When I arrived back home after a month away in December, I was shocked at the transformation of the land. When I left things were still relatively green, but it seems there was no rain at all while I was away and I returned to find parched brown paddocks and wilting plants. The recent spate of hot weather over January has only made everything look even more parched. Smoke from the Gippsland bushfires has spread across the state, leaving a grey haze over the landscape. I’ve been keeping an eye on the CFA website and staying close to home in case of fires, while sparing many thoughts to the embattled firefighters in other parts of the country.
It’s all a harsh contrast from the lushness of the landscape in Patagonia, Chile, where we were rugged up against the cold wind and the summer snow left picturesque stripes on the mountains.
Every time I travel to a new place and appreciate the amazing landscapes I have had the privilege of riding in, I marvel at the magnificence of the world around us. But my greatest pleasure is still to see the ever-changing hills from my own front deck, and while we all swelter in the heat and pray for rain to quench the thirsty ground, I know this harsh and beautiful land of Australia will always be the place I know and love as home.