Well, Sunday presented me with a real DUH!!! moment when I finally unpacked my entire suitcase for the first time and discovered that I had left my walking shoes in Portsmouth. No, I can't believe it either, I mean it's not as if my walking shoes are an optional extra in my wardrobe. Unlike my high heels which are and which I did bring with me. The weather has been hot enough until now for me to use my walking sandals, another reason why I didn't miss my shoes, but these will definitely not be any good for winter in New Zealand. So I am now waiting on despatches from home in order to get myself properly kitted out for what I like to do best. What a dummy!
Meanwhile my schedule has got busier and yesterday (Tuesday) I took myself off for a long hike (in sandals) did my daily three hours of study, which I know is good for me and which I am enjoying very much, and then got the train to meet Tom for an early dinner with his boss and wife before going to a film festival.
The festival was a series of nine shorts including films about surfing in the arctic and in various 'mega wave' hotspots (this was truly edge of the seat viewing), Hanli Pinsloo, a free diving record breaker, diving with sharks, fascinating cave diving sequences and one film about a South African man, Bruno, who relearned to surf big waves despite being paralysed from the waist down in a car jacking gone wrong. It was amazing stuff and well worth an evening of anyone's time. The only downside to the evening was that I wore my (not quite worn in enough) Sperrys to walk to the station. Bad mistake! By the time I got home my heels had burst blisters and I had other raw areas on both feet. For all the walking I have done I have not had blisters on my feet since I did the Isle of Wight coastal path with Deb and I honestly can't remember how many years ago that was. This was a real concern because I had already arranged a half day hike through the Royal National Park with a friend of T and B's for today.
So, this morning, and me and my Compede covered feet set off in stalwart fashion with nothing to fortify us except some sandwiches and water. I did suggest to Mariet that we take a bottle of cider each to have with our picnic lunch but she politely declined so, of course, I felt that I had to follow her good example. It was a decision she regretted as soon as we sat on a rock and unpacked our food! The walk was brilliant as we first trekked through quite dense Forest and then came out onto the cliff tops with stunning views in front of us. I was a bit perplexed at one point when I could feel something soft and squidgy inside my left sandal and I wondered if a caterpiller or something had got into it. When I stopped to have a look my little toe was bleeding ((???) and my sandal was full of blood so it was this I had been squishing along in. No idea what happened because I felt no pain but fortunately we were close enough to the beach for me to do a wade through salt water and resourceful Mariet had a spare plaster in her bag.
The surf was too high for a swim on that beach but at the end of the walk we drove back to Cronulla and took a dip in one of the sea pools close to home. It was wonderful! Despite the lack of cider and the bleeding foot it has been a perfect day and I got back in time to put some study hours in before T&B get back from work.
I may have to wear socks with my sandals for while, a look that I have always thought was particularly hideous, but if needs must... and I don't think there are any fashion police amongst the hiking fraternity.