Mallacoota - Hell and Paradise
I can't imaging the fear that must have consumed so many people when they were faced with the reality that the recent fires might claim their lives and their properties. Everyone impacted by the horrendous events of the last few days and weeks has my heart-felt sympathy and I pray that they have the strength to cope with the mental anguish and the emotional pain caused by the horrors of their experiences and by the destruction of their homes and businesses, the loss of their treasured possessions and, in some cases, the deaths of their friends and family members.
As a travel writer I know many of the most severely impacted areas of the country well, and it brings tears to my eyes to see television images of the scorched landscapes that have replaced the scenes of natural beauty that I remember so vividly.
Australia is a resilient land, it's people are strong and endowed with determination, and I'm confident that, in the not too distant future, those who are suffering now will once again be able to smile with pride in their ability to have survived such great adversity.
The Victorian coastal town of Mallacoota was briefly transformed into hell on earth, but when Mother Nature ultimately reverts to her more gentle ways I'm sure she'll use her healing powers to restore this and other savagely burnt areas to their former beauty. As good seasons hopefully return and new and vibrant vegetation camouflages the scars of the destruction wrought by the fires, the land will heal itself, and Mallacoota will once again appear as inviting and welcoming as in these images when the region could only be described as 'paradise'.