Cyclones, Valentine’s Day and a something resembling a plan

14 Mar

Another month of working hard and being hot (possibly not in that order) has drifted by and we find ourselves nearly at the end of our time in Broome. Aside from all the work, there have been a couple of interesting things that have happened recently – the first was Valentine’s Day, which was lovely as we actually got to spend some time with each as we’ve been like ships in the night…Craig leaves before I get up, I leave for job number 2 before he gets home and then he’s in bed before I get back in the evening. So it was good to see him and have a meal together…at the pub where I work because we get 50% off, needs must! However, I can’t doubt Craig’s true feelings towards me as I got home from work the other day and found the last of the pork crackling from our housemates’ roast in the fridge

If that doesn’t equal true love, I don’t know what does.

Craig’s Valentines raspberry upside down cake I made for him

Of course the other thing that happened was Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty. I was incredibly excited, not having experienced a cyclone before, and was shamefully actively hoping it might hit near us (obviously not for it to smash straight into Broome but somewhere near would have been fine!) but sadly it veered off South and decided to hit the tiny community of Pardoo instead. As far as I know everyone there is fine. Broome was on ‘blue alert’ for a few days so everyone went to Woolies and literally cleared their shelves of tinned food and bottled water (and later, veggies and bread when the road from Perth was closed and they didn’t have any deliveries), cleared up all the junk in their gardens, took down their shade cloths etc and battened down the hatches, crossing all fingers and toes for a yellow alert as that means everyone has to go home to prepare, also known as a DAY OFF WORK. That didn’t happen so it was business as usual, albeit business as usual in torrential rain and wind as although Rusty didn’t directly hit us, we were only 400km away so still felt the sting in it’s tail. Winds of up to 90km per hour were felt, trees came down and it rained for a week.

So cycling to work and back was ultra fun and so was running room service at the hotel – coming back in behind the bar absolutely drenched. For the entire week, I don’t think I was 100% dry at any one time. However, the rain and wind meant the temperatures were not blistering as usual so it was actually a welcome change. Obviously things have calmed down now so when I looked at the temperature at 9am this morning the ‘feels like’ temp (factoring in the humidity) was 42.2 degrees.

Having basically just worked and slept for the last few months, we decided to go and do some nice touristy stuff whilst the weather was less mental so borrowed our housemates’ car and drove to the crocodile park just outside of town.

Whilst we waited for the rain to stop a bit, I held a very cute black-headed python – or rather it held me, snaking its snakey body all the way around my waist! – and a baby crocodile. Then we went off to throw chickens into one of the croc reserves – this one had around 70 adult males.

Some of the crocs who had not been brought up in the park were kept in seperate pens, lurking underneath the algae so you couldn’t see any part of them. When the keeper whacked a chicken down in front of the water, the crocodiles would leap out of the water and catch the chicken before it had hit the ground. One of the crocodiles was 5m long and enormous. We were slightly worried about what would happen if the park flooded and all the maddest and baddest crocodiles from around the country (other croc parks ship their delinquent specimens to this one as they are better at handling them apparently!) floated over the fences and down into our bath taps?!

Talking of mad and bad, this little bluetongue lizard was neither of these things

Kym caught him and Tanya and I fed him slices of banana which he happily chomped his way through. Very sweet.

We chomped our way through kangaroo steaks for tea – not sure this is exactly traditional Aussie fare but it turns out teriyaki kangaroo was actually lovely!

We booked our flights to Brisbane for 25th March (six months nearly to the day we arrived in Broome so we can get a portion of our tax paid back, yay!) and have been scratching our heads as to what to do next, as discussed in the last post. Going home to see family and friends is something we obviously were looking forward to, but seeing as the financial news is so dire, although we have saved up a fair amount of cash in Oz, it would not be enough to live on for any length of time whilst we searched for jobs (a process that in my case took 6 months in 2008, never mind now!). Besides, we want to do something amazing with the money, like set up our own business, not use it to buy food and boring things like that. So we looked into where else we could work and New Zealand popped up as also having a working holiday scheme.

All of New Zealand looks like this – FACT.

nz

We were sold. Unfortunately this means we won’t be home soon friends and family, but hopefully it will mean that we won’t need to ask to live on your floor when we do get back! Sadly, Craig’s too ancient to get a working holiday visa so after some frantic googling, I found another visa that he could apply for with only two downsides: it was £500 and you had to be in England to get it. Why I asked…because we have to post your passport back to an English address. Ah-ha! So Craig’s passport was popped into the post for its journey round the world and back again (Mum’s going to post it back to us here) – it’ll be more travelled than us when it gets back! – and Craig was put under strict instructions not to get into any trouble whilst we were as he was now abroad and passport-less! We got the great news today that his visa has been issued, now it’s just a race for it to get to Mum’s, for her to post it, and then receive it in Broome before we fly in 11 days. If it doesn’t come, Craig’ll have to wait for another few days whilst I go back to Brizzie to save both of us from having to change our flights and incur more costs.

So we are very excited about the next stage of our trip. NZ particularly appeals as it’s coming into their winter and they get Properly Cold, so that means we can finally pack the shorts and teeshirts we’ve lived in for the last six months away and wrap up warm, something we haven’t done in FOURTEEN MONTHS. Insanity. We might even get snow!!! Also, as Aussie jobs pay more, Kiwis are moving over here so there appear to be plenty of jobs around for both of us. I have a skype interview for a job in Wellington on Monday so fingers crossed…and there seem to be quite a few tradie jobs for Craig to do dotted about the place so hopefully we’ll both be earning. We will also get taxed less as NZ don’t have a ‘foreigner tax’ like Oz, so should be easier to save…oh, and its gorgeous and I’ve heard its teeming with hobbitses so expect lots of pictures soon. Never fear photography fans, me and my camera lead which I left in Brisbane will soon be reunited so the quality of the pics on the blog will increase substantially!

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