A Day in the Life of a Teacher Walking from Melbourne to Canberra
THIS IS A HYPOTHETICAL DAY! I actually start walking on the 16th Jan, but this will give you an idea of what it will be like and what to expect if you're on the support crew!
Let’s say it’s the 21st Jan. This is what that section of the itinerary looks like:
So, on the 21st of Jan I’m actually staying in Kilmore because that’s where I’ve arranged to stay. On the previous day, the 20th, I walked to Broadford, then the support crew came and picked me up and we went back to Kilmore to stay a second or third night.
Back to the 21st. I wake up in Kilmore and have breakfast with either with my Kilmore hosts or the support crew who will have their own arrangements depending on the situation and what they would like to do themselves (they will have access to my 4WD (Auto) and hopefully a caravan too). After breakfast we pack up, as I’ll be staying in Seymour that night. I’ll make sure I have enough water, food and supplies for the day in my backpack.
We get to Broadford (where I stopped walking the night before) and I’m dropped off there at 6am –ish. It needs to be early as it’s forecast for 42 degrees today and I need to get some hours in before it gets too hot. I won’t be able to walk between the hours of 10am and 3pm on hot days.
It’s 29.4km to Seymour from Broadford and I’m off. I usually walk at 5km per hour. I’ve got my satellite phone in case I need to contact the support team. They are going ahead to have breakfast at a winery and to see the Goulburn River Bridge before meeting me at 10am about 20km from where they dropped me off (6am to 10am = 4hrs x 5km = 20kms).
If the support team can’t pick me up, I find a shady spot to rest on my Kathmandu lightweight comfy mat. Some days I might be near a town or somewhere I can relax for a bit and keep out of the sun.
Today, the 21st of Jan, however, the support crew are there to pick me up. My arrival into Seymour has been pre-arranged and the local council and various groups like the Lions, Rotary, Church groups, Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children, RAR, etc. know when I’m coming. In some towns, a local band has agreed to come and play (if anyone’s interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
They’re expecting me at 5:15pm when it’s less hot and people have finished work. This has been confirmed the day before. As it’s 10am when I’m picked up, we have a bit of time to fill in. I might write a blog entry for the website and update social media. The support crew and I might go for a swim (I’ll just float I think) at a local pool. We have a meeting pre-arranged with a lady in Seymour who knits clothes for some of the kids in detention. One person in the support crew can handle a camera so where going to hear her story and take some shots to put on the website.
At 3pm the support crew drops me back on the road again. It’s about 9.5km to Seymour and I’ve got just over 2 hours. The support crew have gone ahead to Seymour to liaise with the organisers there and set up a table/area. All the posters, petitions and things needed, will be in the 4WD.
Hot and sweaty, I walk into Seymour around 5:15pm. There will hopefully be a presentation and some signatures to gather. The reception will differ from town to town. The project should gather momentum closer to Feb as school goes back and people are home from holidays.
After the festivities in Seymour the support crew drops me off at my accommodation for the night (a volunteer host). The crew have chosen to stay in the local caravan park. Where possible, they might be able to stay in the caravan on the host’s property. A couple of people have arranged to treat themselves to a night in a motel! Jan is very busy, you will need to book fast!
I have dinner, a shower and collapse into a bed in the spare room of my host’s house. Tomorrow morning the support team will be changing over. It’s 20.7km to Locksley. Yesterday’s support crew will say goodbye to me with either that morning or the night before. They’ll leave the 4WD keys with my host in Seymour. Their car will already be in Seymour where they left it a couple of days ago.
Today’s (22nd Jan) support crew will collect the keys from the Seymour host family. They could have taken the train to Seymour. I pass many train stations along the way. If they decided to drive up, they can stop in Seymour, pick up the keys and the 4WD. One person drives the 4WD and the other drives their own car to, let’s say, Violet Town, as they’re available until the 26th Jan. Violet Town is about 67kms away from Seymour. They’ll leave their car there and drive the 4WD to meet me at a pre-arranged location. There will also be a map in the 4WD so they know where I’ll be.