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First test walk (ANZAC Day)

I actually have a lot of updates I need to put on here, but just haven’t had time (better to be doing things than writing about wanting to do things right?). Hopefully I’ll get some time over the next few days. In the meantime, here are today’s adventures:

I took my pack and shoes for their first serious test walk today. I’d decided to walk into Kings’ Park for the dawn service. It was 14.5km in total, with just over 700m vertical, so a pretty small walk, but good for a light first test. It took about 3.5 hours, with lots of photo and dog stops, so I was walking comfortably at just over 5km/hr. 4km/hr seems to be a reasonable figure to work with going forward. Temperature was about 18 degrees, up to 20 by the end. I had light long sleeved shirt and pants and was a bit warm walking, but given it was 18, that’s not too surprising. It did get a bit cold sitting around but an extra fleecy and gloves fixed that. We stopped for an hour for the service, then stopped on the way home for breakfast! A pretty cruisy walk!

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Merlin being a city dog on the way home!

The pack was excellent – comfortable and easy enough to use. The lid pocket seems to be the only one I can access with the pack on, so I’ll have to use that for things like my camera, maps, food. I’d also like to sort out some way to store a water bottle where I can get to it with the pack still on. No rain, so I couldn’t test the water performance (but I didn’t have to put my waterproofs on, so I guess I was in a win-win situation!).

My shoes are still not perfect. A bit of rubbing on the heels, and some tightness on the outside left foot toes. No permanent damage, but I wouldn’t want to be walking much further in them. Hopefully some more wearing in will help. Other than this, the walking in general was OK. My knees got surprisingly sore in patches. This could’ve been the shoes, the extra 10kg, or maybe just that my legs were already sore from my new strength training program (so maybe the muscles were leaving the knees to do more work than normal). I got into a pretty good rhythm of walking and could imagine doing that all day (other than the rubbing heels!!)

And now for the fun stuff:

ANZAC Day is probably my most valued holiday of the year. It was great to go to the dawn service again. One of the most emotional parts for me was a young girl (maybe 12 or so?) singing the national anthem. Just hearing the youth, belief and honesty in her voice, and thinking of the young men going to war, and their brothers and sisters or children. Not an impressive sunrise this year (too much cloud cover) but the views are always stunning from up there. Merlin was a bit taken aback by the hundreds of people but behaved quite well and got a lot of adoring attention.

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City view pre-dawn

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The view towards the memorial, including giant TV screens and beacon lights.

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City view, after dawn.

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The river, after dawn.

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Merlin, watching all the people leave.

We stopped for breakfast on the way home.

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Yum! The important part of walking.

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Our view at breakfast.

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Merlin wondering where his breakfast is.

Then the walk turned into a bit of a bird watch walk. We saw 7 (or 6) different species of waterbird just at one city pond, so took photos of them all.

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Eurasian Coot

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Eastern Great Egret

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Australian Wood Duck

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Silver Gull

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A small fluffy duck which may or may not be a juvenile of one of the other types.

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Pacific Black Ducks

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Black Swan

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Merlin being a good gundog and not chasing the ducks (after being told not to!).

Then we saw a couple more types on the way home!

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Australian Pied Oystercatcher

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Australian White Ibis

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Cormorant and chicks! This is probably a Little Pied Cormorant, but looks bigger and not as much white to me. The Pied Cormorant (which I thought it could be) is actually a sea bird, and the Greater Cormorant doesn’t have any white.

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Little Pied Cormorant

So now I’m sitting at home smelling my ANZAC biscuits cooking in the oven, listening to John Schumann’s “Behind the Lines” album. Lest we forget.

 

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