Not long after moving to Brisbane with my wife-to-be, we organised a weekend away at Rainbow Beach with a group of new friends. We booked an amazing three-story house right on the beach and couldn’t wait to get up there, hang out with our mates and lay on the beach all day.

The day arrived I managed to contract the worst case of food poisoning from dinner at my favourite burger chain the night before. I foolishly decided to stick to our plans to drive the three hours to Rainbow Beach that night.

We had no idea where we were heading so we blindly put our faith in our GPS. The roads became narrower and the surface looser. We were unsure, but the GPS was confident in the direction it was taking us. “You are on the fastest route!” it said. Our hesitation was affirmed when up ahead was a sign “Road closed”.

So ill and desperate to get to our accommodation, we continued to follow the GPS despite the sign. The condition of the road continued to worsen and our trusty Volvo V40’s suspension got a workout on all the bumps and ruts. We soon found ourselves facing off with a giant muddy puddle covering the so-called road. In the desperation of the situation my inner hero emerged and offered to take over the driving and navigate the puddle. Less than 10 metres later we were stuck, tires spinning in the mud. It was pitch black around us, no phone reception, no chance of help.

We came to terms that we’d be sleeping in the car that night, slowly sinking deeper into the middle of the puddle

At sunrise we set off down the “road” on foot, leaving the car behind. A 4WD went past and the driver had a good laugh at our situation, then continued on his way. Not long after he returned after also getting stuck and having to turn around. He had no room in the cabin to give us a lift, so we clung to the side holding on for dear life standing on the side steps as he fanged it down the road.

After 10kms or so we made it out to the main road where the 4WD dropped us, leaving us to hitch hike the remainder of the way into Rainbow Beach. We arrived at the accommodation just as the search party was leaving to come look for us, having not heard from us and expecting to see us 12 hours earlier.

Trust the “Road closed” sign over your GPS.

Qualifications:

Diploma of Graphic Design

Poison:

Flat white in the morning, Pinot Noir in the evening

Spirit animal:

Echidna