We're off! First stop - Grampians

Trip Start Nov 21, 2016
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Thursday, May 22, 2008

After many delays, certain people falling off back porches and a short stopover in Sunbury, we've finally set off on 16 May 2008. Not an auspicious start, with our first set up done in pouring rain after a long day on the road. Hmmm. No fire, either. Well, the only way is up :).

Our first few days in the Grampians were pretty wet, but we did manage a fire every day, with Michael doing some hard yards to keep it going. What a man.

However, Kath did manage to squeeze in a sunny afternoon at Mirrinatwa Gap, complete with a little colony of Leporella fimbrata ( Fringed Hare Orchids). So happiness all around.

We also realised that we had been suffering from "we have heaps of room" prior to leaving. So while set up for the week, the first cull occurred. Two 20l water containers went to the first neighbours, Jill & Steve, who were doing their first test run on their CT.
Ah, the people you meet. Really the best part about travelling. During our week at Borough Hut (camp ground 11km south of Halls Gap), we had a few nights with Jill & Steve, including a splurge at the Halls Gap Hotel for an awesome meat lovers delight combined with a few too many red wines. The fact that Steve was a hydrogeologist filled Kath with delight as she proceeded to pick his brains. They shared out campground for a few nights, followed by a lovely Czech couple sleeping in the car. A warm fire creates new friends again.  

Now any of you out there thinking that the legendary propensity for the British to be eccentric is somewhat overstated, enter Paul & Elaine! Recent immigrants to our sunny (?) shores, they got out of Sydney pretty quick smart and have been travelling around eastern Australia for the last few years - just checking it out. Various modes of transportation have been used. What now? Well, pushbikes, of course! :)
Still, lovely people (Elaine - if you're reading this, I'm still awestruck by your persistence) and we welcomed 2 wet riders with a hot cuppa, followed by a great night around the fire.

Our most memorable neighbours were the birdlife invading our camp on a daily basis. One particular young rosella has quite a fascination with the tent roof, kitchen, potato chips, almonds... you get the picture. Actually, here is one... or two. We also had visits from the obligatory wallabies (Michael was asleep at the time) and a feral cat or two. Grrrr.

As this was the first time Michael had been to the Grampians, we went to a few of the "touristy" spots when the weather was agreeable - Reid lookout and The Balconies. The drive through Wonderland was pretty cool. The fire was sooo hot there, but most of the forest is recovering, although somewhat behind the rest of the Park.
Our pleasant surroundings were somewhat disturbed our last night with the arrival of a busload of 14-15yo boys on a school camp.

We left.
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