The Grampians

By this point I really started appreciating the combination of having a campervan and using an app like WikiCamp. Every morning we wake up, plan where we want to stay the night based on the criteria that it’s free and has toilets and then filter the spots down based on location and things like whether or not they have hot showers until we find the perfect spot. From there we work out what we have time to do so that we can arrive an hour before sunset. Today we decided to head to the Grampian National Park and do some walking. We are both lacking fitness and considering the challenge we are facing towards the end of our trip (more on that at a later date), it’s something we need to improve on. 

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After a twisty drive through the mountains (Europeans would probably refer to them as mole-hills) we arrived at a busy location known as Wonderland car park. Any other time of the year and it would have been fairly quiet but in our limited planning we had arrived at the start of Easter Weekend. Luckily we found a spot on top of the hill and began our climb. Unfortunately in our haste we forgot to look out for the ‘Grand Canyon’ and passed straight through the small trench without realising we had just witnessed one of the main features of the walk. Less than impressed we continued for the next hour and the scenery improved as we progressed. 

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Finally as we neared the summit, we caught up to what we presumed was a group of teenage girls enjoying a break whilst listening to some music. However as we crossed over the horizon we witnessed the worst type of tourist in existence. A middle aged Australian woman, marching up the final ascent (ironically named silent street), with her iPad in hand, blasting out ‘Top Pop Shite 2014’ as loud as it went whilst periodically waving her tablet around taking photos of various rocks. Me and Hattie paused in disbelief that this person could venture up to what was promised to be one of the most beautiful places in Victoria and yet she couldn’t last without technology for the two hour trek. To make matters worse, we stopped to allow her to push on ahead so we could get out of hearing range only to find that she would stop to keep us in the loop on whatever crap Nicki Minaj recently regurgitated onto the scene. Eventually we effectively sprinted past her into the distance and soon came to the summit of the hill known as ‘The Pinnacle’ and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the National Park.

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Unfortunately good things must come to an end and the lady soon caught us up. Our hopes that she had simply been using the music as motivation to get up the ascent were dashed as she rapidly changed the genre to some music a bit more downbeat, as though she were complimenting the view. Luckily for me, Hattie is made of stronger stuff than I and soon asked her to turn it off to which she curtly replied ‘Oh!’ and we walked off before she could retort. After a few photos Hattie began a sketch whilst I basked in the sun reflecting on our new campervan and the freedom it had already brought us. 

Afterwards we descended and drove to our campsite for the night, a beautiful spot by the river. The couple we’d met the day before had already arrived and rescued a baby kangaroo from the road. Sadly roadkill is abundant on Australian roads so it’s quite amazing they were able to save the Joey’s life. It also provided Hattie with some entertainment before it was carried off to the rescue centre. With the excitement out the way, we settled in for the night in preparation for the long drive to Adelaide over the next couple of days.

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