Brisbane - South Australia December 18 2019 - January 1 2020
  Christmas in Canberra and Mandolin Festival in Adelaide.

We set off south along the coast.

  A bit of trepidation. There are forest fires burning throughout NSW and Victoria. We've loaded the fire warning apps to our phone, hoping we won't need them, knowing we will, and knowing fires are hard to predict.

The apps provide alerts and the phone knows our position.

  St Helena Tunnel.

There aren't many road tunnels in Aus.

On the Pacific Highway, near Byron Bay. 434m long.

  We've been driving in smoke almost from Brisbane. And expect the same for many more days.

The road was closed a couple of days ago while fire went through.

Gum trees recover when new buds under the bark grow. Epicormic growth. Rather pretty.

Not so much some very old rain forests which have never previously burned, aren't used to fire, and will be slow, if ever, to recover.

There are hot fires and cold fires. More frequent fires have less to burn and burn cooler. Higher air temperatures mean hotter fires. Not at all simple.

  Smokier and smokier.

Coughing from asthma.

After passing through Grafton we headed inland.

  We are near "The Black Stump". Passing through Coolah, NSW, as we cut the corner from the New England Highway around Sydney.

I should explain, I'm writing this about 15 months after the trip. A bit of a catch up for the blog.

  As well as smoke we encountered numerous heavy trucks hauling hay. Australia is a bit of a disaster area, a choice of drought or fire. For some people both.

Some of the hay is part of those with giving to those without.

Something we aren't very good at.

  We stopped in Wellington.

On the assumption it was better to be near other people in the event of fire.

The trains and river life kept us occupied.

  New Year in Canberra. Met up with some Kiwi friends. The echidna was crossing the open paddock at Jennifer's place. Drought and the neighbour's cattle had reduced the grass.

Short and sweet!

  The fires were still raging as we set off westwards.

We camped in the sportsground in Tarcutta. A fire burning about 12km to out west, but it was headed south.

By the morning the fire front was about 30km further south.

A gathering of fire trucks at the fuel station, setting up for another day.

  Then to Murchison. A camp on the south side of the river.

A largish forest area opposite us and a fire somewhere upstream that fortunately stayed away from us.

We've only had a few days of wondering where fires are and if they will effect us. A constant state of being moderately alert. A small taste of what it must be like to be on alert for several weeks. Fortunately we only have to imagine what it must be like to be caught in a bush fire without actually getting involved.

  We did have time to amuse ourselves watching the ducks in the paddock next to our camp.

Just a nice time of day as the sun lowers.

  Thence to Rupunyup. On the painted silo trail. Though we are just passing through.

The old railway station in the background.

A short walk from the memorial park campsite to town and back.

  We finally reach the South Australia border.

Well away from fires - we left them behind in Vic and NSW. Though Kangaroo Island, off SA, was also mostly burned. One of the biggest fire events of recent years. Lives lost, property burned, wildlife lost, forests burned.

A disaster.

Coorong to Adelaide January 2 - 12 2020

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