Walkingman reaches Sydney

Posted on September 24, 2008 by

Walkingman’s 16,17 and 18th week in Oz.

Submitted by: www.tonymangan.com

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Walkingman’s 16th Week Across Australia
Taree to Karauh, 9-1-2008 to 9-7, 95 miles, 19,073 Total World Walk Miles.

Four months walked and two more to walk before I fly back to the USA. Days are getting longer and a little warmer, about 12 hours of daylight from 6am to 6pm. I have slowed down a bit and taking my time to enjoy more things I see, people I meet, and just take it easy. No hurry, no worries, as they say here in Oz. Talked to a bunch of high school kids in a river side park in Forster all in their bathing suits playing Frisbee, skateboarding, and just goofing off in the warm sunshine. Had about 30 kids around my baby jogger asking me questions and cracking jokes about my walking.
Heavy wind and rain slowed me down going through a coastal rain forest area with lots of hills and up and downs. I stay pretty warm and dry in my Gore-Tex suit, but my New Balance Black Leather sneakers have not been doing to good in heavy rain. I had them covered with wax shoe polish, but the little vent holes let in to much water. So I bought a pair of Aussie leather work boots with elastic panels on the side instead of laces. They feel pretty comfy, and with the wax shoe polish and wool socks keep my feet totally dry and warm in the rain. So cold, windy, and rainy that I took a day off in small town of Bundelah. They had a nice picnic area with electric BBQ grill to heat my coffee on, and also a nice bridge by the river with a nice dry place to pitch my tent.
One lady stopped to chat and asked me if I planted trees, I guess like Johnny Appleseed. I said no, but that I did try to plant ideas in kids and adults about walking, biking, having an adventure, and how easy it is to walk around the world with just a few things.
Talked politics with one man in a small cafe. They all seem to follow American politics and the economy as it effects everybody in the world. They are a bit confused about our politics as they have a parliamentary system of government as opposed to our separate legislative and presidential branches. I listen to local ABC and BBC on the radio, and Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companions’ is on ABC Sunday nights at 7pm. I also just found out that ABC has NPR’s “All Things Considered” on at 9pm with all the American news. So I will have to set my alarm and wake up to listen every night, as I usually fall asleep by 7pm.
One rainy day I stopped to take a break in a bus shelter during the rain. Two ladies stopped to pick up their school kids and chatted with me for a while. When the kids arrived they all came over to my stroller and asked lots of questions about my stroller. I have 3 plastic fairy’s mounted on my baby jogger like a hood ornament that I found on the roadside. They come in McDonald’s happy meals and are from the movie “The Spiderwick Chronicles. So they were pretty interested in my whole contraption and what I was doing. Ocea and Shae signed my witness book(for Guinness Book of World Records) and one of the moms asked if I would like a cup of hot tea. So off she went to get me some hot tea, plus she brought me back a sandwich, grapes, strawberries, cookies, chocolate, and a hand drawn card from her daughter Ocea. Real nice treat on a cold rainy day from some real nice people.
Picked up a real nice pest control flier at one store. Had all the really dangerous spiders here in Oz with color photos and relative toxicity of the bites. Had the St. Johns spider I saw up north as just a low level bee sting type bite. Nice flier to have on your refrigerator and a good ad idea for a pest control company.
Saw one man riding a chopper style electric bicycle. Looked almost like a Harley with the raised handlebars, big back wheel, and long front fork. He looked kinda like a biker that lost his license to drive a real motorcycle.
Saw a nice movie called “Children of The Silk Road” All about some orphanage kids during the 1937 sack and rape of Nanjing by the Japanese. They had an English journalist teaching them and then leading them on a 1000 mile walk along the old Silk Road away from possible induction into the Nationalist Chinese Army. They used 2 and 3 wheel wooden carts similar to mine to haul all their gear. Would like to one day continue my walk across Europe and Asia from Turkey, through the Middle East, and across China on the Silk Road.
Headed into Sydney and then down to Melbourne. Looks like I should make it into Melbourne just about in time for my flight back to the USA on November 10Th.
Email me with questions and comments by clicking on reply, or from my website at http://www.walkingman.org .
My pocketmail email address seems to be working again so also at walking_man_50(atsign)pocketmail(dotcom) .
Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.
Gary “Walkingman” Hause.

Walkingman’s 17th Week Across Australia
Karuah to North Sydney, 9-8-2008 to 9-14, 146 miles, 19,219 Total World Walk Miles.

Election day is here in Australia. Everybody is required to vote, $55 fine in the mail if you do not vote, so pretty high turnout. Good idea, but I do not think the Congress in the USA would allow a law like that to pass. Labour party (left of center party) has the majority in the Parliament here. So the leader of their party gets the Prime Minister position. The main opposition party is the Liberals (right of center or conservative party) . Then they also have a small Green party (environmentalists), and a small National party (rural or farmers party). The politicians here are really feisty as I always hear them arguing in Parliament on the news. Lots of boos, catcalls, laughs, and uproar going on during speech’s and debate.
One Maori lady from New Zealand stopped to chat and invited me to visit her and her husband at their bus at the next campground. Kevin “Mad Dog” Mudford for a cross walker and motivational speaker. He had met Arthur Blessit (www.blessitt.com) , the World Walker Record Holder, 20 years ago on one of his Cross Walks, and start cross walking also. Kevin had been in prison and mental institutions a lot for alcohol, drug, and crime problems he has had from early years until he found Jesus and straightened out his life. So now he gives talks at AA meetings, schools, jails, and for other groups about his life and conversion. So we had a nice chat and some lunch together.
Diggero Dave stopped me to chat and gave me a nice cold lemon aide. He then went on to give me his vocal imitation of a Aboriginal Diggero instrument. Pretty impressive vocal talent.
Tommy Thomas stopped me to chat and took a photo of me with his new Apple 3G I-Phone. He said he helped build the first computer in the UK during WW2. Most people think the first computer was built in the USA during the 50,s. But a super secret project was going on in the 1940,s at Gosford Park, England to build the first computer for breaking codes during the war. Of course some people claim that Sir Charles Babbage built the first computer over 200 years ago, or the Chinese Abacus over 3000 years ago was the first. Tommy probably had more computing power in his hand with his Apple I-Phone then a whole building of computers back in the 1940,s.
Two bridges washed out on the local road route 83 up by Gosford. So I had to detour on to the big busy Freeway route 1. No sign saying no bikers or walkers at the entrance, so I walked on for about 10k till the first exit back on to the local road. Nice wide shoulder to walk on most of the way till I reached a bridge with only a 2 foot shoulder. Kind of hairy for about 300 yards with everybody blowing by 2 or 3 feet away at 110 kph (68 mph) . Couple cops stopped to talk to me right after the bridge. They said they got a report of a walker on the bridge and wondered what I was doing. I told them about the bridge out and no sign not allowing walkers at entrance. Luckily there was a sign for the next exit back on to local road 2k away right ahead. So they seemed satisfied and just told me to be careful. Real nice to get back on a quiet local road after all the noise and dust on busy freeway. Lots of motor-bikers and bicyclists on the quiet shaded local road. I stopped to talk to one bicyclist who had stopped to fix a flat tire. John Phillips invited me to stay over and visit his family just down the road away in Cherrybrook. So nice hot shower, home cooked dinner, laundry, and warm bed at his place.
A mate of Karl Busby (another world walker) stopped to chat and said he thought I looked like Karl. He said he had been in the SAS (Special Air Service) back in England with Karl. Karl has been walking for 6 or 7 years I think from the tip of South America to Alaska and across the Bering Straight to Siberia during the winter. His website is www.goliath.mail2web.com.
Headed south for Melbourne. Looks like about 600 to 700 miles, so I should get there just about on time for my flight back to USA. Email me with questions or comments about my walk by clicking on reply, from my website at http://www.walkingman.org or at walking_man_50(atsign)pocketmail(dotcom) .
Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.
Gary “Walkingman” Hause.

Walkingman’s 18th Week Across Australia
North Sydney to Gerrindong, 9-15-2008 to 9-21, 117 miles, 19,336 Total World Walk Miles.

Over the big bridge and into Sydney just as the sun set and the full moon rose over the Opera House. Hundreds of people were walking, jogging, and biking across the bridge. Two walkways across, west side is for bicyclists and has a ramp in the middle of the steps, east side is for walkers and is just steps. I went up the bikers side on the ramp, but bridge police turned me back halfway across. So back down the ramp and up about 100 steps backwards one step at a time like a dolly on the two back wheels. Hard work to pull about 100 pounds up one step at a time. Nice view as I walked across the bridge with the sun setting and the full moon rising over the dramatic Opera House. Then down another 100 steps one at a time and into downtown Sydney just as it got dark. Streets well lighted and it took me about 2 hours to walk over to Centennial Park to camp hidden among the bushes and trees. I asked a couple people for directions to the park, just to make sure I was headed in the right direction, and they all said it was to dangerous to camp there. Lots of drunks and hoodlums there at night supposedly. Lots of dog walkers, runners, and bicycle racers in the morning, but not drunks or hoodlums that I saw. One big white fuzzy dog came up to me as I was taking down my tent and sniffed me and all my gear.
As I was going past one small cafe a lady came out with a piece of chocolate birthday cake from her party. Another lady came out to take a photo with a bunch of kids, the birthday lady, and me. One bicyclist stopped to walk and chat with me for about 20 minutes. Ron was biking to Canberra with a group to deliver a petition to the Government from “Clean Energy Forever”. Another biker just slowed down and handed me a granola bar as he rode by and said “Good on you mate”, a common Aussie expression of approval that a lot of people say to me.
As I was going through one small town at dusk Sergio stopped to chat and invited me to his home for coffee. He made me a nice Cappuccino, brought some olives, cheese, flat bread, and a ginger beer out for me. Sergio said for some reason he had bought 2 steaks today instead of one, so I might as well stay for a nice steak dinner and pitch my tent in the back yard, as he had to go to work in about 3 hours for the night shift. He also showed me his collection of Antique Toys that took up 2 bedrooms. Kind of like that man collection in the “40 Year Old Virgin” movie. Sergio made a great dinner for me and I had a great hot shower.
One man emailed me and said he would like to meet me for coffee and grill me on my walk as he was planning his own walk across Australia. He lived only about 10 miles from where I was staying in N. Sydney so I met him the next morning for a snack at a cafe and gave him lots of advice on walking the world. He said it was fate that I just happened to be in Sydney the very day he emailed me to give him advice on walking and get him motivated to go.
My Teva Dozer walking sandals are wearing pretty thin after only 600 miles. My feet are a little sore after walking all day in them. So I started looking for another pair of Teva walking sandals, but no luck, so I ended up buying a decent pair of running shoes.
Walked into Kiama on the same day they were having their Seaside Market Day and World Peace Concert. Lots of booths set up with various crafts, plants, food, and entertainment. Nine good local bands played on the stage in front of nice big grassy park. Usually I see signs for events that are a couple weeks in the future or past, so nice actually showing up on the right day for a free concert.
Headed south for Melbourne and Victoria, the last state I will cross in Australia. Email me with questions and comments by clicking on reply, from my website at http://www.walkingman.org , or at walking_man_50(atsign)pocketmail(dotcom) .
Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.
Gary “Walkingman” Hause.