We were fortunate that the bushfires didn’t reach Metung but the hot weather did a bit of damage to our gardens here. Many plants suffered in the heat, even the Australian native plants and we lost a few of our less well established plants to the heat. One of the plants that we thought had died was a banksia which we had planted in the new garden beds I created back in August last year out the front of the house.
The banksia’s leaves are generally leathery and after the hot days they were crisp.
We thought it was dead but I have continued to hand water the plants as we are now on water restrictions. I was delighted to see that the plant is still alive and there are many new shoots. Hopefully it will put on a spurt of growth as we have had a little rain today.
As you are no doubt aware, Australia is in the thick of a terrible bushfire season. The fires have been widespread and the damage done has been disastrous. Fortunately for me our little village, Metung, has been spared but the fires are by no means finished. We live in East Gippsland and that is where a large percentage of the bushfires have happened.
We chose to leave our home on 29th December after packing up a few precious belongings and documents. We were fortunate that our daughter and her partner were with us at the time and they helped us to get organised and made sure that we did leave. They were holidaying with us and they had to leave before the fires cut the Princes Highway and they would then have been cut off from their home in Canberra. Fortunately they made it home just before the highway was closed.
We evacuated to my sister-in-law’s in Traralgon and stayed there for three nights before we headed home as it all seemed to be ok. That was not really the case as a meeting had been called by our village CFA for the following morning. We attended that meeting and as you can see from the video the advice was to get outas the CFA would be unable to protect everyone if the fires kept moving as they were. We immediately set off again to Traralgon where we stayed until yesterday 6th January. We have now come home but we are keeping a watch as things are likely to get bad again at the weekend when much warmer weather is predicted.
We have an app on our phones which gives us warnings on the movement of fires so we know when it is time to leave. This is the site for Victorian Emergencies and how it looks at the moment. If you visit the site you will see how it works. It has been a really helpful app as it keeps us up to date with what is happening.
We have had some rain which is a good thing but not necessarily so for the fire fighting efforts. The volunteers and all the other agencies are doing a magnificent job.
Such a sad time for our country but we will bounce back.
The latest post for Metung shown on the emergency website Tuesday 7th January 2020.
There has been more happening in the village recently. For a few years now there has been talk of hot springs being developed here in Metung. Many years ago there was a thermal pool near Chinaman’s Creek but it was closed down and sealed over by EPA.
Apparently the company that operates the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs are now going to develop a similar site here in Metung.
This is what it will eventually look like.
At the moment all that is visible is this.
That is where a bore went down to locate the hot water.
I recently visited the hot springs in Mornington and I am delighted that one day we may have something similar here in Metung.
On Melbourne Cup Day last year, the building which housed a restaurant, bakery and real estate office was badly burned. I posted about it here.
Since that time there was a period where nothing at all happened regarding the rebuild of the premises. The bakery moved to premises across the road and the Lockwood Real Estate office moved to temporary accommodation but other than that the activity was zero.
It was many months before something started to happen and the demolition of unsafe parts of the building took place. Rebuilding commenced and I can now say that the building is complete.
It is identical to the previous building except for the addition of wheelchair access.
Where the Bakery was is now Bella’s Providore. Bella’s will be primarily a gourmet takeaway and produce business offering fish and chips, burgers, souvlaki, roast chickens and a range of salads.
The restaurant is not opened yet and they apparently are not planning to open until June. The busy Christmas period will be short of one restaurant and one cafe as The Smiling Chef closed down recently. I guess that means others will get more business.
In other Metung news there has been activity at the beach area on Beach Road.Paths are being built to link the village to the back beach.
Barbecue tables have been erected and hopefully electric barbecues will be installed before the busy Christmas period.So good to see improvements happening in the village.
This is the base camp which has been erected at the AFL ground at Swan Reach, the next village to Metung.
You may be wondering why I am posting a photo of a base camp. This camp is for the fire fighters who are currently fighting the many fires in our local region. We have an app called Vic Emergency which gives you alerts for any emergency within your region.
This gives you an idea of the fires in the Metung region. Metung is where the binoculars are on the map. We are in no danger from fires at the moment but we have the issue of poor air quality because of the thick smoke from the fires.
The photo above gives you an idea of what information can be made available to you.
We are so fortunate that there are so many men and women prepared to volunteer to fight these bushfires. There are still fires out of control as they are in inaccessible areas but the fire fighters are working to contain them. We are all so grateful for their hard work.
I cycle with a small group of women from Metung and Lakes Entrance. There are five of us and when we ride there can sometimes only be two, it just depends on who is available to ride on the day. We try to get at least one ride a week but that is not always possible. We also like to do a ride that is more challenging for us and we have for the last three years done Around the Bay in Melbourne which is a fund raising ride. The first year we rode 50 km and also the second year but this year we upped our effort and rode 100km. It is a great opportunity for us to get away together for a girls’ weekend. We really enjoy ourselves.
Last weekend was my last bike ride for a few weeks with the chicks as I will be in New Zealand for three weeks. While I was riding I was reminding myself how lucky I am to live where I live. We only rode 24 km in the area around our village but we finished off with lunch at the local pub, The Metung Hotel. Click the link as they have great drone footage of the pub. The hotel is on the edge of the Gippsland Lakes so you couldn’t ask for a better location.
Our previous week’s ride was around Lakes Entrance, Lake Bunga and finishing at Kalimna. We usually finish at a place that can provide lunch! The ride was very windy and we were glad when we finished.
Lake Bunga is on the left and that is the ocean in the distance.
This is the Kalimna Hotel which is off the beaten track. You really wouldn’t know there was a hotel there unless you had been told about it. The view from in front of the hotel is spectacular.
We had a great meal there and I managed to persuade my husband to go for a dinner there the following week.
There was a lovely sunset that evening and we went home via the Kalimna Jetty.