The Storm - Part 2
Then all of sudden the lights come back on. A small mercy as a result of this power-cut is that the radio, which is on 24/7 and out of reach to turn off, is now permanently mute, so that should help us sleep.
Once we have all got comfortable on the sofas, somewhat dry, our things less so, we turn off some lights and lock some doors. Then yet again, the electric cuts out. But this time, it doesn't return. We are plunged into total darkness, the shadows of the palm's tapping the window, loud thuds of tree hitting the high roof above us. One particular sound is so loud we were sure something was going to plummet through the ceiling. Now Innes and I both need a pee, but we've only just got dry and comfy.
Momentarily the rain stops. I walk out to the decking and relieve myself, because I bloody well need to. Back to bed I run escaping the wind and dark.
My thoughts race, wired, and at this point it's 2am and we wonder if the power will come back on and wake us all up. I cuddle up to Taran and something tickles my arm. It's too dark to know what, so I just bury myself back into my warm sleeping bag. Sleep alludes me. Innes has been quiet up to now, a deep depression having swallowed him up. 'Why did I choose the cheap tent!' he thinks repeatedly.
A light, creating shadows on the inner walls; someone is trying to get into the lounge. Eventually they make it in. Apparently a fire alarm is relentlessly ringing in the dorms. We can't offer much sanctuary to our fellow tired traveller, all of us taking up the sofas.
Innes is cold and can't sleep, so he goes and opens a bag of fresh bed-sheets, one from a large pile that were delivered hours before, thankfully.
Now cocooned on the sofa, we all attempt to rest again, no idea what tomorrow will bring, or what the night still has to unleash upon us. In the eye of the storm it feels like, all three of us slowly drift off at different times. I stay awake until sun-rise, and go to survey the damage out the window, the water appearing to have receded, our tent still stands amazingly.
I fall asleep in daylight. I hear the faint sounds of people coming in and out of the building but I don't open my eyes. Sleep has finally taken me and is holding me in a place of rest and comfort that is incredibly luxurious, nothing will stir me.
The sun is up higher now and so are we. Two German guys eat breakfast. A German lady, the one whom sought refuge last night having been kept up by the alarm, has now joined us. This small band of weary and wet travellers have nothing but the relatively safe confines of this building, and a few meagre supplies of food to get us through. The weather seems to have settled a bit, but the power is still not back on. I wonder how far-reaching the power-outage is. Maybe we can order pizza for tea.
Then Innes goes to find the hostel owner, now absent for over 24-hours. We wonder if if they wonder about us and our tents. She informs him that yes indeed the power is out and she has no idea when it will return.
A while later a dejected Innes returns to us and shares the news. Still I assume the light will come on some time soon. In England I've never experienced a power-cut which lasted longer than a few hours, and that was years and years ago. Australia is a bit bigger and whole lot more wild though.
Soon the hostel owner comes through with the cleaner, who relays what she heard on her car radio...75,000 homes without power. Tree's blocking roads. Trains and buses sat still at their platforms. We are on the central coast, and this is the worst affected area. The scale of the problem is large and the chances of electricity being restored in the next the 24-hours is slim-to-none, especially as the rain and winds continue. There is more damage yet to be wreaked...
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!