Walk 23 - Palm Cove

Back to our latest Australian trip (a couple more walks from this journey left I think), this walk was the result of an impromptu journey to the coast when Kuranda couldn't hold us any longer. Bypassing Cairns, or turning left at the roundabout we found Palm Cove on a windy, warm and sunny day. The sea was not very inviting and quite rough add to that the potential crocodiles and jelly fish a walk along the beach was just in order. Bright and breezy with the added bonus of yes, refreshments but a few (though not as many as i was expecting) shops. This was a walk with entertainment, a group of blokes on a (presumably) stag night with some of the best costumes I've seen on grown men for some time.
Far end of the beach and the start of the walk

Spread out before us

Because some things catch my eye

Love how the wind is blowing these

Walk 22 - Auckland City

Three days of walking to Sky Tower, well the convention centre to be precise, had me thinking about trips to London, the excitement, the planning. I took a train today for just in $5.00 that arrived on time and got me to the centre of New Zealand's largest city in just und 30 minutes, it arrived there on time as well.

I joined a throng of folks walking up Queen Street. It's a city centre I don't visit very often, and certainly less over the time I've lived here. I looked at the people, very few on their phones, an almost quiet atmosphere, this had something to do with the impending sailing race that has the country on tenderhooks. Enough said.

It's a place I feel safe in.

Walking with the flow of the crowd up queen street this alters as I turn up hill towards sky tower. Not really sure where the convention centre part is but the handy thing about using sky city is that it has to be near the tower somewhere. Now the tower, I guess one of the icons that says Auckland.

Day one over and the walk back - buzzing from post conference high. I join the after school rush for the train. Filled withe enthusiasm of the day and the Joy of buying a new notebook I didn't calm down till I got off the train then I noticed the great squelchy noises my boots made in the rain, contemplating the comfort of my boots. Then I spotted the bubbles made my the footprints of the guy walking ahead of me, that made me smile.

Conference day 2 I approached from a different direction. Going into work first and walking down queen street. Going to work was a mad idea and now I'm not in quite the right frame of mind. It was an earlier start today so after passing the people on their way into the hospital it was a quieter walk down to sky city. I stooped at some traffic lights on the turn uphill catching my breath, feeling hot and clammy and I imagine rather red, I don't walk slowly, and as you know even a small incline does me in. I arrive at the venue and check, yes very red, very clammy and rather toasty, I look alive and like I've had a good walk I just hope I don't smell too bad as the day goes on. It's a longer day all around to day so here's hoping.

The smell would have been irrelevant after such a powerful and emotive day. The walk back to the station to day was later and busier with less school kids but more people. I was keen to get there in time so I caught the next train and it wasn't till I got to the station that the blister I had given myself on this mornings walk reminded me of itself. The deftly applied plaster in the toilet earlier had done the job.

The stories of the day had touched me, touched us all I think and well powerfully presented so as I walked I saw. I saw people and wondered what were their stories, what mattered to them. It's scary thinking like that. I want to hide away behind wine and a crappy movie. I need to shut it away and yet it has been exposed to us, to me in such a way that I don't think we can. It's why I do the job I do. It's why I love the job I love. I'm typing on the train, too scared to catch anyone's eye, to imagine thier story or pain. I sneak a look. I see tired people eyes closed, catching some rest and peace before they face home, what may they face, the crying child, the abusive husband, the sick mother who needs lifting into bed. I see a lot of devices, connecting us to what. I'm guilty I sit with iPad tapping away. Lost, disconnected. I see worry, concern pensive faces. I did see hope today. In the bleakest moment today, there was hope, but it will require effort, require connections and I will look up and see the faces, hear the stories and ask what matters to you.

Day three and it now feels like a routine, walking up Queen Street, I don't think the hill has got any easier but I do know what road to walk up now. Today is the day I take pictures. I'm still clammy and red, with a fresh look on my face. There are a lot of women here who do make up very well, I can't be one of those.

Today's conference was not as emotionally draining, still a good day but not quite as exhausting. Despite a session on 'mindfulness' I am particularly mindless on the walk back down. I cannot recall any of it. I talk to Adam on the phone, I sit on the wrong platform at the train station. I am not present. I sink into the iPhone on the way home. Once off the train it is darker and colder.

These three days of walking to Sky Tower.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

Walk 21 - Waterfall Circuit

Back to the recent Oz holiday and a waterfall circuit that we couldn't resist. OK so only the first waterfall had anything you could consider a walk but they look good together. Being a tourist thingy we bumped into the the same people doing the same circuit, funny how some people don't even want to acknowledge your existence while others you can have  friendly chat with. Why is that? I think I smile far too much at strangers and one day this may lead me into rather a lot of trouble, but not on this day. We're inland a bit now, heading towards Kuranda and in the Atherton region of Queensland. We saw three waterfalls on this route, first up was Elinjaa Falls, the one with the actual walk (steps and a bit of scrambling over rocks at the bottom, rather marvellous) then onto Zillie Falls, with just a view rather than a walk, mind you Adam did try and create a route down to the bottom but thankfully was stopped by the amount of bush. Finally it was the Millaa Millaa Falls, apparently the most photographed falls in Australia. Handy car park and facilities making this a good place to picnic or spend the day. No-one was swimming but it was tempting. We did at least park in the upper car park so did walk a little to get to these ones. This kind of exploring is what I love most about a road trip with no concrete plans. The lonely planet does mention these but seeing the road sign and then a quick decision to veer off the main road to follow the circuit made it feel a tadge more adventurous (though not really). It's all about enjoying the moment, the right here and now, rather than ticking off lists (which I am overly fond of to be honest). Of course there were refreshments a highly recommended (thank you Trip Advisor) 'The Falls Teahouse' on the road at the end of our little circuit. Freshly baked bread making for rather delicious sandwiches (let's be honest this might be my favourite part of road trips).

Elinjaa Falls

Elinjaa Falls

Elinjaa Falls

Zillie Falls

Millaa Millaa Falls

At 'The Falls Teahouse'

At 'The Falls Teahouse'


What did I learn today? That if I neglect myself I stop being capable of functioning. If I don't drink or eat I become grumpy and irrational and a little less able to see large posts that I then reverse the new shinny car into. Even before the reversing crash I couldn't decide what to eat so ate nothing. All my choice thoughts (yes made that up) went bonkers and I couldn't choose at all. My dodgy neck has had me questioning lots of things about myself and my choices. My slow recovery has taught me things along the way, but I obviously have not taken these lessons on board yet. I've turned a corner and was beginning to feel better, back to me. Today I trashed all that. So I'll throw some more guilt into the pile while I'm at it. Suck it up. Get some sleep. Get up and have another go tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Walk 20 - Cornwall Park

On a real mission here and have pulled out the joker. I was hoping to leave this till much later in the challenge but here we are. 27 days left to pull out another 21 walks, it's gonna be close. This walk is a favourite and much repeated (so if I get really desperate expert to see repeats). I have written about One Tree Hill many a time, I still don't know enough about it's history and when I have taken visitors there I am totally embarrassed as to what to say other than hello another volcano with a great city view. I do know it's a soul restoring place in the middle of the city, farm animals, walkers, cyclists, runners, strollers, in fact all sorts of people all the time. A place that sells great ice cream, or a coffee, or if you really fancy sit a while at the restaurant in the park. (There may be a theme developing here). At this time of year there are lambs jumping about and you find yourself contemplating vegetarian recipes for a while. This was a walk to the summit, an easy walk using the road. When I say easy, I'm still puffing and panting. This is one of those places I can track my fitness by how well I manage the walk up and is also the place I'd love to be able to run all the way around (waiting on my neck to resolve a bit before I contemplate that malarkey - in fact should a 70 year old neck be running at all, maybe not).  So the summit walk this time, very popular Sunday morning spot with swarms of folks everywhere, the place was alive (maybe not the best description for a volcano). One Tree Hill is a room full of outside in the middle of a city and I love it.
Traditional lamb/sheep shot

Funnily enough Adam ahead

Trying to capture the 'crowds'
This is New Zealand remember

The feet that walked
The steps at the summit

Trying my best with an old iPhone
Is it time to upgrade I wonder
Still interested, One Tree Hill was one of the first places I wrote about on this blog, it's a great place to see the changing seasons, look here and here. It made an appearance as a top tip for places to visit  and has its own set on Flickr

Walk 19 - Raglan

On a determined mission to complete the 41 walks challenge here. Procrastination and last minuteness play a big part in my personality for sure. This was Saturday Surprise. Adam chose 'out of Auckland' and I drove. He guessed around the time we hit Huntly that we were heading to Raglan. We haven't been there for a while and 2 hours of southerly driving had us pulling over by the wharf. Lunch first of course, then some shopping, a lot more shops than I remember from the last time. Lots of kiwi made and arty stuff so all rather cool, particularly in the torrential rain that was pouring. It had been a sunny drive down but now felt rather damp and a little chilly. Having eaten and shopped we headed to the beach. I recall feeling surprised (though not sure why) at the hills around Raglan, this time they delighted me, everywhere was so green and lush (lots and lots of rain remember). I also recall the sand on the beach being so so hot I could hardly walk on it, I figured that would not be the case this time. The tide was well in, why did this surprise me I do not know, memories I guess of the huge beach we lazed on in the summer of our last visit here. We walked, we walked past the lone surfer, past the surf school, we joined a lot of other walkers and their friendly dogs. It is a long expanse of west coast beach but where Muriwai stretches on and on into the forever this beach has land curving around, deceptive and inviting I guess. We turned to walk back and while acknowledging that the rain was heading this way again we couldn't help but delay in taking photos of the sea/cloud/sky combination that was unfurling before us. We got wet, we were dressed appropriately and enjoyed the downpour and the rainbow it produced. Sitting back in the car tucking into lemon cake and watching the light over the sea from an elevated viewpoint Saturday Surprise was heading to a close. Adam took the wheel and we drove back through the green hills heading to the highway to Auckland.

Near the wharf

To the beach

Walk 18 - Royal Oak

An interlude from the recent holiday walks, this is a local walk. From my door to my doctors. Google thought it would take me an hour, I managed it faster than that so while the news of the neck wasn't great as least I can still walk. A spring walk with signs of the new season along the way, that and the birds, they competed with the traffic, doing a fair accompaniment given the constant drone of the cars, vans, trucks....Viewing a well driven route at walking pace with the sun warming my face was refreshing and thought pondering. The faces of drivers that I held up as I used the crossings disturbed me, is it that bad to be waiting a few minutes, and remember I walk fast (ish). Then the litter became more and more obvious, then I started seeing it everywhere. I have a litter thing, it would be my super power. I would swoosh down on litter droppers and that would be the end of them, or maybe that's too violent for me. I could make them eat the litter, or really just take it home, recycle, or just put it in the bin. I became a little angry. Walking does gives you thinking time, raising more questions than answering and an added bonus from my walking speed meant a little time in the library before the appointed time with the doctor.

My neighbour I guess

Lots of crazy walls and gardens

Spring signs

Petals and litter

Well placed litter - seriously take it home

For my godson. I take a strange pleasure from road names!


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