Saturday, February 19, 2011
We are back where it all began - Vic's Big Walk, that is.
We are in Alexandra, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. In the summer, very often the hottest place in the country. In the winter, sometimes the coldest.
It was while walking in this area, and particularly on the Otago Central Rail Trail, in 2008, that I had the idea for my epic walk from the French Pyrenees to the North of England.
And here we are, doing the same thing - this morning we walked from Alexandra to Clyde, along the river trail, paused after 16 kms for my breakfast of one date scone, in the Post Office cafe at Clyde, then walked a further 10 kms back to Alexandra along the first section of the Rail Trail which then continues another 150 kms or so to Middlemarch. We have cycled the full length of the trail in previous years.
In 2008 I did not regard myself as a walker, but as a runner recently retired through injury, and suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Since then, I have walked approximately 15,000 kms. So I suppose I am now a walker
The picture, borrowed from the Rail Trail website, is of Muttontown Bridge, which we walked over this morning as we left Clyde. We believe the bridge is sponsored by dentists, who must get a lot of business from cyclists who have ridden over the bridge and had all their fillings shaken loose.