Monday, January 5, 2009
These Mist Covered Mountains ...
Today was my last walk for a while, because we shall be in transit for about two weeks and I don't think I will get much walking done in that time. The walk today was from Mirepoix to Puivert. Now I have the pedometer it is clear that the whole walk, from the car park into Mirepoix and then from the centre of Mirepoix, via the Voie Verte, to Puivert, is 33 kms.
We are off on Wednesday, via England, to spend 3 months in New Zealand and a couple of weeks in Australia. Then home again via another week in England. We should be home in mid-May. Gay and I always find it a wrench, although we love New Zealand, to leave this beautiful area, which has been our home now for over 10 years. We had also spent much time here for several years before that. We can't imagine living anywhere else. These mist-covered mountains really are home now for us.
As I said, we both love New Zealand and another factor of our annual trip Down Under is that Gay gets to see her sister in Australia. Before we started these regular visits, Gay and Dana had seen each other 4 times in 27 years. But it is clear that Gay is always very sad to leave our home, our village, our departement the Aude, the Pyrenees, and her garden.
But we have the best of both worlds. We live in one beautiful place, about which we hear the word Paradise used, and, for several months each year, we are in another country which is also frequently described thus.
Also, to go south in our winter, as we are doing, means it is much more likely that we can get plenty of exercise than it is here. Of course it can rain in NZ, but we are not likely to get the interruptions with snow and ice, that are currently plaguing us. Not to mention that we will not be obliged to wear half a ton of clothing . Or that almost all our exercise in NZ is off-road. Even if we walked on roads there, life would be so much easier. Consider the matter of traffic. New Zealand is a country bigger than UK, with a population of 4 million. South Island, where we shall spend all our time, is as big as England, yet it has a population of 1 million, compared with the English population of probably more than 50 million. So you can imagine the difference in traffic density, and consequently in safety.
When we arrive home in May, it will be almost exactly a year to the beginning of the walk, which I shall be starting on 15th May 2010.