Friday, May 27, 2011

Shank's Pony

It is fair to say that the public transport system in Sydney could do with a bit of an overhaul. I don't 'do' trains. I have never liked them and always avoided them wherever possible. Just something icky about them. If I need to catch public transport, bus is my chosen mode. I spent many years travelling considerable distances to and from work on buses and I find them bearable. Travelling with a babe in pram, on a bus, is a different story.

Lately, it seems that if and when a bus does arrive as per timetable entry, it is either a non-wheelchair/pram accessible one OR the driver waves furiously to "get on the one behind... this bus is too full" and the bus behind may or may not actually turn up OR even stop if it does turn up. My trip into the city this morning was a mixture of all these ingredients. Utterly. tiring. Waiting at the bus stop to return home, with scores of commuters, it only took 10 minutes worth of similar occurrences, for me to take matters into my own hands. I decided to walk home.

Our place is approximately 6km from the city (as the crow flies), so I figured it would be about an hour walk. Easy. The temperature was cool, Felix was sleeping soundly in his pram and a leisurely stroll home would be just the thing I needed to release some of the built up tension of the past couple of days. Now, driving a car, if you make a wrong turn or go down an unknown backstreet, it is relatively easy to get yourself back on track. On foot, it doesn't quite work that way. Trying to be partly clever, partly experimental, I took myself off down a road I'm not entirely familiar with. But hey, I thought, if it winds it's way around the SCG, SFS and Fox Studios, it's gotta be ok. I know these landmarks lead me towards home.

I. was. wrong. I began to get a feeling I was moving away from the direction I was bound for. For a good 10 minutes, I had myself in a mild panic, as I weaved my way through streets I'd never even heard of. Starting to curse my beautiful boots for being so darn unforgiving on my tootsies. They weren't made for walking long distances, that's for sure. Eventually, Felix woke up, looking a little dazed and confused. Maybe he sensed his Mama was herself, a little bewildered. I have never been so happy or relieved to see Centennial Park in the distance. I knew at that point, we were going to make it home.

An hour and a half after I left Elizabeth Street, Sydney, I rounded the corner of our street. Sore feet. Sweaty everything. ThirstyExhausted. But kind of satisfied in a self-inflicted-pain-kind-of-way. It has been a while since I took on a walking challenge like that. I used to do them all the time in my teenage years and before I had children. There is something blissfully liberating in reaching your destination by shank's pony. 


  1. Good for you to complete your journey in boots!

    I can imagine the feeling of being unsure at times and the relief of familiarity with the roads and that you are on the right way.

    Hope you put your feet up at the end of this trek. Of course, once you took care of your angels first!

  2. I know that feeling... I used to take on walking challenges quite a bit in Sydney as well, pram loaded. Hope your feet recover! gxo

  3. i didnt have to catch public transport when i lived in sydney (thank gosh) but i have heard so many other complain about it also.
    hope you have a rest up ;)

  4. Oh gosh sounds like an adventure. I hope your feet are recovering today.
    How great to live so close to the city though.
    Public transport is pitiful up here on the coast so I just don't bother. Unless I'm going to Brisbane then I'll catch the train because it's better than fighting the traffic and parking, well you have to mortgage your house for a park in Brisbane these days ;-)

  5. But at least it was some good exercise right?!


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