Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vic's Small Walk

As you know, this is a blog about walking. I suppose it was optimistic to think that I could continue to get daily use from my ten-league walking boots in the middle of winter. There have been many interruptions of late. Not least in the past two weeks, since Gay and I left home to traverse snow-bound France on the way to visiting relatives and friends in UK en route to a 3-month stay in New Zealand, where the opportunities for long distance walking are boundless, and where, miraculously, it is mid-summer.

After the long flights from Manchester to Singapore and then, following an overnight stay, Singapore to Christchurch, we would hit the ground running, or at least walking strenuously. We arrived in NZ on Tuesday to the shock, after the exceptionally cold start to winter in Europe, of temperatures in the high 20s or low 30s. One overnight in Christchurch, then off to Oxford, 50 kms north, where, during a 3-day visit with our friends Denise and Robin Illingworth, we would “conquer” Mount Oxford and indulge in a couple more long walks and/or cycle rides while we acclimatised.

The actuality is that in my case I hit the ground coughing. My legs hit the ground wobbling. An angrily sore throat was also one of the symptoms. Presumably I had fallen victim to the famed ability of an aircraft's air-conditioning system, to redistribute germs and viruses from one sufferer to unsuspecting passengers in another part of the machine.

I walked 10 kms on Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday, then 4 on Thursday. The second half of the 4 kms walk was consumed by dragging myself back to our accommodation because I was exhausted by a 2 kms walk into Oxford town. Big Walker? The next day I managed 6 kms, so presumably there is some improvement in my condition, although my still coughing all night and day does not support that theory.

We spent today removing ourselves to Akaroa for a 7-day visit. The plan here is to tackle each day a 3-hour walk (that's how long it normally takes us, although it is billed as 4.5-6 hours), which also includes a climb from sea level to 600 metres. I fear that we shall have to settle for something less ambitious, at least for the next couple of days. Or more, in Gay's case, as she is now starting to display the same symptoms. At least she has someone to blame!

No comments: