Today we set out with home on our minds.
Last night we spent a great evening at the Grandview Hotel at Wentworth Falls with our families and friends.
We ate, we drank and there was plenty of singing which kept the local entertained. The festivities fed our spirits knowing we had a long last day walking from Lawson to The Lapstone Hotel in Blaxland. Right from the start, the upper mountains continued to throw it’s best at us.
Windy and cold was the scene as we caught up with a few day walkers to take on the road with us. As we wound our way down the hill it was obvious to us all that home was not too far away with horns honking and arms waving at us from supporters of the Great Walk Foundation. Despite the very sore legs, this is the sort of stuff that brings you that second wind. We reached The Pioneer Way Motel at Faulconbridge for a much needed lunch.
The Pioneer Way crew always puts on a home made soup and a sausage sandwich for us, and its just what we need to get through the day. Along the way we had picked up a few more day walkers who’s presence is a breath of fresh air for all of us.
A few of the guys had their sons meet us at Faulconbridge, which was heart warming for all of us. We headed down the mountain after paying our respects to the much missed and loved Jimmy Small, one of our original members.
We told a few funny stories about him, as he would have loved, which lightened our hearts for the last leg.
The wind seemed to push at our backs as hills appeared at our front and the further we travelled close to home the wind dropped away and the clouds opened, offering the sunlight to our faces. It was time to end this journey and celebrate the support we share with so many people. We banded together for the last few hundred meters, as we had done for the previous 170 kilometers.
Our families and friends stood clapping and smiling, happy to see us home and safe. Knowing we had achieved another year of ‘The Walk’, we smiled at each other and nodded approval. It’s moments such as these that make you understand why we do this every year.
Not the cheers or the nods of approval, or even the smiles of our families and friends… It’s the fact that 9 blokes can get together and go for a big walk, bringing together a community who truly cares about each other. A community of people who in this toughest of economic times still dip into their pockets and help out those amongst us who are less fortunate. This is the reason we do it year in and year out, this is the reason why we stand, as a group at the end of this event and nod at each other in recognition of this amazing community we have all grown and lived in.
Penrith and The Blue Mountains, well done!