Thursday, January 13, 2011

A quick post tonight.

First and most important.

My daughters E and Io safely left Toowoomba today.

They drove south along the New England Highway to Armidale about five hours away in NSW. Their Grandma (my Mum) has made her way across to there and they are staying together for the night.

The roads North, East and West are still closed by flood-waters.
The New England Highway runs along the Great Dividing Range and although it was cut by floods in a few places it had cleared by this morning.

The only thing that made their trip slower than normal was police had checkpoints on some of the bridges that had been flooded. They were enforcing a 5 tonne limit on those bridges until Engineers have been able to check them for structural soundness. So there are definitely no trucks rolling on the highway.

The flood crisis in Queensland is very far from over, but at least I can breathe a little easier knowing my girls are headed in the direction of home.

Now on a cheerier note a few piccies from our first day in Tassie.

We flew into Launceston which is by Aussie standards very old having been founded in 1806.These shops are typical of the buildings in the centre of town being from the late Nineteenth Century.

Running right through the centre of Launceston is the amazing Cascade Gorge.At the top end of the town Launceston has taken advantage of the natural wonder on their doorstep by establishing a park at the Upper Basin.This old suspension bridge crosses the top end of the gorge.I thought these rocks silhouetted against the sky were worth capturing. At the bottom end the gorge flows into the Tamar River. The wrought iron King's Bridge spans the river here.

An old house falling into ruin that we happened to passNorth of Launceston the Tamar broadens into a wide estuary the only bridge crossing downstream of Launceston is the Tasman Suspension Bridge.Now finally,
Over the past couple of weeks I have been a vey bad blogosphere citizen as I have absolutely failed to respond to any comments or visit many of your blogs.

In my defence of course I was away, and since I have been back we have been somewhat distracted by the QLD floods.

All I can say is I am most sorry and I will try to be less naughty over the coming weeks.


Ellen Brickley said...

Gorgeous pictures as always Al, and I'm delighted to hear the girls are making their way home - must be such a relief!

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm so glad your family is safe. I've seen some pictures of Brisbane last night and couldn't believe it. I'm praying for you all.

Kathleen Jones said...

Lovely pictures Al - Tasmania looks really beautiful. glad that your daughters are safe. The pics coming out of Queensland are heart-breaking.

Old Kitty said...

Yay that you daughters are on their way home to safety!! That's brilliant news!! I have everything crossed that the floods have peaked and will recede soon. It's caused so much devastation!! Poor QLDers!!!! :-(

Awww Tasmania is looking fabulous!! I keep reading Cascade Gorge as Cascade George!! LOL!! Wow!!! Stunning scenery, beautiful pics, lovely weather!! I want to go there now! Thanks for the pics!!

Take care

Hart Johnson said...

I'm so glad your daughters are safely with your mum! Good to have loved ones together if they can't be with you.

And those are wonderful pics. I love that little city--Chicago is about that era, I think--in spite of being huge, thebuilding fronts in parts of downtown look like that.

And I love the trails on the side of what appears to be a cliff face--not sure why that is so cool to me, but it really is.

Ann said...

I am glad your girls and your Mum will be safely with you soon. I am sure your relief knows no bounds.

Wonderful photos Too!

Jai Joshi said...

So glad to know your daughters are safe and heading out of the danger zone. You must be so relieved.

Best wishes,


L'Aussie said...

Hello Al. Looks like you've been having yourself a great Tassie holiday. I lived in Launceston awhile in a little house overlooking Cascade Gorge. I remember freezing! The Tamar is very beautiful. We used to take drives south into those little villages like Perth which are probably big now??

I especially came by to thank you for responding to my 'disaster' post. I appreciated your thoughts. The Toowoomba 'tsunami' was the most horrific thing! My brother had the creek go through his garage near the creek. He ended up with 4 tonne of river gravel in his driveway!

I'm glad your girls are safe. It is always terrifying when your children are in potential danger.

Here in Brisbane I kept my head above water and am now watching the river go down. I am still isolated in the CBD as am surrounded by water and no businesses are operating. A huge cleanup ahead.

BTW I have a Publication Party started on my blog. I'd love it if you could come by and read what authors have to say about getting published. Perhaps you could leave a comment about your success. There are prizes each week. Please come by if you are able. The champagne's free!

Denise :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Those floods are terrifying and heartbreaking. I'm glad you and your girls are safe.

Gorgeous photos!! :)

Al said...

Hi Ellen,
Thank you!
It is a relief, although it will be even better when they are actually home.

Hi Anne,
Thank you Anne. Brisbane is a real mess as are too many other places all up and down the whole of Eastern Oz.

Hi Kathleen,
Tassie is gorgeous, absolutely amazing.
It is miserable for so much of Queensland , but also chinks of NSW and Vic too.

Hi Jennifer,
I have everything crossed too until they actually walk back in the door.

Tassie is truly stunning, you are welcome to the pics and there are a lot more coming.

Hi Hart,
Thank you! It is nice that they could catch up with Mum.
Launceston is minute in comparison to Chicago, I’d be interested to get up that way some time.
There are a few trails right along the cliffs along the gorge, they are really cool and quite easy walking.

Hi Ann,
Thank you!
It is unbounded relief, although they are still a few days away.

Hi Jai,
I am so glad too.
Thank you for you kind toughts.

Hi Denise,
Tassie was fabulous. Lucky you, it must have been amazing living on the edge of Cascade Gorge. How on earth did you make yourself move?
No Perth and all the rest are still pretty small fry which is why they are still so charming.
You are most welcome, I hope you aren’t stranded for too long.
I’m pleased to hear your brother hasn’t suffered more than some inconvenience, that must be a relief to you.

I will certainly be by !

Hi Jemi,
Thank you! Floods are terrifying, we are so powerless in such situations. Truly frightening.

Lisa said...

So happy to hear that your girls and mum are safe. It's so hard to believe that when I first started following your blog so many of your piccies were of areas that you said would have a stream, or a river, or a lake except that you'd been suffering from this long drought. Now it's all flooded.

Al said...

Unfortunately the climate down here in Oz tends to swing back and forth from dry to wet.
The past drought period was abnormally hard, so I guess we shouldn't have been to surprised it ended with worse than normal flood period.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Al .. having just been to Cornwall via Launceston the County capital of Cornwall .. and over the Tamar .. and it's bridge - not the main bridge at Plymouth ..

Just hope you and the family are safe now with the recent floods .. sounds an appalling and terrifying episode for those caught up in it .. I hope all will be well for you and the family .. with thoughts Hilary