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Do you live on the route?
It will be cooold in June in the places Mark is going! If any kind soul that lives along the route that Mark is following would like to accommodate Mark for a night during the walk, please contact Mark.
Fancy a stroll?
I am more than happy to have people join me for a day or two as I walk. If you feel like a day's walk through the  countryside, check out the route, pick a day that suits you and contact Mark.


Update 6


The 8 new photos, numbered 600 onwards, can be found here

 July 6:  Cooma to Berridale (33km)
Today, just as the sun came up, I was joined by Patrice, a country gal on a gorgeous horse, whom I had met the previous evening in the pub (er, I met the gal, not the horse). She decided to ride with me for the entire day, and some friends back at the pub bet her that if she did, they'd run down the main street of Cooma that night in the nude. She made it the whole way, but I have yet to hear about her naturalist friends promise-keeping.

The day passed quickly with the company I had, and there is little to report other than some nagging rain.

My accommodations for the evening were provided free of charge by the cozy Berridale Inn, run by Tony Harmer. I was relaxing in my room after dinner when Tony turned up at the door with a foot massage-bath in his hand, complete with creams and lotions to go with it! What a country.

 July 7:  Berridale to Jindabyne (29km)
I've come a long way on this trek of mine, and I'm not talking about how many kilometres I've covered. I remember back on Day 5, walking through Wollongong, how grueling the actual walking was. All I'd be thinking about would be when I could take the next break. I'd hobble along for an hour, then take as long a break as I thought I could afford in the time remaining in the day. But I seem to be acclimatised to walking - er, strolling - now. This morning, after leaving Berridale, I ambled along for three hours or so, and only decided to stop for a break because I was getting hungry. I didn't bother to stop again after my lunch break, and sauntered into Jindabyne at just after two in the afternoon.

What else has changed? Any important stuff? Well, my week-long emotional rollercoaster seems to have run its course (and no, I'm still not going to mention what that was about), leaving my with some important insights about life and love. If I hadn't undertaken this walk, it wouldn't have happened in quite the same way.

The media feeding frenzy has begun. I've had calls from five or six radio and TV stations in the past two hours, all wanting to know the logistics of my final day, in anticipation of an interview immediately afterwards. The attention is nice, kinda - it helps me to realise that I've done something, well, newsworthy.

During my lunch break today I finally got to meet Matt Dowdney, who produces the Snowy Times magazine. He's been ferrying my pack for me for the past two days, and has single-handedly organised my accommodation in both Berridale and Jindabyne. He's a bit like me, in the sense that he did the disenchanted-with-the-corporate-life thing and dropped out to live in the country a couple of years back. It's good to meet a kindred spirit.

 July 8:  Jindabyne to Thredbo (36km)
The big day! Well, the second-biggest day, anyway. The day that I was to finally walk up into the mountains, and see snow for the first time on this trip. Today, the ferrying of my pack was organised by the lovely Odette from Thredbo, who not only took care of my accommodations in Thredbo (at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel, no less), but also organised a set of rental cross-country skis and associated gear for me from Paddy Pallin's in Jindabyne! Where do such excellent people come from?

I got to Paddy Pallin at 7:30 in the morning, but the sign on the door said they didn't open until 8:30. Grrrrr! After they eventually ambled in, they were extremely helpful and generous, but I was nervous about starting my big day so late (nine-ish). As it turned out, the weather was gorgeous (I took both my jackets off), and the blisters on my feet were surprisingly quiescent, allowing me to stride purposefully and painlessly into Thredbo Village at around four.

Now that I've updated this web site (again, thanks to Odette), I can relax for a shower, a beer and a meal, hopefully in that order.

Let me give you some idea of what a big day I have tomorrow. It's only 10km, but it's ruthlessly uphill (860 metres / 2800 feet). Horizontally, I've walked 98% of my journey so far, but vertically it's only a measly 61%, meaning that 39% of my climbing is crammed into the last 2% of the distance!



The Cause

All monies collected on this walk will be donated to Mission Australia to care for the homeless.  To learn more about their work, visit www.mission.com.au
Spread the word
The more people that know about this walk, the more successful it will be.



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