What was completely unexpected was to have billions and billions of school groups and international visitors swarming over the Grampians. It was also a bit of a surprise to have one whole camping ground closed due to asbestos contamination and various other known and loved campsites off limits.
Sigh, sharing a camping ground and drop toilets with mobs of hormonal teenagers it'd have to be.
After many years of being a teacher on school camps I know that not all students behave well when they're in an unfamiliar environment, so I'm always a bit wary when I see school groups. I also always try to give positive feedback when groups are respectful of others.
Fortunately the kids must have been well primed by the wranglers (aka teachers) and all was well. There wasn't too much yahooing through the chilly night, and the peace was broken at the almost respectable hour of 7am by one bright spark deciding to wake his mates by shouting at the tent flap - oblivious to the fact that sound carries exceedingly well in the bush. In the scheme of things that's pretty minor so with a wave and cheery "great group you've got there" comment to the staff, we packed up the soggy tent ready to explore before heading to drier/warmer northern areas.
We set off expecting to have a bit of a stroll through the bush, but as so often happens the pre morning-tea stroll extended into something more resembling a 12 km walk across gurgling creeks ...
over big rocks, little rocks, stable rocks and not so friendly rocks ...
and finally, panting and puffing up to a lookout where the wind was too strong and cold to relax and take photos.
Eventually a patch of blue sky peeped through the clouds at just the right moment to capture a lone tree appearing to teeter over the top of a (much higher than it looks) chasm. Timing is everything!
And finally a belated picnic lunch! Thank goodness for a hot thermos. This tiny flower had dropped from a small bush by the picnic bench. I love the little shadows it cast that look like the legs of an insect.
And onward to World's End!