Vermont to Newport, Rhode Island

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20071031 Newport, Rhode Island

Aaahh – I wonder what the poor people are doing?

Bob and I headed off from our friends in Vermont yesterday morning, stopping by a neighbours house to pick up a couple of pints of Maple Syrup (have sugar maple tree; wait until Spring; place tap in trunk; voila! Maple Syrup!) on the way.

We headed up to Montpelier, the capital of the state with it’s miniature version of the White House for the State legislature (looks like it was borrowed from Cockington Green), and a gleaming gilded dome on top. We filled up with petrol and got our bearings before hitting the back roads across the breadth of the state east towards New Hampshire. This most rural of the US States was breadthtaking in its pastoral autumn beauty – although many of the colours had been lost over the past cold snap, the rolling green hills with fat lazy dairy cows were framed at impossible intervals by creeks, brooks and rivers that wound their way through the landscape over water smoothed stones and under a thick canopy.

Barns were in various state of repair, from freshly painted russet red, adorned with Barn Stars, pumpkins and other decorations, through to barely there structures of weather beaten planks. It was not a quick route, but very beautiful. Before too long though we had made it to the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, and travelled along the River which formed it’s border.


Lake Champlain Causeway Walk

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Our friends Mike and Alice took us on a local flat walk from Moffat Bay on Saturday. The weather was cool, but glorious, as we started our walk in a glade of thick trees rapidly losing their leaves.




A railroad had been built at the turn of the twentieth century from the mainland out to the Champlain islands that dot this impressive lake. It had fallen into disuse after a road bridge had been built further up. A 'Rail Trail' had been recently established on it however, usuing the causeway built of large marble and granite boulders to walk, cycle or jog along.

Out of season (and with the exposed position catching every breeze, it was certainly out of season) the gap in the causeway for the boats to use the full lake was not accomodated by a bike ferry, however we were able to walk 5 windy kilometres out into the middle of the lake before turning around.

A great day was had by all.




2007-10-26 Blog Williston, VT

Bob and I left David at the rail station at Syracuse, a large city (by our standards) in upstate New York, and once satisfied that he had a ticket for his train to Boston, we hit the road – Cruisin’ in our PT Cruiser.

With another spaghetti junction to negotiate, we headed north on Route 81 to Watertown, a distinctly un-Australian town on the edge of Lake Ontario, with rivers and smaller lakes everywhere around. We rang our friend just outside Burlington, Vermont to let them know our location and approximate ETA – they were surprised at our route, which would be slow across the Adirondack Mountains on the New York side of Lake Champlain.

Although we were keen for a coffee and lunch, Bob was particularly keen to get on the correct route out of town before we fuelled up. This led us out of town before we knew it, into a flat country of poor housing and sustenance agricultural farming. It was amazing to see the clutches of settlements of trailers and relocatable homes in this cold, cold climate with little or no effective insulation.

Soon we hit [insert town here] the gateway to the Adirondacks’, a glorious little town over running streams and rivers, sweet little Guesthouses next to the babbling brooks and a bakery. We took photos, but did not waste time investigating otherwise, hitting the road once more. The countryside grew increasingly interesting, although the options for food and coffee were non existent. We eventually stopped at a service station with an attached small supermarket, where we were so desperate we had a couple of Styrofoam (always Styrofoam) cups of vacuum pump coffee. The plainest version (the others were all flavoured), stil had an unpleasant sweetness and flavour to it as though a hazelnut blend was being used. This definitely was not what we were after! A loaf of very ordinary, too sweet ‘wholegrain’ bread was lunch spread with vegemite (yum) and some left over hoummous while we were driving.

We took a shortcut through an Army Base [Fort ?] to bypass the town of [insert name], which explained the plethora of ancient army trucks (WWII vintage from the looks of them) which passed us, and the bevy of camouflaged fatigue outfitted men that were congregating around the gas station.

The mountains grew increasingly beautiful, and the remnants of the Fall colours peppered the mountainside with rich burgundy, bright golds and the evergreen richness of pines. As the mountains climbed, the affluence of the district grew until we reached the winter playground of Lake Placid, were an annual Ironman Triathlon is held, and is the base of the US winter ski team. The GPS navigator had directed us onto secondary raods around the towns as a quicker route, and although twisting and turning, were completely quite and unimaginably beautiful. A small lake demanded that we stop alongside in an attempt to capture the beauty in a photo. [insert photo here] The picture cannot do it justice.

Soon, we were descending the mountain into the lakeside town of [insert name] where we were to decide whether to turn a little to the north and catch the car ferry across Lake Champlain into Vermont, or turn south to drive out of New York into Vegennes across a bridge. We calculated that we would just miss the ferry, so headed southwards along the edge of the lake as the most enormous hunter’s moon rose in the east. It was a gobsmacking sight.

Dusk fell as we rolled into Vegennes on the border, where we filled up with petrol at a small local gas station and were keen to hot foot it up the highway to our friends place. There was no mobile phone coverage, and keen to advise them of our delayed arrival time and for Bob to call his sister at the first available opportunity we kept our mobile phones at the ready and were checking constantly over the course of the journey. Turning from one monor road onto a major State and then Interstate road, and rolling through towns we were sure that it would pick up a signal somewhere; but no dice. I had checked on the mobile phone coverage with different carriers before I left Australia and remember that of those I looked at (Virgin,T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T) all were poor at best in Vermont. I didn’t expect it to be non-existant.

A warm welcome and great meal of salad and crab cakes, baked salmon and apple pastry awaited us when we eventually arrived. The bright red tones of the maples had already gone from the district when we arrived, but the blanket of autumnal leaves and the forest was still very beautiful. We were to be somewhat technologically challenged however, especially having been spoilt to date with widespread Free WiFi access on the bulk of our journey thus far. A shared dial-up access with a business phone limited our internet access to nil. No cell phone coverage has prevented communication, and our search around the Burlington (the most populous city) on a heavily raining afternoon on Saturday resulted in no luck in seeking a wireless spot, apart from Starbucks which associated expenses for a days access.


The Road Trip Begins! (Stage 1)

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With some reluctance (mainly because we were all really tired!), we prepared to leave the surprising joy of Richmond, Virginia on Monday morning, having to leave behind Lisa who was flying home on Tuesday afternoon.






The only two Avis car rental outlets were at the airport, and out on West Broad St - on the map in Canberra, West Broad started really close to where we were staying . . . and the outlet had to be downtown, right? Wrong!! It was a good 20 minute taxi ride along the freeway (I checked the bus and it was going to take forever). After breakfasting together with Lisa, Bob, David and I headed off to Avis with a fascinating taxi driver who had lived in Sydney for a couple of years. Older and articulate, he was quite unlike the photos of the taxi licences stuck in the visor, a greater group of reprobates would be hard to imagine, their photos looking like mug shots taken after the prison riot.





We arrived at the location OK, and as our phone calls that morning to the outlet had gone un answered, Bob raced in to check that the car was there for us. The kindly cabbie refused to leave (and turned off his meter) until we were sure, as it "wasn't a good neighbourhood".





Inside was a woman at the counter who had just stepped out of character in some sitcom: an ole' biddy well into her eighties, made up to the nines with thick pancake make-up and the thickest southern accent. She kept returning seeking information of how things worked on the vee-hick-el and was most unhappy about having an auto with a hatch instead of a trunk. (For disposing dead bodies maybe?). She'd only ever driven ve-hick-els with a trunk.





Eventually our turn came, and our car was ready. I was delighted to find that it was a Chrysler PT Cruiser, as I thought that this would be more flexible for our travels. And it was! After returning to the hotel and checking out, we loaded our gear in the car, a little sceptical that David's bike would make the cut, along with all of our junk and three passengers. The flexible design and high rood line did the trick with room to spare - soon, we were heading out of Richmond and PT Cruising down Interstate 191 in search of decent coffee.





And we searched, and we searched.




Amid the heavy traffic on this six lane road were signs at each exit extolling the "full service food"; gas stations and fast food on enormous bill boards. After a while, our eyes were tuned to recognise the colours and shapes of the icons of not just McDonald's, but also Friendly's, Arby's, Wendy's, Burger King and a few dozen others. Occasionally an Italian Restaurant would be featured and we would quickly consider this as an espresso caffeine source before dismissing it.
As the hours ticked by and our fatigue grew, we knew that we had to find something before we reached the beltway around Washington DC. On the outskirts, we turned into what looked like a big shopping centre, although all was not as it seemed! A discount supermarket (in the Aldi mould) took over one section, rather unattractively named "Bottom Dollar". Next to this, with a large, roughly painted sign on the concrete building Moxie's Java was advertised. We made a beeline to this entrance.





We couldn't have been more surprised at what we found: A heavily secured entrance was guarded by an armed guard, and in the barn-like interior of must have been a former deportment store stood a number of small stalls, set up like that of an expo, or in the dry markets of Asia. Here, the lingua franca was spanish, and on asking the guard and some stall holders for the location of Moxie's Java, we were responded to in heavily accented Spanlish. The rest of stalls were predominantly Hispanic, although Muslims in Hijabs or with heavy beards seems to have the corner on electronic and cell phone concessions, and ethnic Chinese looked after the Gold and jewellery.





Past the signs selling shoes, lots of elaborate coloured frilly underwear and clothes (all in Spanish), we turned at the African Hair Braiding Stand (doing a good trade on African Americans) to find a bare interior dominated by the acoustic ceiling tiles and fluorescent strip lights. A couple of chairs and small tables were in front of Moxie's counter; there was an espresso machine, although there were also the ubiquitous large flasks of weak brewed coffee, the brew of choice of just about everyone. The ethnic Chinese woman was shocked at Bob's request for two double espresso's and David gave instructions on how to make a latte.



Richmond, Virginia to York Pennslyvania

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The World is just a great big freeway ("All the World's a Car Park / And we are merely Vehicles . . .") - and we are stuck in a traffic jam on it. Bob, David and I are on the Beltway circumnavigating Washington DC and it is bumper to bumper (?fender to fender) and not moving much at all.

We just had our first and only coffee of the day at the most extraordinary place: what appeared to be a former department store had been gutted and inside it's barn-like interior was a series of market stalls like one would find in the dry markets of Vientiane; only here it was extremely quiet with most spaces vacant. The stall holders were universally ethnic; primarily Hispanic, with all English heavily accented and most signs in Spanish. Ethnic Chinese held the gold and jewellery stalls, while Muslims in hijabs controlled the telephone and electronic concessions.

A sign painted on the concrete wall of the exterior had beckoned us in promising "Mozie's Java". At the end of the corridor, just past the African Hair Braiding was the java stop - operated by a chinese woman (of course). Bob had to explain about how we wanted our coffee, and it there was a bitter aftertaste, but, hell, it sure was better than the dishwater reasily available.



Mid-Walk Blog

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God I love widespread WiFi!

The 'gang' are all involved in their last minute race preparations,
briefings, rego & stuff, so I excused myself to do a bit of exploing.
I had thought that I would hit the Fine Arts Museum again - my first
attempt saw me huddling in the foyer of a Hospital, drenched, waiting
for a downpour to pass.

Just past the anti abortion canpaiger, picketing the Woman's Health
Centre was the Museum. Yay. Except that it was closed that day for
construction.

So today I have been exploing the Riverside paths, starting with the
less salubrious track along the top of the Flood Wall next to the
James River along to railyards and a paper factory.

I ended up walking alongside the tarted-up Canal District and onto the
fascinating Belle Island. Wow! Accessed by this amazing Pedestrian
Bridge suspended under the road deck of a squillion lane highway, its
concrete surface is entirely stable, and waves up and down along it's
length.

The island is fascinating, wooded trails & loads of amazing


--
Carolyne Kramar
carolyne.kramar@bigpond.com


Fwd: Mid-walk blog

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: carolyne.kramar@bigpond.com
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2007 03:49:04 +1000
Subject: Mid-walk blog
To: flashduck.2007@blogspot.com

God I love widespread WiFi!

The 'gang' are all involved in their last minute race preparations,
briefings, rego & stuff, so I excused myself to do a bit of exploing.
I had thought that I would hit the Fine Arts Museum again - my first
attempt saw me huddling in the foyer of a Hospital, drenched, waiting
for a downpour to pass.

Just past the anti abortion canpaiger, picketing the Woman's Health
Centre was the Museum. Yay. Except that it was closed that day for
construction.

So today I have been exploing the Riverside paths, starting with the
less salubrious track along the top of the Flood Wall next to the
James River along to railyards and a paper factory.

I ended up walking alongside the tarted-up Canal District and onto the
fascinating Belle Island. Wow! Accessed by this amazing Pedestrian
Bridge suspended under the road deck of a squillion lane highway, its
concrete surface is entirely stable, and waves up and down along it's
length.

The island is fascinating, wooded trails & loads of amazing history:
it was used as a POW camp during the Civil War (1860-65) for around
50,000 Union (northern) prisoners.
I will finish the cold drink then head back to the hotel and dump some
stuff before heading back to the Island for some more exercise &
exploing in the son. Picasso & Degas sound good, but I'm enjoying
thesc last throughs of warm fall weather.

--
Carolyne Kramar
carolyne.kramar@bigpond.com

--
Carolyne Kramar
carolyne.kramar@bigpond.com


Richmond to The Blue Ridge Parkway

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Richmond to The Blue Ridge Parkway

There was meant to registration for the duathletes today, but it was in fact merely a sales pitch to sell gear. Bypassing the Parade of Nations, our motley crew rented a car, the smallest they had, and decided to have a day out of Richmond. At first we had thought that we would go to 'Colonial Williamsburg', and then lent towards the Pamplin Civil War Battlefields. A diversion before we departed Richmond to Relish, a deli & café- with great fresh food and seriously excellent coffee. Listed in the Athletes Handbook as one of 3 'Healthy Choice' options, this put it alongside McDonald's, so my expectations weren't enormous. More fresh food than seen in total in the rest of the City combined. We restricted ourselves to coffee and a couple of shared Pumpkin Muffins (huge, @ $1.50). Studying the map, we jointly made an executive decision to bypass the Theme Park Styled sites to drive to the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The GPS provided us with good advice about negotiating our way around Clover Leaf exits onto the westward bound I64. A typically boring road in most respects, the farther west we travelled, the more tall, thick and lush the Woods became, with the Fall trees displaying an increasingly brilliant display of Yellow, Cerise and Maroon autumnal colours.

Once we hit the edge of the mountains where we were looking to decide whether to drive north (on the Skyline Drive) or south (on the Blue Ridge Parkway) the fine rain which had accompanied us on the last half of the journey descended into a thick, southern gumbo of a fog which made any travelling - even a few metres almost impossible. We managed to pull into a clapped-out 1950's motel which now served as an information centre. A twang accented guy helped with advice, which was far from encouraging us to continue our journey. As usual, Bob's thoughts turned to lunch, and we headed into Waynesboro in search of some food other than the gleefully described KFC, Hardee's, Pizza Hut etc.

Another recommendation of "where the locals eat" was "Weasie's": Bob was particularly keen to try this. It would have been easy to miss, but we did find Weasie's and entered like a posie of aliens.

A whiteboard listed daily specials of Salmon Cakes with 2 vegetables and a Roast Beef Sandwich with mashed potato. Bob opted for the Salmon Cakes ($5.50), Lisa the Roast Beef Sandwich ($5.65), while David chose the typically American Tuna Salad on Rye (lots of Mayo is mandatory)($3.69), while I sought to have an authentic Diner experience by ordering a bowl of Chilli ($2.49 regular size), with Cornbread on the side ($0.50), and a Tossed Salad ($2.49) in an attempt to have something a little healthy.

Perhaps the bottles of ketchup, hot sauce and breakfast syrup on the table could have alerted us, but we were unprepared for what arrived. David's sandwich came accompanied by the obligatory potato crisps and pickle, Bob's Salmon Cakes were as expected, old style tinned-fish-with-breadcrumbs rissoles with 2 small dishes of the soggiest tiny anaemic Brussel sprouts and another of 'mixed greens' that seemed to be chopped Collard Greens.

I feel that my Chilli was the pick of the bunch. Not hot enough, it was a slightly soupy melange of red beans, beef, and a rich tomatoey sauce. The Cornbread failed to materialize, however the simple tossed salad came with l couple of tiny packets of salad crackers, while a few individually wrapped Saltines came with the Chilli.

For all the wonders of these dishes, Lisa's Sandwich left us all gobsmacked. A plate arrived swimming in dark gravy, a scoop of mashed potato standing like a grey dome to the side. If one looked carefully, slices of dark, fully cooked beef emerged from the sea of gravy. Underneath lay many more layers of beef, and, presumably, a slice of bread or two.

Weasie's Kitchen: Waynesboro VA

Tossed salad ($2.49)

Hot Roast Beef Sandwich w/ Mashed Potatoes ($5.65)

Tuna Salad on Rye ($3.69)

Salmon Cakes w/ 2 Vegetables ($5.50) Brussel Sprouts & Collard Greens

Chilli ($2.49)

Iced Tea ($1.10)

V8 ($1.89)

(Cornbread $0.50)

Richmond to The Blue Ridge Parkway


A Restaurnant Odyssy (Incomplete)

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Richmond, Virginia

Apart from the considerable frustration in not being able to access IE on the computer (Please! Anyone with suggestions please advise: running Vista Home Premium: 2 users set up for access), well after that glitch everything is Hunky Dory.





Last things first . . . Tonight's dinner at "Mamma-Zu's" had to be experienced to believe or comprehend. After surprisingly good American Thai at "The Thai Room" last night, a few doors from our hotel; and a cheap & cheerful buffet style meal at "Ma-Masu's Africanne" the night before, a real local neighbourhood place which fused local Southern cooking (Collard Greens, Cornbread, Black-eyed Peas) with Liberian African cooking. We had to go early, as the place Closed at 7:00pm. After one served oneself, the dish was weighed and the cost tallied at $5.99 per pound. Spiced Lemonade ($1.00 small cup) was to drink, and Sweet Potato Pie for dessert ($1.50).





It would be difficult to outdo our first night's choice though -"Bank" an initially daunting too-cool-by-half Bar/Nightclub/Restaurant in a converted uh - Bank. The décor was fabulous, service typically attentive, and the small menu well priced. Bob and I shared a Spinach Salad, Chesapeake Crab Cakes and the most divine Seared Tuna.




Lisa opted for a Roasted Chicken Breast, while David also had the barley seared, pink throughout Tuna. The prices were surprisingly reasonable, not only given the surroundings and the quality of the food, but fast food & 'cheap' places here are a similar price.





But onto Mamma Zu's. I had checked the address in the Yellow Pages, and knew the street wasn't too far away. Heading south on Pine to 501 ended in a dead end, and as darkness rapidly encroached the 4 of us were standing in a park with large signs proclaiming it shut at Sunset (Newsflash: 4 Aussies arrested in the USA cause Diplomatic meltdown), accented by the advice of a nearby motorist that this was a pretty dodgy neighbourhood.





With heavy cloud cover it took a while to fire up the GPS, but once hooked on to a satellite, it directed us along a parallel street of frame houses with countless candle-lit Halloween Pumpkins lighting up the windows, and life taking place on the stoops & sidewalks amid children's toys, dubious bicycles and wheelchairs. Crossing over the massive python of Interstate Highway 95 (I95), we could soon smell garlic in the air. Mamma Zu beckoned.





An unprepossessing building on the corner in a residential district, we wondered if it was open, with no windows to emit light or noise, and c heavy closed door with the hand painted sign 'Pull Hard'. We did, and after a few attempts were granted access to a small dark cavern full of people with a deafening buzz, a full blackboard with dishes described over the bar, and the promise that this was going to be good!





We found that it was likely to be a 30-40 minute wait for a table, so we clustered around the solitary stool and had drinks. With the background din and southern accents we couldn't understand the choices, only managing to hear Budweiser (blah) and Heineken. Poor Lisa once again found herself unable to drink as she didn't have I'D on her. With a drinking age of 21, and a strictly enforced "If you look younger than 40, You must present your ID", she has been thwarted & then grilled at every turn. Protestations that she is 26 cut no dice, Let alone our initial support and advice that she is a high-powered lawyer with 2 years of work in the UK, a World Champion and Elite athlete.





We asked the guy sitting next to us at the bar about his meal - a huge plate of broiled white fish with a big bowl of spaghetti on the side. (What a glutton I thought, ordering 2 mains concurrently when they were so big). He highly recommended his Rock Fish and side of Spaghetti con olio e' aglio (oil & garlic). The wait (it wasn't even 7pm when we arrived) did give us the opportunity to study the board. Those of you who know me may realise that my difficulty in restaurants is finding enough on the menu of interest that I am confident is as at least as good as I usually prepare myself. When you are used to eating well, one gets very discerning when presented with mediocre options.





There was no such dilemma here: in fact the options were so numerous, the difficulty was in limiting it to one. Before we were seated, we had all but decided to return the next night. But what to choose? All the fish looked good, and was something of a specialty here. The pasta would be undeniably excellent , and a good Italo-American dish such as Spaghetti & Meatballs was tempting. But then there were the Zuppa di Pesce (Fish Soup), Oxtail, Calves Liver, Veal Sweetbreads, Osso Bucco . . . It was heaven in chalkdust.





Our 'Server' was a sassy, Italian American woman, the efficiency and knowledge I have never yet seen. Only she and one other worked the room, in between filling water glasses, fetching drinks, explaining the menu and constantly racing off in the gloom to pick up and deliver orders when the call came. She was amazing and seemed genuinely friendly in this Southern manner where you are constantly asked "How Ya' Goin'?" as you walk down the street.





It was a tough choice, but we were hungry, and settled on Rock Fish for Bob & Lisa, Tuna (Tooona' Fysh) for me, and Orichette with Garlic & Italian Sausage for David. Despite my critical appraisal of the guy eating at the bar, the fish came with a side dish of pasta. We three all opted for the Spaghetti with Garlic. Good Bread helped us while we waited, and shared Arugula (Rocket) Salad with Parmesan ($9 for a huge single serve) provided our greens. Our mains (or entree' in the local vernacular) were even more spectacular than our high expectations had anticipated. My Tuna ($24), was crusted in black pepper, flash grilled and served in a shallow pool of an intense, garlicky jus. Only lightly coloured from the grill for a millimetre or two, the large chunk was pink and tender throughout . I was enraptured with every bite. Bob & Lisa were similarly enthusiastic about their Rock Fish ($21), and David's Orichette ($14) was as good a pasta dish as one has had anywhere, including Italy and home cooking there.




For some reason (yet to be determined), I can't open Internet Explorer on our laptop once a link is followed.  So I can open (insert application here)(Blogger), but then when I can to post IE shuts down and restarts.  More than a little frustrating, especially as there is wireless access most everywhere.
 
<br><br>
 
So, plan B is in action.  Luckily from my previously aborted attempt to post from my PDA I have the email address stored in my PDA.  I can't access the settings in blogger (because IE keeps terminating) so I'm really pleased that I had access to it.  If this goes through of course!
 
<br><br>
Hopefully I can then update things in retrospect a little more often - I have been having a wonderful time,
--
Carolyne Kramar
carolyne.kramar@bigpond.com


Deep Southern Fried Duck

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Posted by Picasa


Hmmm. Housten, we have some fine tuning to do

2 comments

Good Plan. Well, sort of.





Wrote (in labourious longhand) a couple of much needed blogs on my PDA and remembered last night in bed. No problem, bright spark. I had wireless access and remembered that I could email posts.






Good plan, but I know know that I can't just 'send' the word file as an attachment to post (makes sense really), but copying and pasting should work. Hypothesis anyway. I'll attempt to get it down pat before I become my next incarnation - A Deep Southern Fried Duck.






Plan is as going well, the packing is not. No coffee today, and I had to even run away from Aki in my last minute preparations. (sob).


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I have been very amiss in updating my blog and keeping in touch with friends (sorry Aki), but I've been so busy (in between my afternoon naps and early nights). As of Thursday, I have the go-ahead to walk - albeit slowly and avoiding hills. Having been bound to home or vehicular access short hops, this is a great relief.

But it doesn't allow me much time to do much else, such as blogging (reading or writing). Planning for our rapidly approaching road trip to the US (we will fly to the East Coast, not drive there)


Emailing Another Blog

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Another Blog from the Botanic Gardens Café, where I am enjoying a cold drink before my return home. Physio for Aki, Bob and myself this morning led to something of a log-jam in the waiting room.

More errands such as getting a bike box and strong cloth tape took up far too much time once again. Still after a full day written off with the irks on Sunday, and a sober, inactive day yesterday as we made a mercy dash down the coast to see a very dear friend and mentor of Bob's from the political years of the '70's who has suddenly taken ill and is not expected to last too much longer.

It is very sad, but necessary and I am particularly enjoying my walk today in a pleasantly intense sun. There is still so much to do . . . . And there are only a few short days to go. Is there enough cat food? Cat Litter? Are all the bills due paid? Computer configured? And most importantly, have we packed the right stuff!


Where have all the flowers gone? (Time's just passing)

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What's happening to all the time?




After spending the morning on Saturday getting Bob out the door to his first race in the Gunning 2 Day Race, I was joined on my walk through Aranda Bushland and Black Mountain Nature Park to the Botanic Gardens for a coffee (with a free jug of water hiding away!) and back. It was a little slower than I would like, but the PRB kept me on the straight and narrow so that I didn't start limping too much.







Aki arrived a short time later, an while she practiced drills on the village green while the PRB and I returned to our childhood in tossing a split tennis ball to each other across the paddock. It wasn't far, but it was a lot of fun!





We then shared a table at the Civic Noodle House for a Laksa before I let them drop me home where I had hoped to do some much needed housework. However, I was tired and left it for the morning before crawling into bed.





The morning never came, well, at least it didn't come in the manner in which I hoped and expected it to! With the Bob away, I had great plans to play with a strenuous long wak through the bush, before getting the time consuming irrigation over with, and then the much off-put household chores.





I felt OK when I awoke, but faded quickly, and only suceeded in crawling back into bed late morning, having not progressed beyond going upstairs in my pyjamas, where I crashed asleep, not once, but twice before Bob returned from the third stage of his cycle race.




Countdown to Departure:9 Sleeps

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There seems to be so much to do, (or that that I wish to do, or feel that I should do) until Bob and I are a'leaving on a jet plane. We are actually incredibly excited about this trip, although we were decidedly underwhelmed until fairly recently. One aspect which I am not so excited about, is that just as Spring is bursting upon the Canberra landscape in a flurry of winds and colour, we shall be heading over to the northern hemisphere and the end of Fall and a rapidly encroaching winter. I am not so sure about this.





Still, it was fantastic to catch up with Aki today after Customs, where her hair still looked wonderful. I am going to miss her a great deal.





Our travel plans have only a couple of definite requirements, based around, surprise, surprise, Bob's racing. Flying from Canberra through Sydney to New York on Sunday 14 October, we shall transfer (eventually) to a local flight to Richmond, Virginia which arrives at Midnight. We shall be in Richmond, the capital of Virginia for the week until the World Duathlon Long Course Championships on Sunday, 21 October. The following day, Bob, a fellow Aussie competitor David from Adelaide and I shall drive up to visit some friends in Vermont, probably travelling through the Finger Lakes and up through the Aridondacks.





After visiting our frinds in the beautiful state of Vermont, we shall drive down the Hudson River Valley to New York City (such a beautiful disease)*. Now I haven't beed to the Big Apple before, and when less well, poor of sight, unsteadily on my feet and so on, I thought that I never would take a bite. Now, the cost of staying there is truely astronomical, which limits our stay over the Marathon Weekend to five or 6 nights. Boy, am I looking forward to it though!





After New York City, the real fun begins...

We pick up another car and head south to the Appalachian Mountains. Now Bob did his Masters in North Carolina during the Dismissal Wars (1974-75), and knows the general area quite well - from that period and from occasional visits to the States and especially Washington DC in the period since.





From the start of the Skyline Drive in the curiously named Front Royal, we expect to travel, slowly down through the Blue Ridge Parkway dipping into the nearby towns of







*with thanks and acknowledgement to Norah Jones and the Peter Mallick Group.


It's not just that I'm slack (Miss), but . . .

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I have drafted maybe half a dozen other blogs which haven't made it this far so I shall try to continue and complete something this time.





Highlight of the day was (finally) catching up with Aki for coffee after she had had a stunning haircut. Slightly layered and angled, it was straightened and looked stunning.







Having got the go ahead from my wonderful physio to start walking on Thursday, I have been. It started with a very flat and slow 2km walk with Bob on a 500m dirt trail right outside our door. It was slow, but satisfying after so long. This progressed to a 4km flat part of the course from the Aranda Bushland. A special treat was walking one way to the cafe at the Botanic Gardens with the PRB where we met Bob.







It is a beautiful walk and I must concentrate on that rather than my one (new) gripe. Hudson's in the Gardens makes reasonable coffee, and is in a lovely little setting. That it's a 5-7km walk from home is a bonus! However, they no longer have jugs of water and glasses available, having replaced these with bottles for sale (only). I'm tempted to fore-go Hudson's in future, purely on this basis. On more than one occasion I have jogged over, and used the bathroom, bought a cold drink and drunk a jug of water.










Click for Hanoi, Viet Nam Forecast


About me

  • I'm Carolyne
  • From Canberra, Australia
  • I love to run! Staying in Weymouth, Dorset on the South West Coast of England until October. I'm 46, live in Canberra with Bob and have been running since 1990. This has been interrupted by long periods of illness, however I am extremely stubborn! I'll never be a fast runner, however I give it everything, and am slowly learning to read my body better and adjust my training and expectations accordingly. Or rather I would, if running were possible at the moment - I will retuyrn soon.
  • My profile

  • <>Vietname vs Brazil Olympic Football Friendly 8PM 1 aAugust 2008
  • A Hot time in the Old Town tonight
  • <>Trip to Nha Trang and Da Lat 4 August to  August 2008
  • Flights Booked
  • <>Scooter Trip to Ninh Binh  aAugust 2008
  • Planned
  • <>Trip to Cambodia and Siem Riep 17 August to 24 August 2008
  • Flights Booked & 2 Nights accomodation




  • Long Course Tri 2k/83k/20k 12 February 2006
  • Sri Chinmoy Long Course Tri 2.2k/80k/20k 6 March
  • Backpacking Laos & Vietnam 14 March to 26 April 2006
  • Thailand Temple Run 21k 19 March 2006





  • Customs 5k Fridays
  • BBQ Stakes  6k Wednesdays
  • Tour de Mountain 19k 18 December
  • 1:55:02 Results
  • Cross Country Summer Series 5k Tuesdays in November
  • Cool Runners Six Foot Track Slow Jog/Walk 46k 25-27 November
  • Wonderful!!
  • Sri Chimnoy Triple Tri Relay 20 November
  • 1:55:38 1:04:53 1:22:55 Results Report Photos
  • Tour de Femme 20k Fun Ride 13 November
  • 40:40ish
  • Bonshaw Cup 6.4k 16 November
  • 30:30ish
  • Hartley Lifecare Fun Run 5k 17 November
  • Belconnen Fun Run 6k 12 November
  • 28:38ish
  • Mt Majura Vineyard Two Peaks Classic 26k 5 November
  • Last! 3:08:00 Results Report
  • Wagga Tri-ants Duathlon 10k/40k/5k 30 October
  • Scratching
  • Bulls Head Challenge 27k 23 October
  • 2:20:49 Results
  • Weston Creek Fun Run 6k 16 October
  • 32:02 Results Results
  • Fitzroy Falls 42k & 10k 15 October
  • Results
  • Orroral Valley 20k 9 October
  • 1:52:44 Results
  • Sri Chinmoy 10k 3 October
  • 0:50:14 Results
  • Duathlon Championships 10k/40k/5k 23 September
  • 3:09:07 Results
  • Canberra Times 10k 18 September
  • 0:45:30 CR TE AM!
  • Sydney Marathon 11 September 3:47:13
  • ACTVAC Half Marathon 21.1k 28 August
  • Entered DNS
  • Black Mtn UpDown GutBuster 5.2k 16 August 0:33:38
  • Results
  • Mt Wilson to Bilpin Bush Run 35k 20 August 3:15:14
  • Results
  • City to Surf 14k 14 August 64:17
  • Bush Capital Mtn Runs 25k 30 July  
  • 2:17:09 Results
  • Shoalhaven King of the Mtn 32k 17 July
  • 2:53:15 Results
  • Sri Chinmoy Off Road Duathlon 3.3k/23k/7.7k 2 July 2:40:29
  • Results
  • Woodford to Glenbrook  25k 26 June DNF Injured Results
  • Terry Fox 10k 19 June 46:59
  • Results
  • Aust Mtn Running Champs9k 18 June 1:06:33
  • Results
  • ACTVAC Monthly Handicap 9k Farrer Ridge 29 May 0:46:05
  • ACT Mtn Running Champs  9k 28 May 1:06:50
  • Results
  • SMH Half Marathon 22 May 1:41:56 (1:40:50)
  • Results
  • ABS Fun Run 7.3k 19 May 0:34:45
  • Results
  • Canberra Half Marathon 15 May injured Results
  • Sri Chimnoy 10k 8 May 0:47:55
  • Results
  • Nail Can Hill Run  1 May 56:23
  • Results
  • Newcastle Duathlon  24 April 2:45:39.2
  • Results
  • Canberra Marathon  10 April 3:47:56
  • Results
  • Women & Girls 5k 3 April 22:53
  • Results
  • Sri Chimnoy 10k 28 March 47:56
  • Results
  • Weston Creek Half Marathon 13 March 1:43:23
  • Results
  • Sri Chimnoy Long Course Tri 6 March 5:30:35
  • Results
  • Hobart International Triathlon 20 February 2:52:05

  • Canberra Capital Triathlon 30 January 3:01:43
  • Results
  • Medibank Private Australia Day8k 26 January 38:39
  • Results
  • Lorne Pier to Pub Swim 1.2k 8 January 22:12
  • Results
  • Lorne Mountain to Surf 8k 7 January 0:37.56
  • Results



    moon phases

  • 5k 20:11 Cairns 2000
  • 10k 43:49 Moruya
  • City to Surf 1:02:57 2000
  • Half Marathon 1:33:50 Steamboat 2000
  • Marathon 3:47:56 Canberra 2005
    Chip Time (3:47:13) Sydney 2005



  • Kilometres Run
    January 212
    February 199
    March 214
    April 201
    May 188
    June 182
    July 255
    August 246
    September 155
    October 159
    November 200
    December 62
    Year to Date 2,267




    Last posts

  • New Blog Address
  • After having been largely blocked from posting on ...
  • Back in Canberra, Blogging Service (hopefully) Res...
  • Kama, Krama, Kramar Chameleon
  • Restaurant Review - Siem Reab
  • Back from Angkor Wat
  • Update
  • Notes from a Rainy Da Lat
  • Overnight Scoot to Tam Dao Hill Station
  • Viet Nam Plans


  • Days Sick
    January 10
    February 10
    March 10
    April 4
    May 7
    June 8
    July 9
    August 11
    September 11
    October 11
    November 9
    December Lots. ?15


    Distance Swum
    February 17,400m
    October 3,800m
    November 4,150m
    December .
    Distance Cycled
    November 120km
    December 297 km