Is our Canning Stock Route trip over before it began?
Welcome home... or not?
We finished our Simpson Desert trip at the start of August. This should have been a month of uploading media from that trip, servicing the car and trailer, and really knuckling down for our Canning Stock Route trip prep - we're meant to leave in June 2022!
Because the end of our Simpson expedition took us through South East Queenland which was having some COVID19 cases at the time, we were initially locked down by NSW on return home. But then NSW had its own COVID19 case explosion, and now we're locked down until at least the end of August.
As we do not store our trailer or most of our gear at our house, this means not only can we not head on out for a weekend in the bush, we can't even properly refurbish our kit after the Simpson expedition!
So, once more, please bear with us as the blog goes quiet for a while.
Will Mark let us in?
My main concern is our CSR expedition! The Simpson was just a dress rehearsal for the main event - but with all of the Australian state premiers acting increasingly irrationally, I'm starting to have some serious doubts that we will be permitted to enter Western Australia in 2022 (or possibly ever again) - at least, not without quarantine.
As we are full time workers with limited leave available and limited financial resources, it is not feasible for us to lose two weeks to quarantine. The WA government are increasingly irrational and unpredictable when it cames to their border arrangements, and as I suspect those of us on the East Coast will now have COVID in our community for evermore - just like everywhere else on the planet - I can't see WA letting us back in until they, too, have confronted that reality. Will that be in nine months when we're due to leave? Maybe... maybe not.
And this leaves us in a predicament!
We will, through unfortunate necessity, be ticking off the WA element of our expedition during peak tourist season. A peak season exacerbated by domestic West Australians who aren't allowed to holiday anywhere else. Accordingly, many campsites, town accommodation, tourist attractions and so on require booking and payment in the next few weeks. This is things like accommodation in Kununurra, permits for the Bungle Bungles, permits for the CSR itself, and giving the Cruiser a service and some fresh parts in Perth! We even have airfares for this one, as not all the family can be away at the same time - we've got kids joining us in Darwin, adults leaving us in Perth, and a grandmother connecting with the Ghan train!
Do we start booking and paying for stuff with, at best, a 50/50 chance we'll ever get our money's worth? Or is it time to start scoping out alternative trips? I've always wanted to go to Arnhem Land...