Australia: VIC: The Grampians: 29/04/04: Attacked by ….

From the coast back inland to the mountains. The Grampians are very rugged but offer good walking opportunities. Rock climbing should be very good here too, but currently it is a bit cold on the hands, so I sticked to walking.

The weather was again nice: cool but sunny. There are some weird rock formations and the view of the valley was great: there was a thin layer of fog hanging between the trees which makes it more unreal.

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After having visited the Mc Kenzie waterfalls, I decided to have a picnic there. And that is were I was attacked … by birds (mainly kookaburras). They looked very nice birds to me, untill I started eating my sandwich. They attacked me from the back: flew in, grabbed a big part of my sandwich and flew away, preparing for a new attack. It is a scary experience when these big birds fly right close to your face. They did a second attack, but this time I heard them coming and ducked away.
The rangers told later that many people have been attacked already and some suffering bad facial injuries (even broken noses). It seems that these birds get sometimes food from picnicking people, causing them now to grab it themselves if they don’t get any.

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In the evening, I started heading towards Adelaide and camped on a sideroad in the middle of farming area. At a certain moment, a car stopped behind me (this is not really what I like when I am camping wild, because it might mean bad news). But … not at all. It was just a concerned farmer who was checking if everything was alright and if I hadn’t broken down with the car.
It is an impression I have had more often: away from the cities, people tend to have a big community feeling and are extremely friendly.

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