Welcome aboard the CoVID roller-coaster…
As I said in Get The SA Border Open Already we have been dramatically affected by the CoVID Insanity, to put it mildly.
We were meant to be leaving tomorrow, bright and early, but that is definitely not going to happen as we're not meant to be travelling outside of our LGA.
So, what's happened in the intervening two weeks?
South Australian border is still closed (no surprise). We received a reply to our crossing exemption, which declined to agree to all our good ideas and reasons (no surprise either).
Alert Accommodation and Transport Suppliers
We emailed everyone and I've received numerous replies– and most of the paid bookings have been refunded.
Adjust Leave From Work
I cancelled my leave and Sandi is still working with her Manager on her leave.
… and wait we did, and did, and did some more.
Our first milestone was 2021-08-14, which is the latest departure date that does not require a change to our current holidays. Although we did not actually reach that date, as it was blown out of the water by the NSW Government by extending the lockdowns to the end of August.
Once it was clear that we couldn't do the hike in the current leave window, we started looking at alternatives:
- Adjust leave and postpone the hike
- Postpone the hike till Autumn 2022
- Cancel the Heysen all together and do a different hike
Do a different hike
We started looking seriously at the (Bicentennial) National Trail and walking up toward Brisbane. After a couple of days, it became obvious that we would not be able to do the planning in the short time period and still avail ourselves of our current leave window. Plus… it was distressing and depressing, so we put it aside.
Postpone the hike till Autumn 2022
Unfortunately, Sandi's work has already said zero leave then, as they require all hands on deck for a ward move, so this was ruled out. We did think about postponing until Winter next year, but there was absolutely no guarantee that the same thing wouldn't happen next year (this virus will be with us forever, so how the Australian geniuses plan to eradicate it is beyond us).
Adjust leave and postpone the hike
In fact, we'd already ruled this one out, as Sandi's leave is not adjustable (how that can be legal, I do not know?). But miraculously (maybe), her Manager had forgotten to sign-off on her Long Service Leave, so it was still adjustable (theoretically). Sandi is still working through the convoluted and tiresome hoops to jump through, but this is our current best option.
The last day we can leave and fit the hike in before the Fire Ban Season closes the Trail is 2021-09-23, but because of bus timetable restrictions we've tagged the departure date as 2021-09-18.
Now, that's only 3 weeks after the current date for termination of NSW lockdowns. It seems rather tight, and SA seems somewhat cautious with their borders. But all is not lost…
If Sandi can adjust her leave and The Heysen is not an option, because the border has not opened:
- If the lockdowns have finished, we can do a NSW hike, maybe the Hume and Hovell.
- If the lockdowns are still in place, we'll need to consider doing a hike starting at our back door (like we did walking Lawson to Goulburn), the (Bicentennial) National Trail would be an option (but we'd need someone to resupply us, as our Police State has registration plate scanners if we were to drive out to drop our food).
I've adjusted the Where are we now? countdown to reflect the above plan:
… back to waiting until September, when we'll have a better idea of what's possible. It's quite likely, if we do do the Heysen, it'll be a rushed drive across. If 2021-09-18 comes and goes and we're still here, there will be a couple of weeks of intense planning to get out on a different walk.
Next TaskCar Packing and Departure (hopefully)
where we'll pack our little car, lock the house, and leave for the next 82 days.
The Friends of The Heysen Trail have a huge amount of resources available, which we have obviously availed ourselves of quite liberally. I'll be updating this as required…