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14km Hike: Nomads gather for first bushwalk

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 16 June 2008 | Views [1049]

Despite the grey and slightly soggy weather, The World Nomads' Oxfam Trailwalker team got together on Sunday for our first group walk. The theory was - why not try everyone out on the hardest part of the trail just to see what happens?

We set out early from Sydney to head to the sleepy town of Berowra and then a quick train trip north to Cowan. Conveniently, as soon as you step off the train, you are on the trail: A part of the Great Northern Walk. Its a well marked, rambling trail through some typical Aussie bushland, with spectacular views overlooking the Hawkesbury.

The description of this section of the trail doesn’t lie - there were certainly some steep sections (both up and down), and I have to admit I was expecting it to be harder considering the reputation of this section of the trail (although Sparky might disagree with me)

The team did pretty well considering the slight drizzle and the early morning start (to Sparky's chagrin!). Even Sanchez came along although we soon realised with all of us wearing backpacks, there was no hope of showing him off on our tshirts while we are on the trail (an adventure shirt redesign is required CN).

Liam striding out in front, me tagging along behind, only catching up when Liam graciously slowed down to a stroll, and Sue and Sparky chatting away at the back. Liam and I could always hear them coming before we saw them, and figured they must ok considering the fits of laughter that seemed to rise out of the bush now and again.

Liam bounded up the hills, at times happily chatting to mates on his mobile without drawing breath. We knew that this was going to be a walk in the park for this umber-fit nomad - "just tell me if I am going too fast", he said, not even breaking into a sweat.

In stark contrast to Sue and I, both dripping and puffing after another section of rocky steps to climb - if only our legs were just a bit longer!

I think perhaps Sparky, on more than one occasion, wondered whether it would be ok to tie a rope around Liam to help give her a boost up the hills (mind you, I think all of the girls had that thought on more than one occasion - sorry Liam we don’t intend to use you as a Sherpa, I promise!).

At the half way mark, overlooking the palatial riverfront houses, Sparky's suggestion of paddling home rather than walk the remaining 7km was optimistic. Under duress (no doubt hanging for a cigarette and a Coke, and with a slight boost from a “power ball”), she tackled the remaining 7km uphill that she wasn’t expecting.

Despite cutting a corner coming into Berowra, is was a nice intro to the trail - certainly worth the early start and slight drizzle. Three hours for 14km wasn't too bad, considering that this was the trickiest part of the 100km trail (and admittedly it was a bit early for some!) In fact, considering the pouring rain on the way back to Sydney, I think we got the best out of the day.

Trailwalking Nomads FAQs:

Why are we walking 100km?

For a challenge and to support Oxfam Australia by raising funds - sponsor us here.

You can also support us (and Oxfam) by buying your travel insurance online using this link . World Nomads will donate 10% of the value of your policy to Oxfam.

What is the Oxfam Trailwalker?

The Oxfam TRAILWALKER is the world's greatest team challenge! And it's also one of the toughest. The challenge is to complete 100kms of rugged bush trail in less than 48 hours as a team of four. Teams must start together, stick together and finish together. And it's not just physically demanding - Oxfam TRAILWALKER is also a fundraising challenge. Teams commit to raising at least $1000 to help some of the world's poorest people.

If you would like to find out more or sponsor the World Nomads team please visit http://www.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker/sydney/team/66

When is it? 29-31 August 2008 (10 weeks to go)

Next Trailwalker section:Likely Berowra to Apple Tree Bay (13.5km)in a couple of weeks when we are all back together after a little sunny sojourn on Hamilton Island for race week.

Tags: hike, oxfam, sanchez, trailwalker, world nomads

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