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Lately, bananas are hard to come by in Oz.  Cyclone Yasi, which devastated northern Queensland in February, wiped out nearly 90% of the banana plantations in the towns of Innisfail and Tully, which supply almost 3/4 of Australia’s domestic banana supply.  In the hours before the cyclone landed, farmers reportedly frantically harvested what they could and chopped down their trees – in the hopes that a regenerated tree would only take 8-9 months to bear fruit, whereas a replacement tree (if torn from the ground by the force of the cyclone) would take 12-18 months…

Prices at the local market and grocery store have reached $10-12 per kilo (almost $3 a banana), smoothie and fresh juice bars all over the city have posted signs about increased prices, and most of all, any banana that appears fit for consumption (i.e., not brown!) is impossible to find!  But finally, today, our fruit share (we get a large box of fruit delivered bi-weekly at the office) had edible-looking, albeit it bite sized, bananas!

Apparently, other banana varieties – like this lady finger bananas or NSW bananas – will be in high-demand as they fill the gap for a seriously banana-hungry nation.  Living in a nation that is so self-sufficient is great; until now we’ve had all seasonal produce we could dream of, only days off the vine or branch. But when weather strikes, look out!  Miles and miles away, there aren’t many alternatives for cheap and fresh produce…

Until then, I will gorge myself on adorable little bananas.

See that large swirling red mass? That the eye of a category 5 cyclone heading straight for Port Douglas, QLD. Now, while Port Douglas is far far away from our humble abode in Melbourne, it happens to be the central destination of our vacation in little more than one weeks’ time.

And that’s a big ‘ol UH OH.

We’re no stranger to the effects of an ill-planned trip to a location in the face of extreme weather warnings (just read about our trip this summer to Costa Rica — rainy season, what rainy season?). Still, maybe we should learn our lesson one of these days. After all, everyone warned us that February was cyclone season up north in QLD. “But, what are the chances?” What indeed.