Rain Rain Go Away, (Don't) Come Again Another Day

Trip Start Jul 07, 2011
Trip End Oct 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Yulara Caravan Park
What I did
See the waterfalls on Ayres Rock

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's the dry season in the NT - that's what we thought.

Apparently the weather man had a different idea.  A huge front extending through most of SA, WA and the NT decided it was going to come through an deposit more than 10mm of rain on us. 

Thankfully the good-folk at the BOM tell us these things and we were prepared (or so we thought) to go and see if there were any waterfalls coming off the Rock.

...At the Drop of a Hat

By all accounts, it doesn't take much more water than lives in a damp dishcloth to create a run-off and 1/2 an inch of precipitation creates cascading torrents - as you can see!

Because we knew the rain was coming, we delayed visiting the Uluru Cultural Centre until today because it'd give us some cover.  Alas not.  The rain was so heavy, it just about went through the two umbrellas we have, and overwhelmed the roofs of the centre - and was going through in many places.

The heavy red clay soil turned to heavier red mud, and the dry rock started to shed a tear - or three (hundred).

Matthew and I ventured back along one of the heavier mud trails - which had some minimal gravel on them - to see the waterfalls up close.

What had, the day before, been a tranquil setting with a light (too strong to climb!) breeze, was now a squelchy muddy mix of footprints and ponchos.  And in amongst it were these amazing torrents of water thundering down the sides of the rock into previously dry creek beds which now overflowed out onto the flat pains around the rock.

I told you we should have bought an Ark...

With the VBR in the RVM (Rear View Mirror), we decided that a warm meal was the best remedy for a wet day - certainly no sunset viewing tonight.

And when we got back to the campsite someone had installed a lake underneath the van and the awning.  Bugger!

The water from the road had flowed into the site next door and then all pooled under our van, completely submerging our (new) annex mat and the sides of the annex that I'd diligently packed away the night before - ironically, to stop them getting wet!

Anyone got a spare trenching machine?

And the worst was yet to come.  Mr Weatherman was forecasting a further 15mm of rain to add to "Lake Ekins", so the drainage trenching started - with my trusty (and rather small) $10 foldable travel shovel.  I dug a moat from the adjacent site, round the back of the van to the edge of the pond and then out through the trees onto the next (unoccupied) site.

Share the love (and the water) with someone else!

Unfortunately, Lake Ekins proceeded to empty straight over the next block and towards a tent of rather bemused and pretty laid back campers who stood there and watched the approaching flood - until I pointed out that their bedding was about to get wet; very wet - and we quickly built a dyke.

Meantime, Megan and Neil were standing by watching, laughing hysterically and offering (pretty useless) advice.  Neil's effort with the spirit level to work out which way the water would flow was valiant in its intent, however, it didn't matter which way the slope went, the water was going to flow through our campsite!  In the end, the pair of us, Neil and I that is (Megan was still wondering how we were going to dry everything), managed to construct some banks and channels that would carry away a flood of biblical proportions.

Don't you love hydraulic engineering?

40 days and 40 nights - of rain?

After all that digging, I decided that there was nothing else I could do and went to sleep.  Not Megan.  Apparently as I was pushing the ZZ's, the heavens really opened. 

The amount of rain that fell, must have been of biblical proportions, because it completely overwhelmed the Ekins/Sparks dyke & canal system

Megan says that when she had to go out at midnight, she couldn't see any of our channels or banks, our thongs were floating and threatening to go downstream and there was 10cm of water under the van.

We're obviously pretty crappy hydraulic engineers!  Anyone want to hire us?

For the record

Today's Menu:

  • Breakfast: Toast
  • Lunch: Sandwiches
  • Dinner: Ham steaks, mash & veggies (not getting enough veggies!)
From the mouths of babes:

  • Chris, when we lobbed back at the campsite: "Oh S#@t".  (More was said than that - it just can't be written here!)
From the Gross file:

  • Red mud - gets everywhere and wants to stay, no matter how much you try to get it out.
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