With the horrific bushfires burning for months in NSW and Victoria and other areas of Australia, we plotted our route home staying away from the most affected areas. It was eerie traveling through vast areas of countryside so black and in some cases still smouldering.
We stayed at the Moree Showground the first night, which was fully fenced with a security gate locked at 9pm each night. The local services club provided a shuttle bus, which we used after being told that it wasn’t safe to walk in the town at night.
West Wyalong Showground on the second night was much more pleasant. The trotters were up bright and early giving us some morning entertainment.
Most of the way home it rained, but by the third afternoon there was a storm cell heading toward us so we took refuge in Shepparton. The wind was so strong I thought the van would roll over, with hail and rain so heavy it sounded like a freight train, and the most spectacular display of thunder and lightning. I love watching a good storm, but one exceptionally loud clap of thunder was a little too close for comfort, especially when surrounded by large gum trees trying to stay upright in the wind. After about 2 hours it settled to a soft patter of rain. Ducks were ‘swimming’ down the road in the caravan park.
The rain continued all the way home. Even though the weather was cold, we arrived to a warm welcome from our wonderful friends who left flowers, champagne, welcome home banners on the doors and even a brass band. Plus a dinner invitation from our awesome neighbours. Feel truely blessed to have such loving people in our lives.
cheers til next time, Helen and Tim
The 2019-2020 Bushfires
As of 14 January 2020, fires this season have burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres; 186,000 square kilometres; 72,000 square miles), destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including 2,779 homes) and killed at least 34 people.[b] An estimated one billion animals have been killed and some endangered species may be driven to extinction. Air quality has dropped to hazardous levels. The cost of dealing with the bushfires is expected to exceed the A$4.4 billion of the 2009 Black Saturday fires, and tourism sector revenues have fallen more than A$1 billion. By 7 January 2020, the smoke had moved approximately 11,000 kilometres (6,800 mi) across the South Pacific Ocean to Chile and Argentina. As of 2 January 2020, NASA estimated that 306 million tonnes (337 million short tons) of CO2 was emitted. – Wikipedia