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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.
Congratulations on jumping through the bureaucratic BS! Stay safe with all that smoke!
Photo sure is a shocker DunkingBird, never mind, the main thing is i've got the damn thing. I have really strong opinions about the ethos of division. But for fear of getting political I'll leave it at that.
I think Katrina covered it above. But in short if you are going to be in the States for an extended period of time on business then your best to apply for a B1 non immigrant visa. If your intention is to travel there extensively as a tourist, then the B2 non immigrant visa is your best bet. But to simplfy the process they are bundled together and labelled B1/B2 Non immigrant visa.
Merry xmas and all the best for 2020 and beyond as well Shaggie. I hope all is well in the land of the long white cloud.
The fires have burnt a mix of land. Mostly forrest, but also a lot of farmland. Currently one of the most visited websites here is "fires near me", https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me. This represents only NSW, admittadly the most effected state at the present. But there are also extensive fires in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. We are down in the very south eastern corner of NSW.
Cheers SOLOKLR, as I'm sure you are aware, fire is a very common occurance here in Oz and everyone that lives in a rural location should have a fire plan. We do have a fire fighting pump and fire hoses distributated around the house. But if it were to get too severe, plan is to do a runner to the beach. It's only about 7 klms or less than 5 miles away. Oh and keep our insurance up to date.
Hello my friends, yes it's a great update you made. I was thinking of you these last days when seeing the images of the fires in the news bulletins, hoping you were far from them. Now I'm relieved to know it's ok for you.
I think these images of the koala asking for some help to the humans, and drinking water directly at the bottle have been seen all around the world, it was heartbreaking, all these poor animals ...
My best wishes for the new year 2020.
Cheers Yannick the current situation is quite extraordinary. The scale of destruction so far is huge and still there are massive fires out of control. Our area here on the far south coast of New South Wales is currently at the epicentre of all the action. It's mid summer and the height of tourist season. All tourists and holiday makers were ordered out of the area starting two days ago. There are kilometres of tailbacks on roads leading away from here as people return to their homes, Sydney, Melbourne and else whare. Petrol stations are running out of fuel, supermarkets food. New years eve many more people lost their lives, many are still unaccounted for and about another 500 homes were lost. The true numbers are unknown for now.
Tomorrow will be another catastrophic day with temps reaching into the 40's C and all the locals here are either now moving to evacuation centres or if you choose to stay with your property, then you need a really solid fire plan. We are stopping here over night and if need be we will relocate into the Merimbula evacuation centre tomorrow.
Looking out our front yard New Years eve.
Essentials loaded and ready to go in the event of an evacuation tomorrow. We have absolutely no intention to be heros. If the property burns, so be it. It can all be replaced. Sadly the koalas, kangaroos and other wildlfe are on their own.
I can't like that update Graeme.
Sending good thoughts a your way, hoping for a good outcome for you. But as you say, discretion is the better part of valour. If necessary retreat to live to fight another day.
Over here it is surreal too. Very smokey from your fires, which are 4500km away from us.
This is truly catastrophic news. If I compare the two maps in the picture, I get an idea of the scale of the threat.
We are thinking of you and hope for an upcoming improvement of the situation.
Yes, just like Mr Kiwi, I can't press the "like button" for this update, because no one can like this. This picture of the fields just out your frontyard is just terrifying. I hope your house will be spared.
... if the worst had to happen ... you know you have a place to land if needed.
A word to Peter (@DunkingBird), you're talking about the scale of the threat ... now, I'd say the scale of the catastrophe, today on the french radio I've heard of 5 millions of dead animals, and for the land, the size of Denmark destroyed ...........
I'm just hoping the best for you. Stay safe.
Yannick, I even read this today:
Researchers from the University of Sydney used older WWF figures on land clearance to determine the possible consequences of the fires for the flora and fauna of New South Wales.
According to the university, a conservative estimate is that 480 million mammals, reptiles and birds may have died by now.
Yes Peter, you're right, I made a mistake, it's not 5 millions but 500 millions of dead animals burnt in these fires ...
HALF A BILLION !!!!!!!!!!
@gperkins I came across this graphic today. Awful. Hope you guys are still ok.
Ok, I'll write the following, being very aware of the fact that this is a RR, and this post is not directly related our RR. But I'm also very aware that many followers will quite possabily be concerned for both my and Katrinas welfare for we here in the Bega valley are in the middle of the largest fires in Australias recorded history. It is difficult to begin to grasp the scale of the disaster that has been unfolding here in Australia for the last few months. For these fires did not start recently. They commenced back in August and September depending upon location. Without doubt the current emergency will ebb and wane for the next few months as our summer continues.
In any case I'll limit the following to our experience here in the community of Lochiel on the southern fringes of the fertile Bega valley, renowned for it's productive dairy industry. The following links give the current fire situation as of 6-1-20 (thats January 6th, 2020 for our North American friends) for the states of New South Wales and Victoria, the most effected states. If you zoom in you get a more detailed picture.
New Years eve the situation began to escalate here, then we were not directly under threat. But the fires in eastern Victoria expanded at a rapid rate, wiping out the township of Mallacoota along with many others, only an hours drive away. The fires north of us were doing the same. We were being squeezed from both directions.
But this last Saturday everything changed for the worse. Temperatures in many places were well above 40 deg C, western Sydney reached 48 deg C, 118 Deg F in the old money, another new record. We did not get anything like that. Katrina and I spent a lot of time preparing our property and developing a plan if we came under attack. We were prepared to stay and fight small spot fires if that was all we were faced with, anything larger or more catastrophic, then we would evacuate to a safer place. Unlike many in this area we are surrounded by paddocks. Because of the ongoing severe draught those paddocks are very nearly totally bare of grass. If we had forrest up to the house, which many have, we would not even contemplate staying. In any case as Saturday developed it was becoming apparent that the huge fire in Victoria was now moving north at an alarming rate after the expected cool change moved through late morning. Within hours it had advanced 40 kilometres or more. Although as we were to discover, gathering accurate information is very difficult indeed. There is so much coming in it's hard to sort out the fact from the fiction.
In any case it was decided at 10:30 Saturday night we would evacuate and we made our way to a friends place in Tura Beach, about 20 klms to the north. You need to decide what to take and what you are prepared to sacrafice. We've had for the last couple of months our sons performance car stored in the garage. He lives up in Canberra and made a request for us to take it with us when we moved. Katrina looked a little perplexed as she got in behind the wheel of 420hp of muscle car.
So me with our ute loaded with the two bikes and photo albums and Katrina in our sons Ford, made our way up to Tura beach and spent a restless nights sleep, wondering how it would all turn out.
Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), having determined that the fire had not reached Lochiel and most likely wouldn't under the current conditions, we decided to make our way home. To get there we had to pass through a couple of road blocks. None the less we found our place intact. But barely 5 miles south of us the fires continue. But with todays cooler weather, including some light rain in fact and the wind turning through 180 deg we are once again relatively safe. But make no mistake, this has a long way to play out. The only thing that will extinguish these fires is rain and lots of it. Sadly that has been a rare commodity in this part of the world these last 4 years.
But life goes on, we continue to make plans for this year. I will say this though. I'm glad we were home during this time. I'm sure it would have been far more stressfull if we were on the road and trying to ascertain what was going on back home.
In any case, all is right with the world. The natural order has returned. I see Toby the low flying mullet is No 1 in the Dakar, he may cop a penalty for today. Pfff who cares, if he can win with a busted wrist, he'll pull it off once again i'm sure or at least I hope so.
The following photos are not doctored in any way. This is as we saw the events of Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th unfold. It was fucking surreal.
Looking out our front yard mid afternoon Saturday.
At about 5pm the smoke and colour was so intense I had to take a walk around and record it. Ten minutes after the following photos were taken it was pitch black with ash raining down. Two and half hours before it would normaly go dark.
RFS = Rural Fire Service.
Shit photo I know, but this was about 5:30 in the afternoon, should have been bright daylight.
As we were about to leave the house a little past 10pm we heard a tap, tap, tapping at the glass sliding door. This guy wanted in, we obliged.
From our friends balcony at 11:30 Sunday morning. Ute in the forground with the Le Mans and the Panzer (89 R100 GS/PD) on board.
Monday morning back home, situation normal with smoke hanging in the air.
Absolutely everything is covered in ash. Where ever you walk, what ever you touch, you end up covered in ash.
Heres to a great 2020 and beyond. Safe travels and we'll see you on the road.
Apologies to SOLOKLR, Yannick, MrKiwi & DunkingBird and others for not responding induvidually as I try to do. But it seemed best to condense these lasy couple of days into one post.
we understand. Glad to hear you are Ok so far. May that long last.
That you Graeme in this stressful time still have the nerve for a little joke impresses me very much.
Yesterday I followed the news and constantly looked at the map of NSW. I have never attended such effective geography lessons before.
Graeme and Katrina, so glad to hear you are both ok at this point. I hope that it will continue. The images are so surreal, I can not possibly begin to understand the destruction of these fires. So so sad to see. I just read this morning that several dozen people had been arrested for deliberately starting these fires. Is that what you are hearing there? If so, that is in of itself unbelievable. Please keep us updated on the both of you. Be safe my friend.
Scary stuff. Glad you're ok and continue to be so. Praying for rain for you guys.