I’ve regularly been taking walks to get to my 10,000-steps-a-day goal. The FitBit has been very demanding of me, and I have been very obliging. Today was the longest walk so far; I’m starting to drive to different places to start from so that I don’t get stuck looking at the same scenery over and over again.
Today, I started from Quakers Hill Station and did a substantial lap around the suburb.
I had decided a week ago that I wanted to walk the length along the railway line between Quakers Hill and Marayong, and either walk back or use the train to return. But scoping out the area at night I wasn’t sure this was a suitable night walk… especially because I like to get lost in my headphones while I walk which leaves me with little sense of my surroundings.
So today, my chores already done, I decided that I may as well go for it in the remaining daylight. All told, I started my walk at about 3:26pm and I made it back to the car by 4:41pm. Inbetween my pedometer went from 5915 steps made earlier in the day to a staggering 14925 by the time I was home again where my PC could tell me what the FitBit had counted for me.
What I enjoy most about the walks whether they are during the daylight or in the night, is really seeing the areas that I otherwise only ever drive through at more than 50km/h. The houses, the flora and the scenery all become a lot more interesting when they do not leave streaking trails through my viewfinder.
One thing that struck me today is the overwhelming oddity of the houses along Railway Road with the looming M7 in the background. The area where this cuts through Quakers Hill is one that I rented in quite a while ago. Back when there was no M7 even being constructed. It really dwarfs the houses when I looked at it from todays perspective.
Although to be fair, they have done an excellent job at isolating the noise, because even when I was walking right underneath it didn’t sound like there was a major highway overhead.
I also came across a couple of entries and exits that lead to the cycle path along the M7. The sign declared that I could reach Castle Hill and Mount Druitt by taking the ramp; I’m not entirely sure whether I am prepared to believe either is a simple trip on the bike.
It didn’t feel like Marayong was as far away as I had expected, but just as I was climbing the incline towards the station my wrist band buzzed merrily suggestion that I had in fact already covered 4000-odd steps. In my mind this meant I was about halfway, but in reality that wasn’t quite true.
Still, at that point the sun decided to return when it had been threatening to rain. I was entirely prepared to return home soaking if need be; I don’t mind the prospect of rain when I am on my way home… I only detest it when I am on my way somewhere else.
As I turned onto Quakers Road it dawned on me how close I’d be coming to Illabo Street where I once rented. I considered walking up that way until I realised it’d be up-hill and closer to Railway Road where I had just passed than where I was walking now.
Still, it made me fondly remember the wooden floors, and slightly less fondly the musty smelling air-conditioning unit in the wall, and the one time where the real estate agents were showing potential buyers through and decided to lock the door behind them with a lock that I didn’t have the key for.
And I came right past Quakers Court where I used to go for groceries and chips (not necessarily at the same time).
The suburb seems to have barely changed.
Except for that M7 again… this time I got to go over the top. It looks even roomier and sprawling on foot than it does as you zoom along it at 100km/h. It’s one of the few pieces of road infrastructure in Sydney that has been designed to accommodate whatever the future might demand of it. If the need arises they can easily fit another 2 lanes in each direction for additional traffic.
The last stretch of my walk went through Douglas Road, where the nominal shops of the centre Quakers Hill are. It looks like a bit of a sad bunch, but there are some delicious smelling Indian stores and take-aways along the way. The smells reminded me that I hadn’t officially had lunch, and it was getting close to dinner time.
As I turned the corner and started walking back towards the station, I saw a bench with some kids in the distance. I wasn’t paying too much attention until one of them started madly waving at me and tried to tell me something over the noise in my ears.
*unplug one ear*
Me: “What was that?”
Kid: “Mister, can you loan us some money?”
Me: *glances at little store they are sitting across from*
Kid: “You look rich!”
Me: “Sorry kids…”, *keeps walking*
I admire the guts, and I even admire the hopeful attempt at terrible flattery (I guess it is possible that to a kid his age my sunglasses and bluetooth headset might have exuded wealth beyond belief), but I’m not sure I should be encouraging them to beg for money from strangers on the street by giving in.
And now my legs have that wonderful weary feeling to them. I think it’ll be a few more weeks before the walking is sufficiently routine for my legs to catch up completely.