Saturday, November 21, 2009
On the road again
Well, it's nice to know the gummint now think that am worth a few more dollars per fortnight. Had hung about 'til last Wednesday waiting until bank balance registered more than zero and, since was getting itchy feet again, had planned to push off into the unknown last Friday (yesterday?).
Had begun packing up and discarding excess detritus that tends to collect after lengthy sojourns but local events almost prompted an unscheduled and rapid departure. The weather had been unseasonably warm - first recorded November 'heatwave' .. six days over 35C .. and Thursday reached 42C at the campsite - when the fires began.
Weird weather, Thursday. Was hot, and the Northerlies came blasting in as precursor to a southerly change. Had to go into Port V for a few supplies mid-morning when I noticed smoke off to the west. Found out that there was a "dangerous and catastophic" bushfire near Curramulka - just 15 klm away over to the west (the bushfire warnings are a bit 'over-the-top' since the Victorian ones last year, but hey, whatever). Didn't pose a huge threat while the winds were northerly, but sort of scurried home as wasn't sure when the wind would go Sou'west.
Later in the afternoon the sky clouded over and then the lightning began. Weird stuff. Horizontal sparkles. Vertical slashes. Oddly, not much thunder. It really tried to rain but, apart from a few scattered drops, not much reached the ground. Apparently there were spot-fires all over the Peninsula, so the CFS had their work cut out, and couldn't concentrate resources on the one fire. Later in the afternoon, I noticed smoke near Pine Point, 10 klm to the north. Hoo boy.
At this point will have to say that the countryside around here is not similar to the disastrous Victorian bushfires last year. The terrain is mostly flat, vegetation - while tinder dry - is mostly crops or stubble, not much in the way of scrub and with many intersecting roads. Even so, with winds gusting to 90klm, it wouldn't have taken long to get to Port Julia.
Decided that discretion was the better part of valour, so pulled the annexe down, hitched the wagon to the van, and waited. Fortunately both nearby fires were contained by 10pm, so didn't have to make a hurried exit. Bittuva tense time, though.
Spent Friday morning repacking, and am now on the road again.
[I came into this world with nothing - and still have most of it]