Lazy Luddite Log

13.6.06

Wanderlust

Sometimes I want to be alone and do passive things. At other times I want to do active things in the company of others. I think these two combinations (passive while alone and active in company) are ones with which we are most familiar. But then there are also 'passive in company' and 'active while alone'. The former is things like sitting silently in the company of loved ones just whiling away the time. The latter is what I have been in the mood for a lot in recent weeks. I am yet to properly sate this desire however.

I want to walk paths I have never walked and turn corners to see things I have never seen. Even if it is just a neighbourhood I have never visited. I have half a mind to go jump on a V-Line bus to some secluded town and get a room at the local inn just for the heck of it. Normally if I felt this way I would then start pressuring particular friends to consider getting together to go away for a few days. But this time dammit I may just do it all by my lonesome. That way I can set my own pace and do my own thing. There is just one problem with all of this - Winter.

It is cold and frequently wet and that tends to disuade me from my inclination to go walkabout. Winter puts a dampner on almost everything. There is one thing that may still work however...

Port Campbell is a small township on the southern coast west of Melbourne (close to the Twelve Apostles). It is very much a tourist town now but its tiny windswept inlet facing open ocean puts me in mind of the smugglers coves in old tales. It is the kind of location that looks and feels right in Winter. Standing on the local jetty while waves that have rolled in directly from Antarctica (allow me some poetic licence) wash below my feet is a thrilling and sobering experience. I went there over a year ago with friends (six of us in two cars) and we stayed in one bunk room at the local YHA. I may however get a fuller sense of the locale if I went there alone. I can get a coach there one day and return ride the next day.

Of course now I have put this on my blog I will feel as if I have made a commitment to the world to go and do this rather than just contemplate it. Others will now ask me "so been to Port Campbell yet?" to which I will have to say "yes" lest they think me lame.

Update

Bugger. I have just visited the V-Line site and the coach to Port Campbell only operates Fridays. In other words I can stay there for a week or not at all (in other words "not at all"). It takes me back to the heady days of my conducting of a long-distance relationship between Melbourne and Glenrowan. How the rural kids can cope at all is a wonder to me. Can I delete this post in its entirity now?

Another Update

It is three or four months on from this post and I have since had some chances to get away from the big city and its attendent suburbs. There was one rehearsal camp but that is barely getting away from it in the sense that one is transported door-to-door from home to the campsite and then stuck there the whole time rehearsing. It is fun but hardly getting to experience much of another locale.

However just this weekend past (September ceding to October) I had a wonderful time with the lovely Anne in the picturesque and bigger-than-expected township of Warragul. Walks and restaurant food and a movie all during a warm crisp Spring weekend. I even got some party propaganda letterboxing into the old town during some lone time. Yay!

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4 Comments:

  • Daniel I believe there is some section of the coast walk you can do down that way, entirely public transportable. And not camping, but staying somewhere like port fairy. Brendan has done it, I haven't.

    You could come and visit us in Canberra! But that would be the whole company thing that you're not into.

    d'rum wandere ich froh, so lang ich kann...

    julie.

    By Blogger Brendan, At 13 June, 2006  

  • For restlessness, I second the Port Fairy idea. There is nothing quite like walking to Killarney along the sand in the rain to give you a sense of place. From the old town with it's weathered timbers and stonework, through the memorial park and onto the sheltered beach at the mouth of the Moyne. Tiny, fragile shells pop underfoot as you pick your way around seaweed and other jetsam for the first few hundred metres, then you are on the pale swath of the East Beach, walking below the million dollar holiday homes that peter out slowly, leaving you alone with the ocean, the dunes and the wind for miles and miles. Buses run along the highway just inland, so rescue is intermittently available.

    I used to go there often and stand staring out to sea, walking slowly along the water's edge for hours. Of course, I carried a fishing rod, lest folk think me mad...

    By Blogger Jac, At 15 June, 2006  

  • You V/Line idea sounds similar to the 'bus lotto' and 'tram lotto' that kept me occupied in the big cities of Europe.

    The idea is that after a few days in any given city you've seen all the highlights and the places you're encouraged to visit, but you want to go and see the 'burbs and the slums and the places that only the locals and the adventurous get to see.

    To do it, you need a bit of random luck. What I would do is head to a street with plenty of public transport (think of the Domain interchange on St Kilda Road) and jump on the first bus or tram that came along. Sometimes you end up heading to dudsville, but quite often you find yourself some place special. And you can't possibly get lost, since home is only a return journey away. Magic.

    By Blogger -A., At 15 June, 2006  

  • Thanks to Julie & Brendan (once more) for asking me to visit in Canberra. I do intend to but possibly once the weather is better (Canberra is rather chilly). Also I need to clarify that this 'active solitary' mood I have described can happen within the same day as any or all the other moods described. I can happily be in company for some of the time and then go on a long walk anytime I feel like it.

    Thanks also for the Port Fairy advice. PT visits Port Fairy every day so that is much more practical than Port Campbell. And thanks Jac for the evocative descriptions of that area. I will forgo the 'carrying a fishing rod lest others think me mad' tactic. I prefer my hands to be free of anything other than an iced coffee flavoured milk drink. Course I could always walk with a wizardly staff - that will help me fit in!

    Ari I have done a bit of that 'bus lotto' thing except by accident. I once got on a bus in Weimar (Germany) which was the right route but the wrong direction. That was okay as all I had to do is stay on it all the way to the end and back. Another nice thing to do was just go walking at random in the back streets of Jena (also Germany) and deliberately get lost. I never truly got lost because the whole town is surrounded by hills and has in its very centre just one big sky scraper. So between the hilly perimeter and the sky scapery centre one could always reorient.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 17 June, 2006  

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