We spent our final night away from home at Coonabarabran, where the disastrous bushfires occurred earlier this year.
Even though we were away from home it was important for us to attend an Anzac service and we learnt that there was a dawn service held at the war memorial clock tower in the centre of town.
The service was well attended and we then adjourned to the little RSL Club for breakfast. Numbers were boosted by the Blaze Aid Volunteers who are still fixing the many miles of destroyed fencing. I overheard a local chatting to one of the volunteers and saying how the best thing to come out of the fire was the sense of community and the Blaze Aid volunteers. Our own Chookyblue can take a bow here for her wonderful project of providing a quilt to all those affected by the fire, with over 200 quilts to distribute.
After we packed up our little camper for the last time we headed out towards the Warrumbungle National Park to see the firegrounds. There has been quite a bit of publicity requesting that people don’t stay away, but visit and see all the rock formations that are normally hidden by the trees.
The first thing we noticed was the incredible amount of regrowth that is already taking place. These trees still had some of their original leaves attached.
As we went further the fire had obviously been much more intense as there were no leaves and the timber was severely burnt.
We only went as far as the Anglo Australian Telescope. How they saved it is incredible, Thank goodness they had mad good preparations in the couple of years beforehand.
You can see here just how intense the fire had been on the hill leading up to the observatory and nature regenerates.
It was still a stunning area to visit.
The other overriding thing we were amazed about were the houses. About 50 houses were lost. While we did not see any we take our hats off the fire fighter who saved so many houses. As we rode along there were houses with no visible damage right in the middle of the burnt out area. It could have been so much worse than it was.
After we left Coonabarabran we just headed home. As we came to each small town we had to make a detour due to Anzac Day services with large crowds, so there had been no fear of us missing out on attending a service on the day.
It was nice to get back to our local area and to see more colourful autumn trees. However, we noticed how much drier it was the further south we went.
And finally, down the dusty road we know.
In summary it was a wonderful couple of weeks away. We visited some interesting places and caught up with lots of people who are special to us.
The weather did the right thing, with no interruptions due to rain. While in Queensland I only had to put on a light jumper one evening for the whole time. Bliss. However, I can do without the humidity. We are just not used to it.
The bike went well the whole time – just needing the new tyre in Toowoomba, and our camper trailer worked really well once again.
Now we are back in the cooler weather and back to work and our usual life. All is good.