Obviously not much news over the last couple of weeks of lockdown but just a deeper appreciation of the small things and a rising hope that restrictions will be eased because the infection numbers are decreasing as hoped.
I have been finding the art group quite distracting because they are communicating so frequently on WhatsApp that I had to turn off the notifications sound. It was pinging constantly. Having said that, I feel like our Zoom meetings and conversations have brought us all closer. At the art class we draw and have very limited time to talk to each other, so this has lowered barriers and created more connection on a personal level. It is a pleasant development.
I have been continuing my virtual travels across America on Route 66. This time much slower as I can barely get more than 10 kilometres in a day as my part of the team. Gary has not been feeling so well and therefore not riding many distances, while Anthea has been on holiday! Envy on my part of course. She lives in Adelaide and she and her husband Lawry took a trip into the outback to see South Lake Eyre. It is one of the largest salt pans in Australia when dry, but full of bird life after floods. It is such a remote area and I would just love to be out in the desert instead of Melbourne. Anyway she is back in Adelaide and starting to clock up some good kilometres again. We are About 200 kms behind the pace. I did remind her it is only virtual and we can change the days needed to complete but we are a competitive bunch!
Last year I was to have a remote outback camping adventure in Central Australia, but with the wet winter it was postponed due to roads being closed. I was afraid I might get stranded if we went and I would miss my South America departure. Yes, this time last year I was climbing Machu Picchu! It seems like a dream now of course. What an amazing trip that was. I would love to return to Sth. America. So many places so little time!
My other virtual trip has continued on from Africa and now I am walking the Ruta de la Laine, the Wool Route, from Alicante to Burgos in Spain. I was supposed to be walking this route with some English friends in reality but CoVid put a stop to that. With Anna’s prompting I have continued to have a virtual holiday. It has been challenging making up the daily adventures. I have researched all the towns and countryside we would have walked through and it has so much history I feel like I am actually on the trip! I am inspired to actually do this trip soon because the area is full of castles and Moorish history. However it is a month of walking in reality so I just don’t think I have the energy to keep up an imaginary trip for that long. Africa was easier because Anna was contributing her experiences but she is now at home. Walking is such a calming exercise. Anna keeps remarking on the energy needed to be in different towns every day. My response to that is that because you are walking, slow travel as such, you have less possessions and fewer decisions to make so it is actually relaxing. Yes 20 odd kilometres is a fair hike every day, but there is no hurry involved, and as a consequence the mind clears and you become very centred and calm and fit. It is that feeling that really keeps me going when I do these long distance walking trips. I loved my organised tours last year but they didn’t engender those sorts of feelings. I love the informal meetings that arise on walking trips. People seem more open to engaging with you and you have the time to engage with them.
I have focused on the spring gardens on my walks over the same terrain in last couple of weeks. I have read more and played scrabble and talked on the phone and Zoom. I have become more content in my small world despite my desire to see broader horizons. The weather hasn’t been as good as earlier so being inside isn’t quite so hard. I have cooked several new dishes which is a good thing. My repertoire was getting pretty old and boring.
Well the lifting of curfew as of tomorrow but not an extension of our 5 kms restrictions was disappointing. I can see Ziggy now though as a carer. That is good news. It seems very conservative but I don’t want to go backwards like the UK and Europe where CoVid is rising dramatically as well as hospitalisations. Another three weeks of restraint. We can do it and keep control of the Virus over summer.
It is just another Camino! Square your shoulders , take a breath and keep moving forward.