Day 4: 29km and 6.5 hours

Updated: Mar 31

Off at dawn at 7am (want to be seen by truck drivers on side of road!)

The air is so crisp and clean.

Walked out of Dubbo arriving safe and sound at Wongarbon by 11am.

We're walking facing traffic so we can try to partially control our destiny if some driver has a micro-sleep.

Here we enjoyed meeting Kristy and Steve, owners of the Drivers Dog Tavern, pretty well the only joint in town. Kristy served up amazing hospitality with a huge carb loaded lunch.

The original plan had been to stay overnight and with no local accommodation, sleep in the back of Steve's ute.

This, whilst not overly comfy with two of us, would have kept the mice at bay, or so we were told. Plan B was selected as we decided to walk a further 2.5 hours down the track to Geurie, where Kristy and Steve also ran the Mitchell Inn hotel (ably assisted by their 8 young adult kids).

Geurie is a magic little town that collected 6 volunteers on the Coo-ee March and the War Memorial is a testament to the love and regard they have for their galant townsfolk.

The hospitality was second to none and chocolate egg and meat raffles lured out a good 20 locals. The mice plague was still evident though our rooms proved a secure fortress (tho not against the odour).

When I visit these Coo-ee towns people are pretty aware and interested in the story of this long walk. It resonates with them and never more so that when I suggest that my purpose (apart from getting fitter) is to raise awareness of mental health.

This typically gets a real conversation going sometimes quite personal and always very honest. One such conversation shared related to a returned WW2 father whose domestic violence among a big family created a very disturbing upbringing which can be visibly seen today and every day. I was so grateful to hear their story. The cost of not managing our mental health was and is so steep. In WW1 they referred to the toll of post war life as 'the butchers bill'.

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