The Happy Walk Week 2

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 22:49


It has been a week of meeting new people and catching up with a friend I have miraculously stayed in touch with for 24 years.

On the way out of Launceston the radio played a Happy Walk interview recorded the day before and WIN TV News caught up with me and ran the story that night. It was my first ever TV interview and it was very funny. It was strange answering Harvey’s question but not including Nick the cameraman in the conversation, I kept accidentally looking at the camera and I think they must have recorded at least a full kilometre of walking footage.

I have had many people tooting and waving and really appreciate these little signs of support. If my smile slips they quickly put it back in place.

Matt and Tracey and their lovely family spotted me setting up camp by the road near their house and offered their yard for a safer, quieter camp site. While packing up the roadside camp they came over and told me they were setting up the spare room in the shed which served as a home while they built the house. It was such a wonderful surprise to not only have a safe place to camp but dry and warm and a hot shower in the morning also.

When I reached Georgetown a beautiful woman called Frances pulled over and offered me a place to stay in her spare room. It was perfect timing as I was almost in town and wasn’t sure where I was staying, probably would have been the pub as the holiday park was still a few kilometres the other side of town. I very gratefully accepted Frances’ offer and the next day we took the dogs, Madge and Nugget, walking around Low Head. It was great being a real tourist with Frances. We looked at all the lighthouses, beaches, old buildings, Matthew Flinders’ New Norfolk full size replica, the semaphore tower and then as I was getting ready to walk to Pipers River Frances invited me to accompany her, Madge and Nugget to the Sheffield Daffodil Show. It was a great walking day but even better for looking at cute little old heritage towns, topiary, murals, marble art, flowers, mountains and countryside.

I did eventually, reluctantly get back on the road to Bridport.

For about a month I had been planning to take a 2 day break from the walk to fly to Sydney for a friend’s 40th birthday celebrations at the Opera House. I wouldn’t normally do something like this but In the 24 years since Susanna and I had met during her first trip to Australia we had only one opportunity to catch up as she flew through Sydney back in 2003. Of all my childhood friends Susanna has been the greatest letter writer, sending photos and keeping me up to date with her new addresses, adventures and misadventures all over the globe. It was a beautiful night on the Harbour with the Opera House rising above us, bridge lights shining across the water and ferries splashing back and forth all night.

This week took a bit out of me. Most days were wet and cold. I had to take a break earlier than expected and delayed returning to the walk because of stress related pain in my teeth for which there is no quick fix (at some stage I will need to get a guard fitted before I start cracking them). Today I am returning to Bridport but will not be walking until the new old pain in my hip eases, a strict routine of physio and relaxation exercises should have me ready to get moving again in no time.

When I’m walking again it will be across to Eddystone Point and through one of the world’s best stretches of coastline, Bay of Fires Conservation Area. I think this will be one of my Tasmania highlights.

Next week’s news won’t be too exciting as I don’t expect to be going too far but I’ll try to do a bit of sightseeing around Bridport for you and share photos of the beautiful things I see.

This week, try to remember that, although it is easy to isolate yourself when you’re not feeling well, reaching out for the company of friends and family will help you feel better and provide an opportunity for a few laughs. And laughing is another wonderfully free remedy for the blues.

Take Care
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