When I arrived back home in Australia in October 2019 the bushfires had already started.
The amazing temperate rainforests of Northern NSW and Qld were already on fire
Rainforests don’t burn we thought but things have change
Beautiful ancient forests dating back to Gondwanaland were on fire
It was heart braking
The long summer of bushfires cast a pall over the country
Dead wildlife, rare forests burning, towns and cities choking on the the thick smoke
My long Bike trip in Europe had left me sore, depleted and nursing some nasty Shoulder Tendinitis
So my mood was low and the acrid smoke that clung to the skies of Eastern Australia only darkened my feelings
Dark like the smokey sky and the burning bush
Dark and disturbing
On a ride to Omeo in Victoria just after Christmas , I was spooked by closeness of the fires the smoke so thick
The town cut off from electricity
An eerie smokey foreboding of the horror fires that were to be unleashed on New Years eve in the east Gippsland forests.
Spooked a bit by the smoke ad proximity of the fires I left
Leaving I had a fall off the bike on some leaf litter while pulling off the road
Dislocated thumb ouch, nothing todo but pull it back in and ride the 400+ km home.
So the New Year was seen in with a cast on my hand and Australia Burning
Indeed a summer of discontent
This summer say the sale of Futura
I did the last slip, scrub and paint
And as I write, she with her new owner is approaching her new home in Whyalla South Australia
As the final blow there is now Coronavirus
Emerging and spreading
Quiet leaving Melbourne Airport
Planes only half full
A friend has told me that I’m stubborn and wont change my plans for anyone or anything
As here I sit in London
I’ve collected the Mighty Breva
And on Wednesday I head to Portsmouth to start the journey south to Morocco on the ferry to Bilboa
The summer of discontent, though, is a weight on my enthusiasm
And as I have been reminded though I’m 35 between the ears im actually in a 62 year old body.
But in the world of the traveller a summer of discontent doesn’t lead to winter.
Its spring here
The daffodils are in bloom in Perivale Park
And life’s adventure must go on
13 thoughts on “Australia’s Summer of Discontent”
Sad and beautiful telling that really brings the story of what’s happing down there to us in the northern hemisphere, and on a personal level. Thanks
Thanks Tim been so sad some of thr beautiful places I have riden to, camped at, written about here have been so badly burnt maybe lost for all time.
Some good riding will undoubtedly cheer you up! Morocco will be great, and you’ve got months (?) of riding ahead. Happy trails.
Yes looking forward to it. At the moment I hope to get to the Isle of Man Classic TT at the end of August
A well told overwhelming and sad story, Mick. But there is renewal and beauty where you are headed. Enjoy Morocco, the Atlas Mountains, the desert, the hospitality and take care of the old body!
Ditch the dis and you are left with content. Stay safe and well and see you back in Aus later in the year. Ringo
Thanks Ringo, its all a bit crazy really. Found out yesterday all summer festivals in Morroco have been cancelled due to caronavirus scare so no Festival of the Nomads
Beautifully said as always Mick. ‘Life’s adventure goes on ‘ and I’m looking forward to hearing about this adventure. You mentioned it last year but I didn’t realise you were going for 5 months! Safe travels and look forward to catching up when you get back. Cheers Pauline and Swanny xx
Thanks one good things is the rain in London had eased and the weather is crisp but clear. Wed I catch the ferry to Spain. Mick
Sad notes beautifully written. I believe it is far better to forge ahead than to hide in fear. Albeit, with some extra hand washing. Sadly I will not be travelling other than a trip to Ontario. Probably flying (COVID19 may determine that) so not even an adventure.
Life is always an adventure some bigger, some smaller
Written with deep feeling Mick, you really painted a very vivid and dark picture, but ended so positively with the determination to keep travelling; and daffodils! 🌻🌻🌻