The Pinnacle

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, September 13, 2005

In the morning we've still got more hiking to do before we leave the Grampians, which makes me happy. What we've seen of the place makes it look like a real hiker's paradise. Jen tells us the hike we're doing, up to the Pinnacle, is one of the best she's seen in Australia. First we clamber up the slippery rocks alongside a creek until we're up above the valley a bit and there, Jen leaves us to bring the bus around to the other end of the hike. We're on our own with a series of red arrows marked on the rock, and we spread out into leaders and stragglers so soon I'm walking with Caitlin and Finnish-man not far behind, with the others nowhere in sight. The trail meanders sandily through the forest for a while before coming back out onto rocks that have the appearance of a bubbly, raised volcanic plain. The arrows are an alright guide, if you don't miss one, and thankfully we don't. We descend down a ladder into Silent Street, which is a crack between the rocks which looks like a petrified medieval English street, with the rocks looming over on either side of the water-worn steps in the stone. We pull over to the side for a bit as a badly-shod group comes down from above, very timidly, trying to avoid the slipperyness of the stone. Already I've made a butt plant on some moss and I'm wearing the shoes in our group with the best traction, so you can imagine that nobody's doing very well in the continual-standing-up stakes.

At the top of a rock staircase out of the Silent Street we clamber along some rock ledges until I decide it's been too long since we've seen a red arrow. Must've missed one at some point, but the only option besides forwards is left onto another volcanic rock field, so we go that way and I spot where we would have come up if we'd followed the trail, and our way seems faster anyhow. Soon we're at the Pinnacle, a sharp peak of rock sticking out over the valley and Halls Gap below. Too bad everything is absolutely socked in with fog. The way down relies on us catching every single one of the arrows and we do, and catch up with Jen at the turn off through the forest to the car park. I go down and have a read of a magazine on the bus, and forty minutes later everyone finally piles on. Turns out the Finnish-man went back to the Pinnacle after we came down and then got lost coming back to the turnoff. Must've missed an arrow.

After that we go to Mackenzie Falls for a view of the roaring water (the rain is good for something, at least), and then up a short track to look at some aboriginal rock art. All the full-blooded aboriginal people in the Grampians area have died out so the Elders, who would usually touch up the ochre art on the rocks, are no more and eventually, these handprints and painted emu tracks will fade to nothing.

After lunch in Horsham we've got a five hour long haul to get into Adelaide, with the only real break being to look at some genetic oddities: pure white kangaroos in an enclosure in Bordertown. Kind of creepy, makes 'em look like giant rats.

Then into Adelaide! City of churches, or, for me, more like "city of errands."
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