The grey nomad couple who watched their caravan go up in smoke after parking up outside the Katherine Visitor Information Centre last week are putting a brace face on the disaster.
After four months on the road, Inara and Robert Taylor were slowly wending their way back to their home in Victoria when fate intervened. They had popped into Woolworths to get some water and, when they came out a few minutes later, smoke was pouring out of our van. Happily, they managed to unhook their car before the caravan was destroyed by fire.
“The fire brigade are not sure what caused it but they think it was a 12 volt short, all of the gas was turned off,” Mrs Taylor told the Katherine Times newspaper. “We lost everything, computers, cameras, smart phones, jewellery, fishing gear, photos, all we had left was what we were wearing.”
As is often the case, their nightmare ordeal brought out the best in the community.
“A lady I had never spoken to before came and gave me a $50 voucher, two other people came and pushed $50 into my hands and another man $20,” Mrs Taylor said. “When people started coming up to me and putting money in my hands I just bawled, I could bawl now. I was so overwhelmed by peoples’ kindness.”
The couple also found strangers coming over and giving them hugs, and offering them places to stay.
“The great Outback spirit is alive and well in Katherine,” Mrs Taylor told the Katherine Times. “It restores your faith in humanity, in the world we live in today, so thank you to all the people of Katherine for all the help.”
The couple have been taking extended trips around Australia for the past 17 years, and have had five or six caravans.
While they may have lost thousands of dollars worth of property, the Taylors certainly haven’t lost their sense of humour or positive outlook.
“I lost all my fish and I had caught my biggest barramundi ever, after the ‘firies’ were done I should of gone and gotten it, it would have been cooked,” Mr Taylor told the Katherine Times. “After 53 years of marriage you need a good sense of humour.”