From Ithaki Greece to Victoria Australia - An ithacagreece.com trip
November and December 2006


Up and Away

Ithaca Society

IPS Lunch

City Central

The Shop Drop




Country Victoria




There weren't many downsides to this holiday, but there were a couple with some significance. The first being that Victoria was on fire. You saw it from the sky as the plane flew over and you saw it in the sky through city and suburb as the smoke choked the State each time the wind stopped. It was hard to breathe, it was hard to see and it was hard to get any enjoyment out of any activity. The air was so suffocating it was difficult to believe the fires were around 250 km away. People were advised to stay indoors, but Victorians rather donned masks than risk boredom by staying inside. The second major downside to this holiday was the weather. Unpredictable is an understatement. Frostbite in the shade. Cancer in the sun. In the morning you needed a coat to keep out the cold and by midday you needed airconditioning not to collapse of heat exhaustion.
Smoke covered most of Victoria after fires merged....

Welcome to the Future Whoever needs proof that the weather is going berserk, come to Melbourne. The season is Summer, but how can you tell? Drought, unprecedented tornado in Carrum Downs, record low temperatures ever recorded for summer, snow in the outer suburbs of Melbourne on Christmas Day. 42C and 5C all in one day and a fierce sun that burns in 5 minutes whether it's 15C or 40C. You can feel the sting on your skin. Let there be no mistake, being outdoors can seriously harm your health.

Victoria was in the depth of heavy water restrictions. No washing the car unless at a car wash which used recycled water, short showers, and in some areas, a shower only every second day. No hosing gardens, watering can only until January, and then twice weekly as the restrictions became even more restrictive. There was an ill at ease feeling wherever you went, a depressed consciousness, heavily weighed down by a future that is not looking too bright.
Left - Tattoos, hairy backs and thongs. Now that's definitely another downside. Makes you wonder how long ago he hung his keys there now that he can't seem to reach them anymore.
It may be another 5 years before I get to swim in an ocean beach like this again, but this downside does have an up. At least I won't get eaten by sharks.

Summer in Victoria 2006 felt like the end of the world. The land was dry as a bone, and it seemed even a little hot breath could ignite the bush lands. Whether the unpredictable weather conditions and drought are a process in a natural cycle or due to the depletion of the ozone layer, cloud seeding or the result of modern living, In Victoria, Australia, it's easy to imagine what the end of the world will feel like when armageddon closes off the sky...even when it is disguised in a brilliant red sunset.

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