Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Thursday 19 July 2012
Another day, another gondola
covered by canvas. Where snow and ice have melted, all that is left is a daunting, even depressing, moonscape of rocks and scree; but on the walk down through what feels like a succession of seasons or climate zones, into increasing greenery, spotting gentians and waiting for sheep to pose artistically (some hopes), the views are stunning:
Walk down, you'll notice I said, following a ride up in the cable gondola. There are several in the valley, accessing different starting points for winter ski-runs and summer walking (and tobogganing and paragliding for the intrepid). wooded slopes, and alpine meadows where the cattle have plenty of buttercups to graze on, to an "alm" (presumably meaning a refuge, but in practice usually a comfortable lodge-cum-restaurant) with a dog snoozing in the afternoon heat.