday, 6 April 2020 4:37 pm
We have a saying in Germany: "Erstens kommt es anders und zweitens als man denkt!” - meaning, that you never know how things turn out. And who could have imagined in December, when we were busy making boating plans for this year, that life would change the way it has!
Although, being here in Australia we consider ourselves the lucky ones, it nevertheless took quite a mind shift to face the new reality.
Having just re-let our home in Freshwater for another 7 months before things got very serious, the caravan we are living in seemed suddenly to shrink in size. Our boat “Freshwater” seemed certainly further away than ever, and so did our planned adventure cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube.
Hey! But we had our family, the greatest grandkids ever, our friends, sunshine and the beach! We managed to fit in some lovely get-together prior to the lockdown, and made it to beautiful Carnarvon Gorge just before the border to Queensland closed. We thought 'What a beautiful place to stay in during a total lockdown’, which we believed was imminent! We love the gorge with it’s sculptured cliffs, ancient cyclades, fragrant pines and eucalypts, pretty-faced wallabies and amazing bird life. The gorge's side paths lead to hidden caves, waterfalls and awe inspiring chasms.
So, after having been assured by the staff of the holiday park that in spite of the remote location they would organise food supplies and even my eyedrops via the Flying Doctors, we settled in for the long haul. Two days later, the owner closed the park, so we and the other 3 remaining caravaners had to leave. We felt sorry for the 10 lovely staff members who from one day to the next all lost their job and accomodation. Luckily or unluckily- who knows- the total lockdown had not been implemented and as we originally came to Queensland to renovate an investment property, we decided to find a caravan park nearby which would still take in “essential travellers” (people without fixed address, work travellers etc) until our tenant vacates on 3rd April. We ended up in Toowoomba next to a beautifully landscaped wetland with 2.5km paths, we are so far still permitted to use for exercise purposes.
Overall we are trying to maintain our boating skills, because there will be a light at the end of the tunnel - everybody who has been dragged through the Saint Quentin Canal Tunnel (5670m long!) can vouch for this! These skills include "battening down the hatches" when strong ocean wind gusts shake the caravan, “mooring" the van close to power and water, "going with the flow”- which is becoming ever more important in these times - and most importantly keeping up with “G & T” time!!!
To all our boating friends, we are sending our best wishes and hope you’ll keep well. And as you stay ankered, make sure your deckhands stay scrubbed and your bottoms free of barnacles.