I had a good, energetic day out on the road today after recharging on my day off yesterday. The timing was good because it was much cooler today and there was some cloud cover to help also.
I got on the road at 9:00 so as to walk my scheduled 18 miles and arrive in Wandandian in time to catch a 3:57 bus on down the road to Nowra where I’m staying the next two nights. The road was very hilly and wound through the forested countryside with no place to stop for lunch along the way. I found a good guardrail at about 1:00 and had my lunch and changed socks as traffic whizzed by.
I made it to my destination at 3:00 and went into the Shell station which is also the bus stop. I didn’t see a bus stop sign anywhere as I was scoping out the parking lot so when I went in to the station I asked the attendant and she said the bus stops “somewhere out there.” OK. It’s a big parking lot with two entrances spread far apart. I don’t think the bus pulls up to the gas pumps. And if the bus doesn’t see you standing, clearly waiting for the bus, they don’t stop. Lucky for me it became a non-issue. I still had almost an hour to wait for the bus to come so I decided to go out by the road and see if I could hitch a ride while waiting for the bus. That’s when retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Brett Kennedy came out of the Shell station, walked over and asked if I would like a ride.
Chief Kennedy was driving an old Range Rover that was right out of the movie studio back lot. No radio, no air conditioning, I doubt it had power steering; I couldn’t even figure out how to open the door. We threw my pack in the back and away we went, talking kinda loud over the road noise. The retired Chief served 24 years in the Australian Navy as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief. We had a great time talking about our careers as we made our way into Nowra.
When I checked in to my motel, the Parkhavn, they had upgraded me to a suite. I had a fruit basket, some snacks, and they even anticipated that I would have laundry to do so they had put a bag of coins in my room to use in their guest laundry. These folks are really nice!
Tomorrow I need to get back down to Wandandian and walk the rest of the way here to Nowra. That will be another 18 mile day. Meanwhile, it’s time to do laundry and think about walking somewhere to get dinner.
That’s it for Day 31. One month down; 1 1/2 more to go. JB.