I’ll be posting a few links about the Walk to Kosciuszko here, mainly for information of those who will be taking part. They will duplicate posts on the Keenwalk site itself, where the members are largely but not exclusively those who will be joining me for the walk.
This post is largely about logistics: getting to Canberra, and possibly pooling resources to do so. Apologies to those who are looking for analytic content–this post will have none whatsoever. But if you are one of the walkers, please pop over to Keenwalk now and make your comments on this post there rather than here…
There are a large number of people coming on The Walk now, with about 30 likely to be there for the first day (12pm this Thursday April 15 at Federation Mall in front of Parliament House, for a 1pm start).
We will have a troupe of stilt walkers taking part as well, who will hand out helium-filled balloons–rather apt for a protest against a government-sponsored housing bubble! With the stilt walkers, the balloons, the T‑shirts (which look fabulous), and about 30 people walking, it should be a very colourful start to the event. We’ll finish roughly 25km later on the Monaro Highway, where there will be a catered dinner roadside (including wine and beer).
Some media presence is confirmed (including the ABC), and one of our all-the-way walkers is from Business Spectator and will be reporting all the way. I’ll send out a press release on The Walk on Monday (once I finish an unrelated application for research funding that has the very unfortunate deadline of Monday morning), and hopefully there’ll be substantial coverage on the day. On this note, Glenn Stevens’s recent appearance on daytime television couldn’t have been better timed–since it’s clear now that the RBA also concedes there is an house price bubble afoot.
Since most of our walkers will be coming from Sydney and interstate, there is the issue of how people plan to get down to Canberra. I hope that we can use this blog post as a means to solve transportation issues for some people who are committed to taking part in The Walk, but are unsure about their transportation options to and from Canberra.
If you’re in that position–or if you are driving down from (say) Sydney and would have room to accommodate one or more other walkers–please post a reply to this blog entry detailing your situation and needs (if you’d like a lift) or capabilities (if you have space in a vehicle).
I will be going down to Canberra from Sydney the day before (Wednesday 14th), both to organise and to give a seminar at a government department that day. I am leaving at about 9am and driving a people mover down, which has capacity for 12 people. If you’re able to leave a day earlier and join me in the people mover, please let me know. The people mover will be used to ferry people who are walking the entire distance (about a dozen of us) back to the start in Canberra after The Walk finishes on April 23.
Support vehicles and drivers
I am considering hiring a van to handle some of the gear we’re bringing down (this includes bicycles for some people who will be riding rather than walking, a massage table, Eskies, etc.). However if we do this we will require an extra driver–one for the people mover, and one for the van–each day, as well as a driver for the van from Sydney to Canberra on the morning of the 15th. If you could be that driver, please let me know.
Next, there is the issue of transportation within each day of The Walk as well for those who are taking part for just one day. We will be able to get you back to your cars using the people mover, but another method that will reduce the load on the organisers is car pooling. The idea is that:
- 2 (or more) people drive 2 cars to the end point for a given day in the morning;
- They then drive back to the start, leaving one (or more) cars at the finish point;
- When they get to the finish point, they get into the waiting cars and drive back to the start
If you would be able to do that, can you let others know by posting a reply here? We’d need to know on which day you are going to do The Walk (and whether you’ll be starting at 10am in the morning or 2pm in the afternoon), whether you do or don’t have a car, and how much capacity your vehicle has.
If I do hire the van, we will need two drivers each day–one for the people mover and one for the van. Responsibilities will include driving to collect the lunches in the morning, setting up the lunch spot, and driving along the route to see how walkers are going, hand out drinks if necessary, etc. On some days the support team will be able to handle this, but on others there may be only one driver, so we would need assistance in driving.
The best way to handle this would be for people who are doing the entire walk to take one day off walking and be a support driver instead. We could decide the rostering while walking on the first day, so please be aware that I’ll be asking you to consider it if you are an all-the-way walker. I think it’ll still be legitimate to say that you did the whole way even if one day is spent being a driver rather than a walker: one key reason why we’re all doing this is a strong sense of community after all, and being a driver will be a contribution to the community of walkers that we will become on this trek.
The 800km option
Finally, a reminder that it is feasible to get from Sydney to the start point of each day’s walk by half an hour prior to the 2pm starting time, if you start out from Sydney by 8am. For example, Google Maps indicates that it would take about 5 hours to drive from Sydney’s CBD to Cooma (a distance of 400km), so an 8am departure would get you to our starting point by about 1pm.
The hard part of such an option, of course, would be driving back again the same day for a total of 800km of driving! But it is possible, and if you are considering doing this, please let us know.
I look forward to meeting you all on The Walk. It should be a very enjoyable (if challenging) and memorable event.