Walkingman’s 19th Week Across Australia
Submitted by: www.tonymangan.com
Gerrindong to Moruya, 9-22-2008 to 9-28, 124 miles, 19,460 Total World Walk Miles.
Into Gerrindong at the start of 7 mile beach where I saw a flyer for Surf Camp Australia surfing lessons. So I called them up and booked a lesson for 11.30am. Stopped in the local post office/general store and the owner Wendy was real nice. She said she saw me twice on her daily walk and wondered what I was doing. We chatted a bit as she sorted the mail and rang up customers. Then she said to go through to her kitchen and make my self some coffee and have some cookies. Her apartment was in the back of the store and after coffee she told me to go ahead and take a hot shower and the bathroom was right next to the kitchen. All the while she was telling all the customers coming in about my world walk and that she did not really know me at all and I could be a crazy person or a mass murderer. I think she was just kidding though.
Down to the beach parking lot to wait for the surf camp truck to come with the wetsuits, surfboards and instructors. About 40 people with wetsuits came walking across the road from the surf camp compound and I was able to get a wetsuit and surfboard from the truck. They divided us into groups of 8 with one instructor per group. First Mitch our instructor went over the basics of laying on the board and how to paddle to catch a wave. Then we practiced pushing up with our hands in front of chest on board and arching our back. Out into the cold surf to practice catching waves laying prone with our back arched first. Nice 1 to 2 foot waves to learn on. I caught 8 or 9 waves and got the hang of paddling and arching my back, nice ride in to the beach. Then back to the beach to go over how to stand up. First you lie prone on the board with feet just over the tail, then paddle hard in front of the wave, push up with your hands and arch your back, then rotate you right hip out, pull your right knee and foot up to left knee, then pull your left foot up and through to between your hands, then slowly rise to a crouch and try to keep your balance, then either stand up and use your hands to balance or wipe out. I wiped out a lot, got up to a crouch 3 or 4 times. After 2 hours My arms were pretty tired and my back was pretty sore from arching. Clouds were getting pretty black and a storm was rolling in, and the lesson was just about over, so we all went in. Lots of fun and I learned a lot, will have to take another lesson or two further down the road, but I think I got the basics. Everybody walked across the road to the surf camp compound and I followed over just to see what it looked like. They bring down lots of backpackers from Sydney hostels every week to stay in dorms and take a week long surf camp course. They were having lunch and the head man Guy invited me join them and have a sandwich and some coffee. He was loading all the photos he took onto the computer with a projection screen and trying to put a name to every face. He said he would email me a couple photos that I could use in one of my weekly articles.
Passing lots of wineries and vineyards. Vines are all pruned and a couple leaves are just starting to sprout out. Had some real nice fresh peach’s at a small fruit stand. The vendor said they were from an orchard about 200 kilometers north where spring starts a lot earlier. Lots of fruit trees blooming with flowers and lots of beautiful flowers on the roadside.
As I was going through Milton I was hailed by a man in front of the Commercial Pub. Danny Thompson the owner stopped me to chat and invited me in for lunch on the house. So I had a nice cider and some Chicken with honey sauce and fried rice. Danny called a friend at the local Newspaper and set up a interview at the Ulladulla-Milton Times.
Stopped at noon Saturday and got out my radio so I could listen to the McCain vs Obama debate on BBC radio. Lots of interest here with the election and the economic troubles as they both effect everybody around the world. I listen to the local ABC radio station here and they sometimes have on BBC programs and also NPR programs from the USA. They are a Government sponsored station like BBC , so no commercials, just news, talk shows, weather, and sometimes a little music.
Getting hotter every day. I do not need a fire every morning, and usually warm enough to start with just shorts and t-shirt. Usually by 9 or 10 am it is hot and sunny enough to switch to my white bed sheet robe in order to keep cool and from getting sunstroke. Light from 5.30am to 6.30pm, so 13 hours of daylight now. Taking lots of breaks in the shade during the ho test part of the day to read, write, snack, and sometimes take a siesta nap. A few flies and mosquitoes now so I have been wearing my black sketter net over my sun hat to keep the flies away and it also cuts down on the glare from the sun. I imagine people must think I look pretty funny with my bed sheet and skeeter net on.
As I go by fields with cows and horses in them I usually ding my bell, beep my horn and either moo or whinny at them. They usually come over to check me out and I usually share an apple with the horses if they come right over to the fence.
One man stopped to chat and gave me half of his Dominoes Supreme Pizza. Eagle Boys is the local Aussie pizza chain and Dominoes the USA chain. They seem to be having a price war for market share and I usually have a cheap pizza for lunch once or twice a week. One man stopped to chat and gave me his whole lunch, sandwich, apple, oranges, and a cold soda. I stopped at one servo and Harry the clerk said to help myself to a drink and sausage roll on the house. I must be losing more weight and getting thinner as lots of people seem to want to give me food and fatten me up. Will have to weigh myself again and see how much I have lost.
As I was walking in to Moruya a girl on a mt. bike stopped to chat and rode along with me for 30 minutes and asked lots of questions about my world walk. Jess Thomas was still in high school but wanted to travel the world and wanted to get as much advice from me on how I travel. She was training for the Duke of Edinbough program. I think they do a 2 week trek from mountain to beach by foot, bike, and kayak for leadership and learning skills.
Headed south for Cape Howe for the next 2 weeks, then turn the corner and head west along the south coast for 2 or 3 more weeks to Melbourne. Email me with questions and comments by clicking on reply, or from my website at www.walkingman.org .
Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.
Gary “Walkingman” Hause