Day Thirty Six (30 January)

Oh, the humanity !

Day 36 was an absolute mess, and also incredible fun.

Overnight, I’d been given another of those deadly DAILY DONOR DARES OF DOOooOM, and again from the delightful T Kaz (who I met many weeks later in Melbourne).

I was only permitted to communicate in SONG.

Brutal stuff.

Haha, even the idea of it sucked the wind right out of me. Naturally shy, the idea of going into a store and buy a drink, having to communicate by singing.

(Haha, I did this at one point, to the tune of Lionel Ritchie’s “HELLO”

HELLOOOOooOO .. I’d really like to buy this COOooOKE !”

The campsite I’d chosen was really good. Remote, quiet, comfortable. Mild weather overnight. I may look completely bonkers in the picture, but I was well rested and feeling fine.

I’d been walking continuously for more than a month, but didn’t feel any fatigue or reluctance to get moving.

But what a day. Haha, and that dare, I still grin to remember the challenge of winding that into my day.

As I wandered into The Entrance, this lady called down and waved from her balcony in an apartment building, asking who I am, what I’m doing.

It was hilarious and completely surreal to stand below, serenading her, trying to explain why I was only able to sing to her.

I think by the end she got it, but ahh what a memory 🙂

I’m Captain Australia

And I’m doing a BIG WALK

I’m doing it for Kids’ Cancer, Hooray !

I’ve got a problem, I’m not allowed to talk

I have to communicate in song all day..

(to the tune of Waltzing Matilda)

The Entrance was completely pretty, and I was able to get myself a spot of breakfast (bananas and juice) with a minimal amount of singing (COLES), I got away with a “Thank you!” as a start to “Thank you for being a friend” an old 70s hit that got covered for the TV show “Golden Girls” (I just lowered my voice for the last bit and got more than a few weird stares)

It was a hot and sunny day, but I was quite comfortable in my superhero gear and with my big cowboy hat.

Andrew from Newcastle had advised to go via Gosford (safer roads but 5km longer), but I changed my mind on this and decided to head directly for Ettalong down the coastal road.

It did become unsafe at a couple of times, but nothing like later roads in mountainous rural Victoria.

Much of Day 36 was beach towns and suburbs, and a lot of strange looks from the natives (especially when I was singing an update into my phone).

At first I was afraid, I was petrified

I thought this daily donor dare was gonna take my life

But I got used to it, I’ve made myself STRONG

I’m no longer afraid to communicate in SONG

C’mon, you have to admit, that’s pretty good, right ? They may be few and far between but I do have my moments.

In one of these places, I think it might have been Terrigul, I took a short cut through suburban housing that led me up this incredible long, steep hill.

The idea of me climbing the hill at all a year ago would be impossible, let alone with the massive pack and in high summer. I felt great – like the Little Engine That COULD.

The view from the top was magnificent, but even more so was this young woman I bumped into.

We started just with a polite how-do-you-do, but wound up sitting on the kerb for more than half an hour, talking quite deeply. Similar stories. She too got hit with an invasive cancer and was fighting. She too had young kids and was grappling with the guilt and sorrow.

I think I was able to give her something, advice from someone who knows the road, given with total clarity. Compassion. Understanding.

Thing is, in allowing me to do that, in receiving it, she gave me a tremendous gift as well. That sense of self worth, of having something to offer.

Kindness works that way, it elevates all of us, giver and receiver.

But yeah, a long, ambling and completely magnificent afternoon, peppered by hilarious (to me at least) attempts to communicate only by singing.

But the high points really were the people.

Like the Knight Family (theyre in the pictures above, and I attempt to sing a shout-out to them in the video (to the tune of “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins))

Honestly, I felt as though I were on the ABC show “Spicks and Specks”

As I got closer to Ettalong, I saw a sign, this pretty painted pixie was pointing off into the woods.

I took this as a “Go There Captain Australia!” and promptly obeyed, finding an absolutely lovely campsite, low risk in every sense, quiet, well off the road, sturdy trees, windbreak – all good.

Firing up the phone, I delivered my evening update (again in song). People kept telling me the audio was weird, and now that I have a chance to listen, I can see what they meant. It’s nothing I was doing, I think the device suffered water damage when the screen cracked.

Slept well – Sydney tomorrow !