Dutch couplesMarch 18, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C
We woke up with the news of the EU advising their citizens abroad to travel back home and messages of family to advise us driving right back to Perth and get on the next possible flight back to Europe.
When we started this trip we had prepared for a lot. We read several travel insurance conditions and triple checked our health insurance. We counted on unexpected things like having to go back to Europe for some weeks because someone gets seriously ill. We didn't book a lot in advance because we did anticipate that things can change like riots in Chile or a huge earthquake somewhere. But how can you prepare for the biggest travel restrictions in history? And what do you do if they happen while you are on your worldtrip gap year?
We have no clue. All we know is that no one knows. That this has never happened before. That news, restrictions, possibilities can change hourly. And that all possibilities really suck. If we stay in Australia and they close tourism altogether, that sucks. But going back to Europe where we have no job and no home doesn't sound any better to us right now.
The evening before we had spoken to a Dutch couple who immigrated to Australia 45 years ago. They stayed at the same free camping as we did. When they heard of our situation in the morning they were very kind offering us tea and stroopwafels but also to stay with them should everything else fail. Apparently they have a super nice house at the sea south of Sydney. It was nice to share our thoughts and fears and hear their opinion. But mostly it just felt nice to also hear about their interesting adventures all over the world, taking our thoughts off corona for a short moment.
Eventually we had to continue. We registered ourselves in the German Krisenvorsorgeliste. Then we decided to not go straight back to Perth and continue for now. We drove direction Tom Price. Either way around, Perth is still far. At one of 2 petrol stations on the way we came across another Dutch couple who were on a shorter trip. They planned 2 more weeks rental car in Western Australia and then a flight to Japan. They seemed very relaxed about the situation and wanted to continue as planned for now. Potentially skipping Japan if the flight there gets canceled but neither panicking nor worried.
We felt reassured and travelled further. The way to Tom Price went through the bush. You might think we have seen that enough by now. But this was different. There were hills and some parts were super green. Apparently it had rained a whole lot lately and everything was growing. Would we have not been in corona depression mood, this would have been incredible. It was very hot and lots of flies as well by the way. So the view was nicest from the air conditioned car.
In Paraburdoo we wanted to stop for the night. The second Dutch couple had recommended a very nice camping here where they had slept last night. It primarily offered accommodation to the mining employees, but apparently that wasn't too noticable. When asking at the office however, we were told that it had closed to non mining workers due to Corona. So there it went again our good mood. Our fears of not being able to travel much longer when deciding to stay in Australia was getting real. Defeated we continued to Tom Price, another 80km north. So after more than 350km of driving today we went to a campsite there. We bought groceries, made wraps and at the same time tried to get information about the Dutch and German government actions. Are they going to organise flights to get us back to Europe? If we would ignore those, would we lose all rights on support afterwards? So that seems to be a pretty obvious thing to take. Otherwise, isn't it better to just stay and travel here as long as we still can?
In the meantime we got a call from Dagmar, a cousin of Susanne's mother who lives in Australia. We originally wanted to meet her during our time in Melbourne which didn't work out. Now we called to ask for emergency help should we need it thanks to being stranded in Australia. Always nice to know your options. During dinner then again, we meet another Dutch couple and joined their table after dinner to discuss the new favorite topic of the whole world. They have a flight scheduled for March 27th and they will simply follow their original plan until then. Sounds easy enough. Nonetheless nice to share some thoughts again.
It got a bit later than planned but we still went for a shower. Thanks to the amount of rain they had here lately, there are lots of crickets, frogs, and other insects. It's pretty alive everywhere. Despite a fly screen we even shared the bathrooms with many crickets, a frog, and lots of smaller flies or insects. They mostly stayed at the entrance though, so it wasn't too bad.Read more