We left Mildura about 2 oclock on Wednesday afternoon, destination being Adelaide , the capital of South Australia a distance of about 450 kilometres , the purpose of the trip was to meet a friend who I had known on spaces for over 10 years now ,Sue Mac and her husband Ross who were on the last legs of their recent travels, travelling from Sydney to Western Australia via Adelaide on the train The Indian Pacific, so I decided that this was a good chance to finally put a face to a name behind my friend on the internet , the trip turned into quite an experience in more ways than one and was an introduction for Ana into the sudden changing patterns of the Australian weather.
This is the story of our Mildura to Adelaide trip.
The afternoon was bright and sunny as we left ,the sky was blue and not a cloud in the sky , we had heard warnings of storms developing in South Australia but storm warnings in Australia are usual at this time of the year as we head into summer,
The first 3 hours off our trip was relaxing and uneventful , stereo playing my old favourite song , On The Road Again by Willie Nelson, Emu expedition was on the road again.
The warnings of an impending storm started to appear about 5 kilometres on the road before entering a small South Australian town called Waikerie.
The sky was black , we were going through normal summer rains , the windshield wipers were on low , the outside of the car temperature read 33 degrees,
I told Ana we were going to get hit hard with the storm ahead , We saw the rain as it came towards us but it confused me , the rain was not clear but brown , brown from the dry desolate sands off the lands surrounding the highway , it was too late when I realized we were driving into an Australian inland Cyclone/Tornado , at this stage I could only see the bonnet of the car , then all hell broke lose, I could not see even through the windshield ,, the car was rocked by the winds, I held the steering to the left as much as I could but the winds picked up the car and carried it to the opposite side of the road , by this stage I had no control over the car or the road or a very concerned South American female , I was calm but aware that if the winds carried us over the centre lines we would have been face to face with others cars and more importantly , trucks, we floated on the road left to right , finally I pulled the steering wheel to the left as far as possible hoping I was on the right side of the road , we drifted with the winds amidst the hailstorm, finally spied an open area through the passenger side window , I pulled the wheel as hard as I could and took a chance there was no embankment or river or trees , behind me was a car who assumed I was on the road still , he came in behind and braked a few feet from me .
We sat in the car as the storm raged overhead , the car kept shaking and moving , we could see nothing , we heard the cracking of lightning all around us , I admit I was worried as was Ana , then through the blur of the windscreen I saw something that made me realize we were in danger , a large tree branch flew across the windscreen ,then I realized why there was no lightning , the cracking sounds we were hearing were trees being torn down.
This scenario went on for about 5 minutes and suddenly the rain stopped and the road became clear and the sky ahead was a beautiful blue.The car behind pulled out and headed off up the road , images of cyclones I have lived through before gave me warning to wait a while , sure enough the next minute the demons from hell hit us again , What we had done was drive straight into the cyclone/tornado and the brief spell when all was quiet was the eye of the storm that we sat through, this lasted a few more minutes , in the rear view mirror I saw the cyclone continuing on down the highway , we drove on to the town of Waikerie through crystal clear blue skies , the road was covered with trees and branches.
We made in into Waikerie where the town was intact but was devastated with fallen trees , one tree having fallen on a house . I have taken pictures where you can see the fury of the storm having taken off thick branches high up ,like the trees were lopped.
Well that is the story of this Emu’s adventure and Ana’s first introduction to an Australian inland cyclone/tornado.
Our journey continued into Adelaide uneventful ,clicked on the stereo to Willie Nelson song , On the Road again .
Thursday was the day to meet my internet friend Sue , we arrived at the train station and waited for the Australian train , The Indian Pacific to pull in , met up with Sue and her hubby Ross ,for me it was an emotional moment , Sue has been a friend for over 10 years now on spaces and the net and finally we put faces to names,we only had a short time together , Sue and Ross had to catch the train to Western Australia and Ana and I had a 6 hour drive back to Mildura , we took time to go to Adelaide Chinatown and have a coffee and a talk , time did not allow us to have a really great talk, but I think Sue and Ross will agree that in the short time together the friendship we grew on the net has finally come to a conclusion with a bonding that is beautiful
Finally to all my friends out there a small message , if you get the chance to meet an internet friend or somebody you have never met and hold dear , make the move and enjoy the love and words and friendship you express on the net. If you have Sue Mac in your friends list , you are blessed
I wish you all much love and happiness and hope when you meet your internet friends you will find beautiful friends like I did with Sue and Ross.
Sue if you read this it was beautiful to meet up with you .You are a beautiful girl and friend, I hope I didn’t disappoint you in that I am the the old bloke that writes the mushy love poems and the alter ego of the Emu guy
We will meet again
Dont know where
Dont know when
But we will meet again some sunny day