Last Week in Tasmania - Stanley to Devonport

Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:02


It has been a very busy week with huge support!

I want to send out a massive THANK YOU to all the wonderful Tasmanian’s I have met and the beautiful stories of strength, pain and survival shared along the way.

At times the generosity and friendliness of Tasmanians has been overwhelming. One day I had 3 different people invite me to stay with them and in some places there were so many old and new friends I didn’t get to catch up with everyone because my social diary was full. I don’t think I have ever been in that situation before.

This week I met more supporters starting with the owners of Rocky Cape Tavern who helped out with accommodation, food and donations to Lifeline, then I stayed with Jayne in Burnie (Jayne even rode out to meet me on the way to Rocky Cape) who I met in Melbourne while waiting to board the ferry to Tasmania. In Penguin Christine from Penguin Holiday Apartments gave me a free night of accommodation in one of her fully self-contained rooms. Kathy, who contacted me months before I started walking came to Penguin and was my support driver for a day and introduced me to some of her friends. Remember Cynthia from who joined me at Bronte Park 4 weeks ago, I stayed with her and the cat, eating good healthy food, watching the lightning display hitting within 500m of town but the sunset was soft and rich and the company very relaxing. The cat, a big black male, was the cuddliest cat, he came in to wake me, purring and kneading then he rubbed his head against mine drooling a big gob of cat spit right in my mouth. YUCK!!!! I hope that qualifies for superpowers. It certainly had me up out of bed at superhuman speed.

Yesterday I finished the Tassie section of the big walk. 1200km down, only about 31,000kms to go. Cynthia, Toni and Loren met me at The Laneway Café in Devonport for lunch. Loren interviewed me for today’s edition of The Advocate. It was such a relief to stop and completely let go knowing there will be no more walking for 3 weeks. Toni took me home and I had another chilled out night with new friends and more furry companions. Polar and Brodie are your typical dogs, unconditional love and a butt rub being enough to make a friend forever.

Later today I will start a week of catching up with some of the friends I made during the beginning of the walk. For a night in Launceston I will stay with Ange, Hunter and Wallie who I met through CouchSurfing, tomorrow I head back out to George Town (by bus this time) and spend another night with Frances, Madge and Nugget who met me on the road and then I’ll spend a few days on Vanessa’s farm near Bridport helping with irrigation and soaking up some of Tassie’s rural atmosphere.

It has been an incredible 12 weeks of self-discovery, finding and breaking through some of my limits, learning to take more care of myself and getting used to not having everything go exactly to plan.

The main things I have appreciated as I travel and meet new people are their stories of survival and recovery. Tasmanians have shared many moving stories of pain and darkness that have blossomed into strength and courage and compassion. Every life lost to suicide is a terrible tragedy. Please join me in being available for someone to reach out to. Let your friends, family and colleagues know that they can talk to you and ask you to help them find help when they are not feeling well or need support through tough times. Your understanding and love can be the first and safest step towards a strong, healthy and happy life.

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