Wednesday 3 February 2010

Angelina Jolie: SA poster girl

So I'm writing a piece about the Heysen Trail in South Australia that runs for 1200 km between the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Flinders Ranges, having walked a tiny section of it near Victor Harbor recently, and I'm wanting to compare it with Angelina Jolie because although it's beautiful, it's also a bit scary. I'm thinking of her drinking blood, slashing pillows with knives, the tattoos, that sort of thing; not really the baby collection or stealing Brad from poor Jen-who's-so-nice-and-Friendly.

But maybe it's being unfair to the scenery, which is impressively large-scale and varied, with amazing rocks painted with lichens, towering cliffs, sandy beaches, thickly bushed or wide-open spaces, burnt gold or sage green or deep red or misty purple - and that's just the little bit that I saw on my five-hour stroll. Further north there's wine country, farmland, forest, gorges, townships and the ancient, astonishing rock formations of Wilpena Pound. Pretty spectacular - or, pretty and spectacular.

But also slightly alarming: precipitous drops to rocks far below where the sea foams in; not just one or two, but six different seriously spiky plants along the part I walked alone; and the constant danger that if you're sucked into stopping to admire the view, which you will be, you're entirely likely to find, suddenly, that your lower legs are swarming with unnecessarily big ants, that are biting. And that's not to mention the possibility of snakes.

The guys soaring over our heads in their paragliders were above all these pedestrian worries (though they could have had that extra one, about doing an Icarus). It must have been glorious up there.

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