Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Victoria's smoke filled landscape

Surrounding hills nearing Albury.
This is what Northern Victoria was like last Wednesday when we travelled from Adelaide to Albury, NSW . We travelled for hundreds of kilometres with smoke haze like this. I hate to think what it was like nearer to the bushfire sites.
The map was taken from Saturday's paper a week after the first fires and today the death toll stands at 201, the last being a firefighter who was killed when a burnt tree fell on him and he was on his last day of firefighting before he went back home.
It's so hard to grasp the enormity of the fires and what it has done to so many people and townships in Victoria.
As the sun set on the horison, in Albury the sun appeared as a huge red ball in the sky and it was grimly beautiful, a sight I haven't seen before.
We travelled 2760 km by car to catch up with my family at Albury, where the nearest fires was around Beechworth. We then travelled to the national capital, Canberra, to see the Degas exhibition at the National Art Gallery . I wasn't disappointed. To actually see the "Little 14 year old Dancer" was wonderful and worth all the travelling we had to do to get to see her. I spent some time just looking at her and it was so different to looking at photos of her. It was a magical experience to actually see the sculpture "in the flesh". We arrived back home Monday afternoon, travelling a total of 30 hours, by car.

Saturday's paper, a week after the fires started.

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