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MCG - SCG Yatra, Day 38

Tarago - Tirrannaville - (Goulburn)

The coffeeshop cum Petrol Station wasn’t open early morning. So Shekhar made himself a cuppa and I had dark grapes Juice. Our Chinese friend Michael has kindly supplied us with a few boxes of this delicious juice for the walk. Thank you so much for the highly nutritious drink Michael. You are a gem my friend. A big thank you.

After touching my forehead to the ground, we started the walk towards Tirrannavill on our way to Goulburn. Goulburn is a midsize town with a population of over 32,000. It is located on the Hume Hwy (M31), the most famous highway in Australia between the Victorian capital Melbourne, and the NSW capital Sydney. The distance from Tarago to Goulburn is close to 38 Kms, which would be a little too much for my old body to walk in one day. Thus, today’s walk would be terminated at Tirrannaville an intermediate locality with a population of just 237. Our target was to reach this small village 24 Kms away and see if we could find a place to stay the night.

Tarago may also be a small town, nevertheless, the importance of its location must not undermined. Tarago is a junction where one road comes in from Bungendore (which we drove on), another one from Braidewood in the south, a town with just under 2,000 population, and the third road from Tarago leads to Tirrannavilla and Goulburn. The third road was our planned route towards Goulburn. This was a very busy road with cars and utes but the scary part of the traffic were the large trucks especially the 36 or 44 wheelers. There is a lot of air pressure created when these big beasts go past you. However, it wasn’t all that bad. The truckies without fail move towards the centre of the road when they spot you walking towards them. They wave to you and very often they also sound the horn in a musical fashion to acknowledge and support your walk. All of that happens in a days walk.

There is another small town named Lake Bathurst.between Tarago and Tirranville. Residents in this small village are not happy about the toxic incinerator being installed at Tarago. Some of these residents were registering their protest by displaying big signs in front of their properties. Anyone driving past their homes could not possibly miss these signs that are clearly visible from the hwy. Hats off these farmers for voicing their opposition to authorities planning to bring toxic fumes to their neighbourhood......

A very painful experience during the entire walk has been the sight and smell of countless dead animals on the roads. As noted in one of earlier blogs, these innocent creatures are just about going with their daily routines when they happen to cross the man-made roads, to which like everything else, we,humans claim exclusive ownership. In the process we kill these innocent native animals who have lived on this land for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. This always is a painful experience that I have many times a day, no matter which road, which state or what kind of landscape. The end result is the same.

We had a couple of short breaks and I had a bit of snooze. Before reaching our intended destination for the day, a farmer in the nearby field, who was mowing the weeds on his tractor, upon seeing me opposite his field, stopped the tractor, removed his ear-muffs and other protection gear and signalled that he wanted to talk to me. He came as close to the road as he could and started asking me how the walk was going. If my feet were hurting me, if my legs were tired and if I ever thought of giving up. My answer to all those questions was no, not at all. The thought of giving up the walk never crossed my mind, simply because I was going to go all the way, no matter what the cost. He then asked me about the poor media coverage. He was of the opinion that I should have received much more media attention than I did. I told him that I was going to do my part that is to walk from the MCG to the SCG and that is exactly what I was going to do. It is up to the media to provide appropriate coverage to connect with the public to raise the much-needed awareness about breast cancer and the role played by the McGrath Foundation in helping Australian families affected by the dreadful disease.

When we arrived at Tirrannaville, Shekhar and I realised that this place was too small with no shops, pub or public toilets. We knew that we would have to drive to Goulburn to find a place to stay and that is exactly what we ended up doing. We parked the van in the city centre in Goulburn and had late lunch at the Astor Hotel. After that we wanted to explore the city but I was too tired to continue walking. I just sat on a beautiful bench with my legs stretched out and asked Shekhar to bring the van closer to this place. Sensing my physical limitations and exhaustion, Shekhar drove straight to a caravan park in the southern part of Goulburn. I had a hot shower and went to sleep while Shekhar set himself up to watch something interesting on the TV.

When I woke up, we heated up something from the fridge for dinner. We had our dinner and went back to sleep as I was very tired. We had so much food supplied primarily by my brother Vinod and his wife Shashi. They cooked and packed in re-heatable plastic containers a variety of daals, vegies and wrapped rotis in silver foil and sent when someone came from Melbourne. One day they also came to deliver when we were still in Victoria. The last supply they sent was with Shekhar when he came to join me early December. But also a number of friends, who came to help me with driving, left behind many items for us to consume during the long walk. Starting with Jit (Dr Sahib) who refuse to pack everything he had brought with him but didn’t get to consume. Michael, our Chinese friend who supplied several cases of fruit juice, also left a number of food items including my favourite Chinese red dates. Rahul also brought to share Monica’s cooking and many other food items. He also didn’t take back anything that was not yet consumed. When Satyajit and Rohan joined, they brought along a lot of home cooked food, thanks to a lot of hard work by Ashwini and her mausi who has since returned to India. There was a lot of mithai including my favourite laddoos and the yummy Jalebis. We were never short of dessert while this father and son duo was with me. A big stack of home-made parathas prepared by Ashwini and her visiting aunt proved to be very handy every time when we were hungry and wanted to eat virtually straightaway. On top of that there were a number of home-cooked dishes which gave us a variety of dishes to choose from. The way everyone of these friends helped and took care of me, was incredible. I don’t have appropriate words in my limited vocabulary to thank these friends who donated their valuable time to drive the van AND they donated money to the McGrath Foundation. To everyone of you thank you so much for everything. A big thank you to all of you.

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Praveena Mishra
Praveena Mishra
23 дек. 2022 г.

Lovely to see shekhar bettas‘s company from time to time. Jsk

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