Everywhere you go, always take the weather

by Dave on October 1, 2009

Melbourne to Mallacoota 135

The Morning After in Mallacoota

We’ve been lugging the weather with us for a week and, for a while anyways, all it seemed to do was get heavier. It must have been all the moisture.

We only just reached the end of the Freycinet walk when it started to rain. That was over a week ago and yesterday was the first really sunny day since. There’s sun burn on my bald spot to prove it.

It wasn’t just a sprinkle. At times, the rain seemed torrential. We drove through 6 inches of standing water on the highway at Lakes Entrance, Victoria. We heard later that residents started sandbagging low parts of this seaside town. It rained so hard in Mallacotta that the power went out for 12 hours. We had Sunday Roast at the pub with half the town’s population – it was the only place with a generator and warm food. The rain continued into the night, often waking the three of us in the camper van.

It’s been a little challenging for us, all crammed in the Flying Wombat, our “2.5 berth” camper, but I can’t imagine what it’s like for all the Australians that we’ve been sharing holiday camps with. Many are on their school holidays with their kids, staying in tents or tent trailers. On at least three mornings, we awoken to see holiday parks that look more like typhoon relief camps.

It seems a wonder that we’ve only heard a few complaints. There’s the occasional grumble about the cold and the wet, but we hear a lot more relief than anything else. In Canada, there’s has been a lot of news coverage about the Australian bush fires, but you probably haven’t heard about the droughts that preceded them.

The droughts have been devastating. We’ve met farmers who have had to close their farms because of lack of water and grass. Water restrictions and rain water collection are common place in many communities. Dry river beds are easy to find. There were the dust storms in Sydney and Brisbane last week. And there’s the frequent fire damage – a common sight along the highways we’ve traveled in Victoria and New South Wales. Why? In some places, there has been no rain for three or four years.

Melbourne to Mallacoota 087

Fire Damage and Regeneration at Wilson's Promontory

In the last few weeks, Victoria and and the southern portion of New South Wales have received a lot of rain and the results have been remarkable. People are talking about what might be possible in their gardens. Farmers, previously anxious about this year’s fortunes, are about a little optimistic. And in this part of Australia, there’s some hope that there won’t be a repeat of last year’s terrible fires.

It makes it hard to complain about a few days of rain.

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