Saturday, February 28, 2009

Related links from walk media publicity

Some of the links to articles, stories done along the way.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

All Done, Finished, Completed

It has been an amazing journey, meeting so many wonderful people along the way, seeing some of the countries amazing landscape, dealing with the physical and mental obstacles that came my way, moving through the mountain of emotions that I was carrying to reach a place of peace, tranquility, understanding and fulfilment.

From the start I tried to take one day at a time not looking towards the finish in Brisbane, now that I have reached it I realize that I can go on walking or indeed living in a similar way and I have Brony within me always.

I dedicated this walk to her brightness, love of life, spontenaity, carefree, humble, beautiful, bubbly, amazing person that she was and always will be for me. In return she has given me a chance to move forward and to find myself again amongst the haze and darkness that I was in. Thank you Brony for sharing this jouney with me and pushing me forward when I needed it, I will love you always.

Thank you also the the many kind and generous people that I have met along the way that have shared in my journey and given me the encouragement that I needed to take the next step forward, you are all special wonderful human beings and I am blessed to have met you.

Thank you for your donations to the McGrath Foundation - "together we can make a difference".

Thank you to my mother, sister and grandmother. 3 wonderful ladies in my life that have all shared in my pain and have helped me through to continue with this journey.

what next.....?? I will continue to let the jouney of life unfold with patience.

who knows walking in NZ from A2B (Auckland to Bluff) might be the next thing.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ballina to Brisbane (THE FINISH) week 9

12th ballina rest day -
woke to boat sinking opposite the house - next 3 hours spent bailing out and securing the boat.
Spoke at local school.
restocked on food and washing.
9pm problems with boat again crashing against rocks, in the water holding it back for a couple of hours. good fun

13th Ballina to Byron 35km
some rain today, meeting Barb this afternoon.

bumped into Deborah Dewallis Long distance endurance marathon runner coming into Byron on her World record around australia run. Amazing lady.

14th Byron to Pottsville 45km

pooring rain all day, road some flooding through the day, sticking to old highway and service roads, bridge flooded, detours -
wet clothes, wet sleeping bag wet towel.

15th Pottsville to Southport 65km

walked the coast as much as possible, met some lovely people, photos n interview with tweed paper. lunch at fish & chip place - met lovely lady for her 80th.

met by Ted and Amiko at Broadbeach and walked with me to Southport were the street was out to welcome me - ThaNK YOU it was such a wonderful surprise. Thankyou Judith you are wonderful.

16th Southport to Beenleigh 45km

Late start walked with ted for an hour stopped for drink at servo and channel 9 camera crew was in line behind me so we chatted and they grbbed a quick interview and footage. made contact with brisbane radio - not overly interested, nor the paper.

very hot - stopped helensvvale for a while at lunch, not permitted on the M1 freeway so a bit of zig zaging and detours!!

17th Feb Beenliegh to Brisbane 39km

Early start - Was cooked a great big healthy omellette by hollie, set off

Looking forward to finishing today - body is feeling slugish and I think it knows Im finishing today.

2pm Yeah my sister Heidi, Aunt Victoria and good friend Joey join me for the final 5km to the centre of town.

Ive finished - healthy, well, lighter of heart and clearer of mind. With the love and spirit of Brony strongly and forever etched in my heart.

What started out as a joke in the car with Dad and then motivated by the energy and positive approach to life by my beautiful wife has been completed.

ive met so many wonderful, amazing people along the way and the journey has brought me a peace and understanding that is difficult to describe in few words.

Thank you to all that I have met and the support of friends and family.

I will update the blog with some more details and photos in the coming days as I have more time now to sit and do computer stuff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Armidale to Ballina week 8

3rd feb Armidale to Guyra 39km

started with thoughts of Brony this being ten month since her passing took some time to reflect but felt stonger to move forward with the day. Breakfast with archie and family, then into town for interviews in the morning, met great people along the road, a tough hill climb to black montain, some very enlightining moments while watching the changing sky, cloads lighting and amazing sun display. Welcomed to town with a collection already done and a motel room booked. Spent time with a wonderful family and shared insightful time. Finished last km in the dark.

4th Feb Gura to CBR (south of Glenn Innes) 46km

feeling stronger, meeting wonderful people on the road and sharing some stories. scenerey becoming more and more green and dense. . camped by road in RTA stockpile site.

5th Feb CBR (south of Glenn Innes) to CBR 45km
met mayor of Glenn Innes, main street waiting for me to come through - lovely people clapping and giving donations, very emotional moment. carried on after lunch/shower/cloths wash
Camped well off the road in TSR travelling stock reserve, next to a small dam, lots of birds and wildlife around.

6th Feb CBR (south Dundee) to CBR ( north of Bolivia)44km

Rested at servo in dundee, lunch at pub in Deepwater, caught up with Karen and craig and emma from top hill.
negotiated narrow pass luckily few cars when I was going through - past through bolivia. camped at TSR - cows or deer roaring through out the night.

7th Feb CBR ( north of Bolivia) to CBR east of tenterfield) 41km

went into tenterfield show, they had grand parade on as I arrived as i was watching, then introduced myself to the office and they said to get in nad do a lap - very genourous and I was joined by katie andrews who helped collect donation - thank you Tenterfield for you kind donations and hospitality.

8th Feb CBR east of tenterfield) to Drake 43km

early start - winding hilly road no verge - difficult to walk on - rinsed off in creek.

stopped in at Drake hotel - nice people - spent the night

9th Drake to Mummelgum 48km

winding hilly road no verge - difficult to walk on

stayed in behind community hall.

10th Mummelgum to east of Casino 40km

met great people along the way
Casino police helped out with facilities water shower. stayed at rural fire barn. Old school

11th Casino to ballina 55km

long day - interviews in the morning, lunch in Lismore, more hills, met more great people on the road. road hard to walk on no verge slow going.
Arriving into ballina in the dark and raining - offered accom with lovely family.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gunnedah to Armidale Week 7

27th Gunnedah to CBR 39km

28th CBR to CBR 40km

29th CBR to Tamworth 38km

30th Tamworth REST DAY

31st Tamworth to Moomby 25km

1st Moomby to Top Hill 48km

2nd Top Hill to Armidale 45km

Dubbo to Tamwoth Week 6

21st Jan Dubbo to Eumungerie 39km
had breaky with Vince after packing gear- new tent worked well.
walked out of dubbo CV park with two ladies on morning walk fir 30 min nice to have the company while starting off the day. stop at servo 4 a drink and then head down for a while, came across young guy sketching at rest stop, he was tarvelling down 4 work on the orchards - good sketch. quite a few people stopping to chat and donate its been really nice meeting them along the way. landscape kept things interesting and suction from trucks kept me on my toes. Called into the drovers dog pub, while having a drink got a tap on the shoulder by Kevin Mcgrath and his wife Bev, wonderful to meet and spend some quality time with a lovely couple.

22nd Jan Eumungerie to CBR 45km

set of 7.30 walked til 8.30 and saw truck pulling in to unload sheep into paddock - spent time with the farmer - also Kevin. after all the stock was ofloaded I finally got under way again, weather changed and had some light rain for an hour then it bucketed down, YEAH finally get to wear hivis raingear thats been sitting in the bottom of the chariot.rained all day spray off the trucks making visibility difficult and dangerous at times but carried on. reached Gilgandra in good time. carried on up the road 15km and found spot by a fence on a drive way. met some wonderful people today and shared some good moments.

23rd Jan CBR to Hickory Falls 45km

up early - 6am still raininggot moving and had breaky at 7.30 road not much verge making it hard going on side, wet and muggy. by miday things cleared and now veey humid.
camp at small waterfall very nice spot.
met wonderful people again this arvo and amazing family travelling around Oz for work with 5 girls - great meeting you.

24th Jan Hickory Falls to Coonabarabran 45km

some hills to work through,

25th Coonabarabran to CBR 45km

26th CBR to CBR 45km

27th CBR to Gunnedah 25km

Monday, January 19, 2009

West Wylong to Dubbo week 5

13th Jan West Wylong rest day

a rest day, shopping, beard trim, massage 30min doanted by lovely massuese (sorry left name in other gear) swim in pool

feeling ready to get back on the road, heat an issue as in a scorcha of a heat wave at the moment, Every one at the caravan park was great and met a couple of wonderful people - Jim - gave me some good tips on keeping my eyesight - NO RICE!! aparantley but he was great to chat to and Cheryl traveling to SA to spend time with her sister - a wonderful lady that has been through a lot and nice to share a table while eating my chicken dinner.

14th Jan West Wylong to CBR 45km

Walking in the heat not a problem anymore - just look towards the next tree and then the next and then the next - dodge a few trucks and cars and the morning is done a ready to get the socks of to rest the feet while munching on some nuts and drinking a rehydrating drink that I won't name as I have not been sponsored!!!!! ha ha just a joke. Heat intense and once again reached over 52 by 2pm - all my drinking water hot and not many people stopping this afternoon took some shelter and lay down for a bit just as my eyes wher closing an almighty explosion scared the crap out of me - gunshot? bomb? car? not sure what it was but I figured this was not the place to rest - kept moving - I was spent by 6pm but temp not going down and nowhere to camp so had to push through the pain and the exhaustion?(spelling)at 45km couldn't take another step ... had it thankfully across the road a wide fire trail and with some coverage for comoflage, ate some beans and dry crackers for dinner - pitched the tent and lay down - I think heat affected as I was spinning a bit and wondering what I was out here in this heat 7.30 still above 38 on my handle bars for but then I watched the sun set and finally some cooler breeze about 10pm - felt sick most of the night.

15th Jan CBR to CBR (Mattiske Farm)52km
restless night - but feeling better when I opened eyes at 5am decided to get an early jump on the heat, slow to pack up but was walking by 6am and definatelly cooler, wanting to get close to Forbes today, great country side and enjoying the sunrise and all of what the country has been providing, farming land a little dry but interesting scene changes from hour to hour.
Have been enjoying a new purchase a picnic rug - was getting tired of tghrowing myself on the ground and the thorny bushes - picnic rug - great for a little power nap in the shade of the trees - really enjoying this - looking up at the trees and thinking of Brony, pondering on the positives of our life together and all the wonderful moments we had lying together looking at rivers, lakes, mountains, beaches, trees, parks, she would love to take a snooze under a tree in the shade - its comforting when i talk to her while lying under a new tree....sorry tears, have shed lots and still going.
while having a rest a car pulled up and it was a family that had stopped a couple of weeks ago on their way to holiday in QLD now they were heading home, nice to see them again. at another stop I met a couple of Naromine locals that knew Glenn McGrath when they were kids played basketball together - Pat Mckay - said I should go to naromine to see where glenn gre up - 40km from Dubbo -

with the heat and the massage the other day drinking lots of water, starting to run out 18km out of town - hoping to find a farm house close to road to ask for some help with water or better still a cold soft drink - 14km from town a wonderful site - a beautiful farmhouse with lovely gardens, I saw someone in the backyard so I called out and met David who obliged with water and apples and then a cold can of softdrink - after over 50km that drink tasted like heaven!!! After a chat - I was ivited to pitch m,y tent ion their grass - an amazing sunset- and the best sleep Ive ghad in ages - soft grass!!!! David and Janelle thank you so much for your hospitality you have a wonderful home.

16th Jan CBR - Forbes to Parkes

met by local paper and local Yvonne who works with BC community care a lovely lady helped me with water and insulation bags to keep cooler.
WIN TV sent camera to cover and do quick interview. rested a while in forbes met some great locals and carried on to Parkes.
at caravan park met Nick and Lisa and Garry and Sharon - thank you for the tea and conversation - Lisa it was a privilage to meet you and I hope we stay in touch.

17th Parkes to Peak Hill 50km
wandered down hill early and stopped by the info ctre to reshuffle some gear around. a couple of people out for their morning walk - nice to see. Cooler start to the day, but that changed after a few hours on the road. Steady pace all day and met some nice motorists along the way. into a rhythm with the walk now - playing the duck and dodge game with the trucks - and the wave at all the cars and see how many wave back game is good too. Wonderful old building as you enter peak hill - the hospital - as I walked through the main street a few people stopped me to chat and then a lovely group of locals having a farewell party for the local doctor called me over to say hello - a wonderful group of people - after many glasses of lovely cold icy punch and a plate full of sweats, I made my way to the caravan park where "trudy" "unofficial mayor" I think was her name had arranged with Leighton for use of of a camper for the night. Thankyou for the warm welcome and hospitality.

18th peak Hill to naromine 58km

Early rise and I had an invite to Breakfast at local community nurses (sorry jst have mental blank on your name and details ive misplaced your card.)home for 90th bday celebrations. It was great to meet the family and share a bacon egg roll with them. after some hugs and I was off later than usual 8.30am. Along the way people had been asking if I would be going to Naromine - town were Glen McGrath grew up. So I decided to make the detour. this would be a big walking day and I sstartd late so not many rest stops. the km's kept counting down and people

19th Naromine to Dubbo 40km

20th Dubbo rest day