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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Champion of the Grampians

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 9 May 2019 | Views [48]

A gloomy day it was today though not so gloomy on the sightseeing front. Upon reading a fantastic article about how you shouldn't write off the rain when you're travelling, I must make it a point to see the positives during those days of precipitation. Sure, it's more difficult to go geocaching, fly drones, go cycling, or practice landscape photography, but you can do other things like sit warm by the fire with some fish & chips or a hot soup, listen to music, write stories, or go to the museum.

The Grampians sounds like a portmanteau of sorts, perhaps "senior citizen champions" but the name comes from the Grampian Mountains in Scotland, named by Surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell. A slight change in plans brought me here for a slightly longer-than-expected duration: my CouchSurfing host in Horsham was unable to host me due to a planned dinner, so I made my way toward Halls Gap yesterday and sorted out a a CS host quickly. In the process I was picked up by three Japanese girls who drove all the way from Melbourne to Uluru only to spend one day at Uluru and then drove all the way back. Some people seem to forget how big Australia is! It's massive! Melbourne to Uluru or Perth to Adelaide ain't a two-hour drive. My CS host here in Halls Gap is Glenn. He's 80 with a keen interest in language and has the energy of a 60-year-old. Halls Gap is somewhat like Yulara or Te Anau: a provision stop of sorts. When I called in at a bakery for a steak and onion pie, they were nice enough to store my perishable food because Glenn wouldn't be home for a few hours. Magpies, kookaburras, and cockatoos are more accustomed to people here so they hang round for little tidbits. 

Yesterday I went up Chautauqua Peak where the view is incredible even though Halls Gap somewhat tarnishes it... 

Today I had the Balconies on my radar, and I wanted to get there before the heavy rain this afternoon. Gloom and rain, coupled with being midweek, meant I had the entire walk to myself. Then, it was one of those moments I gasped "WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!" What a view!

Pictures don't do it justice here; many places just look so much better with your own two eyes. There was nobody else at the lookout so I had it all to myself but I couldn't get a photo with me in it. 

As I returned in the rain to Glenn's home, I noticed my CS host in Horsham completely turned against me. She left me a bad reference describing me as unclean and how her partner had to "return home just to show me out the door" after she and I had a nice talk yesterday morning. She said he was going to give me a lift to the petrol station. Furthermore, she stated there was little warning I'd be arriving four hours late when she knew full well that I was hitchhiking and there was a nasty storm brewing in Stawell, a town about a half hour east of Horsham. I was a bit thankful she had me leave because it meant I would spend an extra day in a more accessible area of the Grampians but I really don't appreciate people who turn around and stab me in the back. If someone has an issue with me, then they need to talk to me! What can I do though? I'm not going to get along with everybody I meet, regardless if they're CouchSurfing hosts or whoever. I've stayed with plenty of really awesome people through CouchSurfing and I have more than 100 excellent references. 

Back to positive stuff, I'm loving my time here in the Grampians. Over the next couple of weeks I'm basically doing a clockwise circle of hitchhiking that will include Adelaide, to Brisbane via the Outback, a week in Tiaro, down to Brisbane, and then the duchess of my travels: Norfolk Island. Ah yea, I'll be travelling a lot! As the rain hammered down on the roof this evening, pizza with a glass of wine was lovely as I reminisced on another area of Australia I've always wanted to see. 

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