Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter at Grampians

On the second day of the Easter weekend (Saturday), I went to Grampians with Ray and his family. Grampians is a very famous National Park located west of Melbourne and it features a series of sandstone mountain ranges, indigenious rock arts, waterfalls and great bushwalking trails.

This trip was proposed, planned and executed by none other than Mr Raymond Tan (round of applause). The inspiration for this trip came from when he went for his weekend work around Ararat. For some reasons, I feel like the town Ararat has such a nice Final Fantasy ring to it. Doesn't it sound like a town in an FF game? And it was in the middle of nowhere with dry land surrounding it! FF mou!?

The drive there from Clayton (south east of Melbourne) took approximately 3 hours (I think, as I slept for a while here and there while in the car). The change of scenery is always interesting to me. From the concrete buildings of Melbourne city to the vast lands of dry soil around Ararat.

First we stopped at Brambuk Cultural Centre which was filled with information and exhibition about the aboriginal communities around that area. Pictures were not allowed inside but there were some really good pictures which told deep stories.

Around the park, there were numerous interesting rock designs.
The second stop was to the Balconies. There was a 15-20 minutes of bushwalking included. Difficulty level? Low.

See the lake over there? I could have gone further to the edge to get a more breathtaking picture, but I was too chicken as always :-)

Most of the trees were black in colour while the floor-plants and other young plants were green as. We think these trees were probably involved in a bushfire in the past. That explains the ash-dark barks and trunks they have.

The most impressive thing is despite the damage from the bushfire, these trees are still sprouting new leaves and new greens are still growing everywhere. Such strong will to survive. Such a subtle yet powerful lesson nature is teaching us.

This is the view from the Balconies. I loved it so much that I asked Ray to take a picture emulating the poster for the movie Australia. Then we proceeded to walk another 15 minutes back to our car for our third stop.

The third stop was McKenzie Falls. I have heard about this place a lot. Mostly from Amy&co about the silly pictures they took there during MUMSU Easter Camp 2007. So I was quite anxious to see that place as well.

The walk to McKenzie Falls was different. Instead of bushwalking, there was a lot of stairs. But towards McKenzie Falls, everything was downhill so the difficulty level was just moderate. I sailed through this part *whistles*

And when I finally reached the base of the waterfall . . !!
. . . this picture was supposed to look damn impressive okay!? But the Bollywood couple over there just wouldn't budge and stayed there like a statue for what seemed like 10 minutes! In the end this supposedly AMAZING capture of McKenzie Falls became a cheap Bollywood themed wedding picture wuwuwu.

All the leg muscle and energy exerted for this. . . shot. . . urgh. .

Even the shot of me and dear McKenzie Falls looked awkward as I think Ray was trying to avoid capturing any aura of the couple here :-(

Disappointment evolved into anger later when I had to climb up the same stairs I took to climb down earlier. Difficulty level was high up till don't know where. The steps were uneven, steep and narrow. I was panting, sweating and cursing the couple who ruined my McKenzie experience wuwuwu. Actually I just wanted to blame something for the stupid climb up. Made all my efforts in the gym seem like a waste only sniff.

The last and final stop was at Boroka Lookout. Quoting Ray, "I left this lookout for the last cause it is the most beautiful and the easiest one to walk to. If I brought you all to this first, I bet you would have lost all semangat for the other places." Smart. But I still gave him a smack for it.

But he was right. It was AMAZING.

The endless rolls of land.

The clear shadows casted onto the ground.

The horizon blurred by sunlight.

A perfect picture of peace.

(I would have uploaded more pictures of the scenery from Boroka Lookout but Blogger is not letting me do so. Prettiness overload I think. Or maybe it is rejecting unpretty picture cause coincidentally the next picture has me in it T.T)

We ended the day as happy little campers as we crammed into Ray's car and drove all the way back to Richmond for Vietnamese food before crashing into our comfy beds for a sleeping marathon.

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