Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gidgegannup til now

Its been six days since that infamous first day, and quite a lot has happened since. I'm going to keep it as short as possible as I do not have the gift with words that James has. But here goes.
The last six days have been eventful, ranging from the unexpected with James having to pull out of the trip for personal reasons, to the unexpected with a surprise guest walking appearance from 'Slammin' Sam Thomson-Mathews who has brought to the trip, among many other valuable things, a much needed hairbrush. Stace 'The Mace' Grimshaw in all her retail experience and wisdom graciously decided to commemorate Slam's arrival by leasing her name, kind of like the football stadiums do. So the trailer Stacey Grimshaw will now be known as the "SlamWagon 12000" for the duration of Sam's time walking. The voting process was rigorous and tense, but the SlamWagon eventually beat out other strong contenders such as the Slamatron, SlumMobile and the StrumMaster Deluxe.
After six days we have found our way to a roadhouse just outside of Tammin, around 190k's east of Perth, bringing the weeks distance to approximately 205 kilometres. We were just planning on stopping in for lunch, but after already having done 25 k's for the day and seeing that they had food, airconditioning, power and hot showers decided that we might stay for a bit longer, as we both have not had the pleasure of a shower for 4 days now, and the smells picked up along that time have not been all too pleasant. Flies seem to enjoy it though.
James and I managed to find our way to Northam after just three days, taking the longer but more pleasant way, around 120k's. Realising Sam was on his way, I waited in Northam for a day and a half for him, and from there we were back on our way. First day out of Northam we were only able to walk around 20k's, due to a bout of mild (he would say severe) cramping by Sam. No surprise really, as I'm not sure if he had totalled 20k's in his life previous to then! But next day he powered on through, walking 45 kilometres in 9.5 hours and making it to Cunderdin before the shops closed. That has taken somewhat a toll on his body, as the normally spritely Sam has been more subdued today, up until he saw the roadhouse we have stopped at, and the vast array of beverages and hot food available there.
There's been a lot of great people already who have stopped roadside for a quick chat, have had some roadside workers outside Meckering who not only let us 'run' a stop signal and saving us a valuable minute, but gave us twenty dollars for breakfast at the local roadhouse. So thanks for that, was an excellent feed! And to Owin, the Croatian truckie who gave us both free iced coffees and valuable life lesssons, thanks as well. There's been too many nice people to mention without making this blog a bore, but it is amazing how nice people are if you give them a chance to be. Hopefully we wont tire of that by the end of the trip.
Had a really nice lady (forgotten your name sorry!) who stopped us on our way to Cunderdin to give us $50 to donate to a cause of our choice, and although we explained we were not doing it for that she would not take no for an answer! So we have bowed to both popular demand and peer pressure and decided to take donations along the way if people feel like they need to donate money to a cause we believe in.After thinking all day, we came up with two causes we felt worthwhile and we believed in. This will still not be a charity run, but already we have knocked back donations that people were willing to give, and these causes could all do with the money. No fanfare about it though. Please.
First is the Fred Hollows Foundation, and it goes without saying how fantastic that cause is. The second is a personal one and might not be understood, but it doesnt have to be! Workers Gol-Gol Cricket Club has been part of our family's life for 14 years now and if we could repay a small part of the fun, enjoyment and belonging we have felt there then I'll try. At the very least, thank you, only wish we could all still be there!

Anyways, that should do for now, tried to keep it short but quite a bit has happened this last week. I'm sure I've missed a fair bit as well!
Heres a few photos, not many to pick from sorry.

Packing the gear, Cottesloe Backpackers 6th March, 1am

Where it all started, Cottesloe Beach, 6th March 4am

First day. James and I posing for a photo. You can see Perth right in the distance. Little did we know that Perth was only 50ks away at the time, not 70. 5 hours later up more hills and we finally stumbled into Gidgegannup.

Mr Sam Thomson-Mathews strolls into Northam, 10th March 11am

Waking up from first night roadside camping. Feeling and looking great. Not. 11th March, 7am

Airconditioning, free showers, couches, TV, power. Heaven. Will probably never leave. 12th March 2pm

So until the next time the SlamWagon12000 and the GC Love Trolley roll into the next internet reception area, goodbye. And to our worrying Aunt, all is well here! The only thing you should be worrying about is if you have enough soap and deoderant for us when we finally reach Adelaide!!

Also, huge thanks to Steve from Aly-Tek, the guy who made and spent way too much time on the trailers. The trailers are absolutely sensational and we have been getting more comments about the trailers than the actual trip! Can absolutely recommend him for any welding or manufacturing job you may need, especially if it is walking trailers!

Ok, thats definitely it now.


  1. Glad to hear things are going well!!! Glad Sam has joined you, so you aren't alone (though I know you love the hermit life). Take care! xo

  2. Miss and Love You Sam xox....Glad you guys are having fun! Stay safe! Don't wear him out too much Leigh! ha!

  3. hey Leigh,
    have been following your travels on here, and am quite jealous of your courageous journey! I hope you find everything you wanted in this trip, and so much more that you hadn't expected.
    Keep taking risks

  4. Good work Leigh and Sam,

    I was sorry to hear about James bailing but it seems like it may have worked out for the better. I enjoyed your update. I was glad to hear that you were getting some charitable involvement, if only to raise awareness of the causes. I wait for your next installment. Good luck matey.

    Adam Rogers