In the 1960s Ev had been to Mt Arapiles, west of Horsham, Victoria...
...with the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club and by her own account decided it was an unattractive activity by the time she was about 10 feet from the ground.
So we were off to visit spectacular Mount Arapiles, after the Grampians. We reviewed our accommodation options and as the town of Natimuk (near Arapiles, the photo above taken next day from near Natimuk) seemed to lack amenity, we stayed in Horsham.
In the Horsham tourist news, Ev read of the existence of a group at Natimuk making major bamboo constructions, calling themselves 'Bambuco'... About which we may perhaps have known nothing if we had rolled on in the dark and stayed at the pub in Natimuk.
We left Horsham early to breakfast at Arapiles. On the way (as seems to be our pattern) we passed through Natimuk and Ev spied a mother and baby and, leaping from the car, declared "I'll bet she knows where we can find Bambuco!"
Which of course was so. The mother of the impatient-to-get-rolling-again young Isabel was of course Jillian Pearce, dancer and climber turned aerialist, the Artistic Director of YSpace (an aerial performance group, the Y of Y force being the graph-axis Y) who shares an office and many creative projects with Simon Barley, the director of Bambuco. We went to that office and were joined by Simon.
If you, like we two, did not know of these groups, that is perhaps because we live in Australia. Simon's projects in particular have very limited exposure in Australia as they are too large, dramatic and expensive — see the web sites of YSpace and Bambuco.
Amazingly, Simon's major requirement for bamboo is of the Moso variety, which is, of course, the bamboo we grow at Mount Eurobodalla (pictures on the linked page taken three years ago). Several weeks ago we were poisoning new shoots to stop the growth of our spreading bamboo. Now it seems, we may have someone who will make great positive artistic use of it! ...If we haven't killed it...
The existence of these creative projects in Natimuk (engaging 120 people in a town of 500) arises from the presence of Arapiles — the attraction of climbers.
Natimuk had revealed itself to be a very interesting town.
We did make it to Arapiles
From where one looks down over the Wimmera, plains of mixed wealth and great complexity, fresh lakes and (as seen above) salt lakes, from the winter winds from the Southern Ocean.
The slopes are full of beauty (and nice paths)
of fauna as well as flora, this cute stumpy lizard about a foot [30cm] long