Saturday 30th December.
Who is silly enough to be awake, packed, dressed and ready to leave by 4.30 am? Sandi & Dave have an early morning 7am flight from Mascot. By co-incidence so do we. Sandi & Dave have a hire car and agreed to take us to the airport. They have a Virgin flight to Brisbane and change there for Mackay. We have a direct flight on JetStar to Melbourne. On arrival we were greeted with a cold and overcast day and had to spend the next 5 hours sitting around the airport waiting for Errol to fly in from Sydney to pick us up and take us home to Kinglake. I was surprised not to find a lounge area to wait with comfortable chairs and a coffee table or two. Instead we basically bought a coffee and muffin at Muffin Break and sat there the rest of the day. Once at Kinglake we soon discovered temps were even lower, thankfully they lit the log fire so a transition to a cold mountain area would not be so much of a shock to me.
Sunday 31st December – New Years Eve
Errol and I were up Kinglake early, that is 7am and went for a brisk walk through the bush. It had to be a brisk walk to keep warm. The temperature warmed a little during the day but not what I would call summer warm.
For those astute readers who recall Kinglake in the mountains outside of Melbourne was the site of one of Australia’s worst bushfires on 7th February 2009, yes it is true. 173 people died in the fires which became known as Black Saturday. 440 people were injured, 450,000 hectares of land burned, over 3,500 houses and other buildings destroyed. Looking around Kinglake now it is a little difficult to picture the scenes of utter devastation, death and heartbreak almost 9 years ago. Yes trees can be seen which are blackened but as normal in the Australian bush, it regenerates quickly. I am not sure about the families who had to abandon their properties or who lost loved ones if they regenerate so easily. So far we have not seen the vacant sites of burned out properties. That’s probably a good thing. In fact I would prefer if we do not see those burned out properties.
In the afternoon we went to a barbecue at a neighbours property to see in the New Year. As is usually the case I struggle to stay awake long enough to join in any merriment. But I did. Everybody else was tired as well because shortly after midnight everybody was saying goodbye and heading home.
Happy New Year to all.
See you in 2018.