Syd Reinhardt

Move It

My Activity Tracking

63
kms

My target 63 kms

I'm Moving It this September!

This September, I'm walking 63km for the 63 Australians who die from pancreatic cancer each week. 

Pancreatic cancer is now the 3rd biggest cancer killer of Australians, and because early-stage pancreatic cancer rarely causes symptoms, the survival rates are devastating.

If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer tomorrow, there is only a 10% chance you'll be alive in 5 years.

But research can change this. Your support will fund life-saving pancreatic cancer research and improve survival rates.

So this September, I'm challenging myself to get up, get moving and walk 63km.

Please make a donation to support my challenge and help fund life-changing pancreatic cancer research. 

 

My Achievements

My Updates

a walk on the wild side - a clandestine drug lab, Arson, a Bikie Gang, explosives in the reserve - the police raid. Did I get sprung? Preparing for invasion, more explosives - aargh, I'm injured and not what you may think

Friday 24th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:

Treatment options for pancreatic cancer: Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are treatment options that extend survival or relieve symptoms, but seldom produce a cure.

Surgical removal of the tumor is possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer because detection is often in late stages and has spread beyond the pancreas. Adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy (and sometimes radiation) may lower the risk of recurrence. For advanced disease, chemotherapy (sometimes along with a targeted drug therapy) may lengthen survival.

Clinical trials are testing several new agents for their ability to improve survival.



Here's my latest walk, -

First Walk =                    12.78
Second Walk =                  9.44
Third Walk =                    6.30
Fourth Walk =                  9.99
Fifth Walk =                    7.60
This Walk =                     7.26
Total thus far              53.37km

I still owe you               9.63km



Ready, Steady, and Go!
From the map above, you can see that I've moved one peninsula Northwards walking on a trail in the Garigal Reserve, starting out just East of the Roseville bridge.  My GPS tracker has behaved and has faithfully logged my movement.
I expected my walk to be uneventful.  Beautiful, scenic but uneventful.  When I planned the walk I didn't find much history, no castles, no tales of yore or gore.
That all changed.

Upon setting out, I was sure I'd get a few decent photographs to share.  I thought, what can I write about? 
It is tough to make a bushwalk interesting.
I had no idea of the impending invasion, not an inkling of drug drama, no idea about arson, assault on police, and no thought of where to put explosives.  Oh, and no idea that I'd tumble head over heels, backpack, camera and all.  And that my Danish Pastry would become an Irish Stew.  Or that the Navy would call in reinforcements.  Here's how it all happened.

Warning!  Do not go to Denmark and seek a Danish Pastry.  They'll think that you are strange.    I have put my body on the line and conducted research into the matter.  Instead, ask for a Kringl.





From the way it started, I should've known it was going to be a tough day.  I parked the car on a quiet street which had an access path into the Garigal Reserve and set off.  The access path was both long and steep.  Nearing the bottom, I started thinking "Glad that I parked in the shade of that tree, but - did I lock the car?" 

With every steep step the nagging doubt notched up even more.  I'm sure that you know the feeling.  It is similar to "Did I switch the iron off before I left the house?"  Consoling myself that the additional distance to hoik back and check would add to my day's total of kilometers walked, I turned around.  Arrived breathless at the car, of course it was locked.  Back down that steep slope, past where I'd just turned around and then:


​That sign points to the steep path I'd just descended for the second time. 



I bet that you wouldn't have gone back, either. 
Bugger that!





​Not the easiest path to walk on, especially for a person of a certain age with mobility challenges but I pressed on. 
I did wonder why the path was closed, it was rough but wasn't that impassable.





​The trail hugged a sheer cliff with glimpses of the CastleCove peninsula that made the slog well worthwhile.  I had gotten my breath back and felt better.
Take note of that bluer than blue sky and those fluffy white clouds.  It will make sense, later.



and then:
Through a gap in the dense bush, I suddenly came upon this. 
A burnt out shell, in dense bush on a small headland.  It was surprising to find any building in a reserve, especially a burnt out one and I was bemused. 
The path down was blocked off, there were heavy steel cables on the ground and signs of industry.  Here?  In the reserve?  What the?
The area was fenced off and so I pressed on, wondering what/how/why/when?





I soon forgot about the unanswered questions, there were sheer cliffs above and below the path and it was one of the most beautiful areas I've walked in.




Eventually the 'closed' path joined another better formed pathway that was open and which had other walkers also enjoying the dense bushland




and enjoying the view




Pressing on I left the main path after I found a very narrow rough path.  Should've known better.





It was a struggle but worth it, because it led to this wonderful tiny beach - Flat Rock beach.




Although not crowded, there were people enjoying the unspoilt surroundings



Flat Rock Beach?  Yeah, right.  I wondered what they'd been smoking.
There were some obstacles; but I was emboldened by my success thus far.  Huh!





Around this time I met another walker who had a camera similar to mine, so we stopped and exchanged some friendlies.
He told me that it was possible to find my way down to the water, to go off the trail and to photograph the old Munitions Storage buildings.
However, the Navy were moored alongside when he was there and he was unsure how they would react so he left.

He was friendly and knowledgeable and asked which way I'd come.
"Oh, if you came that way along the closed off trail, did you pass that burnt out shell of a building?"
And he told me about it. And why the path was closed.

It's a 120-year-old saga that reads like the pages of a rollicking crime novel. 

Sometimes, we'll look at fluffy white clouds in a bluer than blue sky (remember that earlier photograph?) and Deborah will remark that if she painted it like we saw it, no one would believe her painting.  Well, if you wrote a story about what really happened at that burnt out shell people would find it hard to believe. It was so out there.

Killarney Point, in the 1920s



An early view of the building, which served as a picnic venue and then a sporting/rowing club.

​Surrounded by bush and on the water, down a long, winding path, Killarney Point was once a community meeting spot, featuring picnic spots and a popular dance hall. Initially established in 1898, the site was held by the Dunbar family who sold it in the 1950s and it became the Mosman Rowing Club.

That changed when it was sold to one Claus von Hessberg, of Green Point Sports Foundation. It seems to have been sold once more, to new owners who blocked public access and commenced funny business.  It was so out there, so obvious that I'm reminded of a crime ring that used a commercial tow truck, would pull up on a public street clad in hi viz overalls and load your parked Ferrari or Porsche onto their truck.  It was so brazen that passers by never thought it was highway robbery and that your precious toy was being nicked.

The timber dance hall became a 'secret' bikie drug lab and was set on fire twice in one week!  Where there's smoke there's fire and the police eventually raided when they learned of what seemed to be explosives placed in holes drilled into the sheer rock face!  Did it really take so long to check it out?  Would you believe that the crims were building an inclinator through the bush in order to haul their drugs.

You couldn't write this stuff it is so way out, - here's a newspaper report and video footage of the bust.



But by this time, the burnt out drug lab was well behind me and I could see ancient rooftops and knew that I was near the Magazine buildings, so I left the relative safety of the path and started down toward the water.

I was off the track and it was very steep, rough and slippery as.  With lots of roots to trip one up.  I tend to forget that I'm mobility and chronologically challenged until I'm in trouble.  Deep doo doo.

I went down a lot faster than I'd intended.  For part of the way down, some bits of me that would be better pointing down, were pointing up.  I think that I waved my arms around a bit to try to regain my balance.  Might've waved legs, too.

I managed to hold on to my camera and protect it.  My backpack stayed on my back.




In fact, the camera got to the bottom in much better shape than I did.  Which made me both relieved and hungry.
Looking at this photograph reminds me of a good friend who advised me that if he had legs like mine, he would probably resort to walking on his hands.





Some locals approached and watched me vacuuming Danish crumbs out of the lunch bag and fancied a snack, but at that stage, I was injured, hungry and unsympathetic.






While I was resting up, the Navy suddenly took off at a great pace.



This left me free to approach the historic buildings.  I carefully digested the information on both signs.

I wasn't planning on exceeding the 4 knots speed limit, I was not going in either of the directions indicated by that sign.  Good. 

Now the big sign.  I had no boat so wasn't going to commit an unauthorised mooring.  OK so far.  I had no plan to land on any of the structures.
And, I thought that the Maritime Services Board probably no longer exists.  All good.
I was technically speaking, in the clear.

When my Mum taught me never to leave home without having clean underwear, she also insisted that I always pack some money for emergencies. 
I had a $50 note in my backpack so I figured that if things went pear shaped, as long as the Navy had suitable small change for my $50 I was ok for the maximum penalty anyway.  Barbed wire held no terror for this pensioner.  Had I not recently descended a very steep cliff?




The old buildings were set into the hillside in such a way that if a blast eventuated, it would/should go heavenwards.
I did not wish to go heavenward myself.
So, I reassured myself and reasoned that it was unlikely that there would be any viable munitions left. 
And I do not smoke and had no incendiary devices with me.
Surviving relatively unscathed after a recent cliffside experience also suggested that my time had not yet arrived.
Finally, only the good die young and that opportunity is well past.
So I enjoyed walking around the site, took lots of photographs and chatted to some pleasant young folk who were picnicking there





I suppose that this stone store might've been from the earliest days before the brick buildings were erected.




Eery - do I hear the clanging of chains?



It was time to be on my way, and I found an old steel ladder (there's one visible in this photograph) and managed to depart without a repeat of my rapid entrance.
This was good, because I had no more Danish left.




I was heading for home when suddenly the good guys showed up.  Had they had a tip off that there'd been a pensioner at the Magazine?
I was reassured; I was safely on the track and remained hidden by the trees.



They must've assumed that my unusual arm and leg moves as I made such rapid progress down the cliff were secret Kung Fu battle tactics because they brought in reinforcements, traveling at great speed - it was an invasion.  Rather like the movies.






Tom Cruise was nowhere to be seen, so they did their own stunts.




After some fun watching them, the most exciting thing I came across on the way home was this.
In other words, it was uneventful.

Thank you all for your support, I'm delighted by your generosity and cannot thank you enough.

Thank you also for the kind emails I've received, expressing enjoyment of these blogs - you are very kind and it makes the effort worthwhile. 
If you wish to see our collection progress or how far I've walked to date, click on this link.

And by all means, do share this email!


Watch this space!

Another castle? Really? Explosives? What the!

Sunday 19th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:

If it is so hard to detect or diagnose Pancreatic Cancer, what are typical symptoms?  
Symptoms for pancreatic cancer may include weight loss, abdominal discomfort, back pain, development of type 2 diabetes and some tumors may cause jaundice leading to earlier diagnosis.




Here's my latest walk, - if you wish to believe my GPS tracker, I strolled with impunity over or perhaps under the waters of Middle Harbour. 
16.9 km!  No way.  Something's wrong with the data.
As you can see from route tracks on the map below, up the creek in every sense.

I really do not know what is happening to my usually very reliable GPS tracker. 
Perhaps it is getting interference and is unable to connect to satellites from under the dense bush.
Maybe it is getting bored by the engineering podcasts that I've been listening to whilst I'm walking and is casting about for something more salacious.

In order to gain a more realistic distance covered, without the harbour crossings, I resorted to that font of all knowledge, Google, and used it to track my distance for the day.

First Walk =                    12.78
Second Walk =                  9.44
Third Walk =                    6.30
Fourth Walk =                  9.99
This Walk   =                    7.60   (Google data)          

Total thus far              46.11km

I still owe you               16.89km



Long Long ago and far far away, on a little island:

Many years ago, my fascination with castles led me to inflict a trip around Wales on my wife.
Inflict?  Yes, my plan was to visit castles. 
Edward 1, having invaded Wales around 1277, had to make a show of strength and had to protect the English garrisons. 
Each of Edward’s campaigns was marked with the building of some of Europe’s finest and grandest castles.
The scale of the buildings was to leave no doubt in the minds of the Welsh who their new rulers were.
I resolved that, traveling in our ancient vehicle, I would visit as many as I could. 
Herself was very sporting, and did not complain.
No ordinary trip, we were traveling in her favourite car. 
This was the very automobile that Walter Owen Bentley had commissioned hoping to stave off the ravages of the great depression, by showing that the Bentley of that time was superior to the competition. 
The competition was, of course, Rolls Royce.
The very special Bentley's coachwork was crafted by one of the leading specialists of the time, Mulliners.
Mr Bentley's strategy was no match for the financial stress caused by the depression - Bentley became insolvent and was bought by Rolls.
Our car though, was a 'real' Bentley, built under the auspices of the great engineer himself, one of the last real Bentleys and not just a Rolls with a Bentley badge. 





Remember when having a GPS was a big deal? 
So new and so valuable one had to take it off the windscreen and stow it out of sight when leaving the car so it wouldn't be pinched?
Remember the stories of how wildly inaccurate GPS devices directed people to drive into a harbour?  Or through a river? 
Well, our GPS directed us across the wilds of Wales to Caernarvon castle via a succession of farms in the middle of Snowdonia. 
Farmgate after farmgate to be opened and shut, along very narrow wet, cold and muddy roads.
I would've done the foot slog and gate duties, but driving a vintage Bentley is complicated.  And it is heavy.
So out into the freezing cold she went.
I'm a gentleman, I did offer but not a murmur of complaint.
And a number of astounded Welch farmers could not believe their eyes, as we burbled through their properties.
An attractive blonde woman, smiling and waving hello, followed by an immense and ancient rather grand vehicle.





Crossing Snowdonia took a long time.
Eventually we made it!




We visited a number of ancient castles and walled towns.
I was well satisfied.



​Once we reached Caernarvon, I was required to prove my suitability to serve the realm, to demonstrate my capacity for knighthood and castle occupation.
I had to show my impressive knightly and manly skills.

Here's the photographic proof.
I passed the prescribed test by being able to hold, with one hand, a genuine two-handed broadsword, keeping it horizontal for the requisite time.

The classic phrase comes to mind:
"Arise, Sir Knight!"

Gentlemen of my age will know that this phrase changes as one reaches a certain age.
It becomes, "Arise, every night.  Several times." 





Enough potty talk and digression, back to Australia and back to our local castles. And Explosives.
Having covered much of CastleCrag on foot and having just provided photographic proof to demonstrate that I'm castle-competent, I planned my next walk to venture into CastleCove. 
(More of castles later.)

The Cammeraygal people of the Guringai nation lived in the Willoughby area until the 1820s.
They are recorded as being in the northern parts of the Sydney region for approximately 5,800 years.
By 1830 there were no Aboriginal people following a traditional lifestyle in the area.

​The route I planned for this local walk is the North Arm Track. 
It starts on North Arm Road, right next to a small cave.
The Track lets one know what is coming because it starts like this






It pays to heed the signs.
Willoughby Council's website states:
"These reserves contain some of the largest and most intact areas of continuous and complex wildlife habitat in the Willoughby LGA.
The vulnerable Red-crowned Toadlet exists in small communities in drainage areas of Explosives Reserve.
Swamp Wallaby and Long-nosed Bandicoot were first recorded in these reserves before they repopulated others in Willoughby around 2002.
There are other large terrestrial mammals as well as a large number of woodland bird species occurring in the reserves.
The vulnerable Powerful Owl is known to roost in the woodland and forest areas.
The reserves contain some of the last successful breeding sites for the White-bellied Sea Eagle in the Sydney Harbour area"

There was no sign of Red-crowned toadlets, the swamp wallabies were making themselves scarce and I would have been delighted to spot an owl that was powerful.
The sign did not state what else to watch for.





The trail passes through stunning bushland





​Meanders along tidal mangrove flats





​A most enjoyable walk






​Spring is in the air




​Remember the warning sign? 
At this time of year, it pays to be alert because the locals are waking up from their winter sleep






In between taking care not to step upon a sleepy native animal, one is able to sneak glimpses of the CastleCrag peninsula through the bush





​Eventually, the trail winds down to a picturesque beach. 
The stone wall just visible on the left is part of a jetty built to service Innisfallen Castle.
More about that later.





​ Time for a snack.
Emi, thank you for your delicious cake.  I saved a slice specially for today's walk!

But I had made a big blue.
I had filled my water bottle before leaving, and then had forgotten it on the kitchen counter.
Bugger.






​ ​There are others also enjoying some exercise, the fresh air and the enchanting scenery. 
But I'm not sharing Emi's fruit cake with anyone.




Heading further along the track as it winds along the shore of Middle Harbour, one reaches
steps carved into the rock.  The water at the steps is deep.

The area of the bushland at the end of the Castle Cove peninsula was reserved for defence purposes in 1878.
When the Public Magazine Complex was established at Bantry Bay on the eastern shore of Middle Harbour from 1907 to store munitions, the State Government resumed 58 acres of land on the Castle Cove peninsula as a buffer zone.
This became Explosives Reserve.

Henry Christian Press purchased land on Middle Harbour in 1909 with the intention of building a house and farm but his wife, Annie was very reluctant to give up her city residence in Darlinghurst. Press operated boat sheds around Sydney harbour and the Sutherland Shire. He began his Castle Cove operations around 1912 with three sheds, picnic grounds and tables with bench seating. This later expanded and by 1939 included a wharf, swimming pool and dressing sheds which Press called the Palmer Pleasure Gardens.  In its heyday, the grounds were replete with picnic area, pergolas, fernery, three dining pavilions, swings and slippery dips, swimming pool, wharf, and a 100-yard sprint track. Press charged for admission with crowds of up to 900 pleasure-seekers visiting daily. People came from all over the city for a day’s outing there, especially on Sundays.  The only practical access was by boat.

My photograph shows the site of HC Press's wharf, with the steps leading to a path to the dance hall.  The jetty is long gone as are all the buildings.  Just the pathways and some footings remain.

Pushing on, I Left the trail, finding my way to the road so that my route could wind along the suburb's roads past the castle.



I had developed a considerable thirst when I came upon this likely looking local.
Clearly, a boat person.
He looked friendly.
So he should.

This is my brother Jeff.

Jeff had just returned from a paddle in the bay.
Although he's a local, he is probably not of the Cammeraygal people
He had caught not a single fish from that boat.  Go figure.
Even so, he was very hospitable.
He very kindly gave me plenty of water.
My sister in law Lindsay is a great baker.  So after the water, we had cake. (Again?)
Lindsay had baked some cookies specially for me, so I tested some, as one does, superb!
The entire batch she'd made for me went into my backpack, it was clear that I might need some refreshment on the long way home.
You may be forgiven for thinking there's a theme developing.
After water, home made cookies and cake, I was feeling strong again.

Note to self:
Remember to discuss with brother Jeff that he will never catch enough fish from that little boat to make a decent living.






​Bidding farewell to Jeff, I followed the road to Innisfallen Castle, which I believe was the first building on the peninsula.

The first permanent residents of Castle Cove were the Willis family who acquired 52 acres from a default mortgagee.
In 1903/4 Willis built “Innisfallen Castle” a grand, castle-like house.
Willis named his creation Innisfallen Castle after a ruined abbey at Killarney, Ireland.
Innisfallen is Irish for “Isle of the fields.”
The building was constructed from sandstone quarried on site.
It features a crenellated tower on the northern side, three-stories high with a separate staircase that two maids used for their quarters.
Each corner is graced by a solid stone circular turret and the exterior walls are two feet thick.
The interior joinery is of cedar with seven foot doorways and ceilings 14 feet high.
The decoration has a strong Federation theme with many Australian wildflowers depicted in the plaster and stained glass.

Access to the property was by motor launch from The Spit to a private wharf below the property.

All the furniture and fittings were brought in by boat and carried up the hill by hand.

Later the family used a horse and sulky to travel over the partially-formed Cammaray Road to collect mail and newspapers from Roseville station. 

My reading suggests that when they eventually bought a motor vehicle, the roads were so rough that it cost a fortune to maintain and they relinquished it in favour of the horse and buggy.

The family engaged in some light farming in the early years and lived under relatively primitive conditions until the 1960s.
There was no infrastructure at the time, the only practical access was from the beach where I'd enjoyed my snack.
Here's the thing.
It was not until 1967 that the house was connected to town water and electricity.
No mention, in my readings of sewage.
No electricity, no reticulated plumbing.
Such a grand pile, yet the inhabitants were toughing it out until the 60s.
They were accomplished:
Henry Willis (1860-1950) was the Member for Robertson in Australia‟s first three Parliaments (1901-1910).
One of his sons, Dr Henry Willis was an Alderman on Willoughby Council from 1938-53 and Mayor in 1943 and 1944.
In the 1960s the Willis land, with the exception of the house, was sold to Headlands Developments.
Dr. Willis died in 1973. The property has NSW State Heritage status.

Castle Cove derived its name from this building.


​ It is well worthwhile to have a closer look, so click here.
And by the way, it can be yours for around $35 million.



and pursuing today's castle theme, did you know that there's another castle, and of all places, it is in Rose Bay?

Really.  Situated right here!






It is known as Fernleigh Castle.
"Fernleigh Castle was built in 1892 on the site of a sandstone cottage built in 1874, and incorporates the original walls of that building.
Castle-like in appearance, it is constructed of sandstone and features a square Norman-style tower, smaller towers with their own turrets, and castellated walls."

Here's the quirky bit.
Both Innisfallen and Fernleigh castles are currently owned by the same person.
His name is Peter Montgomery, an Olympic water polo champion.





​Enough already!  Leaving the castle behind, I headed along the trail homewards.





​By this time, all cakes and cookies had worn off and just as I was contemplating digging into my emergency cookie supply, I was relieved to see the last flight of steps.


Thank you all for your support, I'm delighted by your generosity and cannot thank you enough.

Thank you also for the kind emails I've received, expressing enjoyment of these blogs - you are very kind.
If you wish to see our collection progress or how far I've walked to date, click on this link.

And by all means, do share this email!


Watch this space!

Life is short, eat dessert first

Sunday 12th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:

Survival rates for most forms of cancer have been improving.
By contrast, the five-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer have stayed largely unchanged. Survival remains shockingly low - for the past 40 years it has lingered at less than 5%.

This is the worst survival outcome for any of the 21 most common cancers.

I hesitated before writing this email but there's a valuable thread between what I'm about to tell you and about the value of our fundraising.  It concerns the importance of medical research and the possibility of good outcomes and especially, how they impacted me.

I arrived in Sydney in 1988 with Nicki and 4 of 6 children (the others were to migrate later).  Keen to start our new lives, a few days later I loaded wife, Granny and 4 kids into my brother's Tarago and set off to see a business that I was interested in. 

We did not get far. 

Early Tarago vehicles were diabolically dangerous - both front passengers sat totally exposed, basically above and forward of the front axle. 

It was a miracle that Granny and the 4 children were unharmed by the head-on collision with the Daihatsu truck that veered into our path; Nicki and I were much less fortunate.  We were both grievously injured and I was on life support for days.  Royal North Shore Hospital staff were magnificent; day after day they wheeled Nicki's bed from her 10th floor ward to where I was in intensive care on the first floor so that she could reassure herself that by some miracle, I was still hanging on.

A machine was keeping me alive, I was vaguely aware that it was forcing me to breathe until eventually, I regained consciousness. 

Where was I? My head was in a fog.  That was unsurprising.  A white coated man with stethoscope around his neck had appeared out of the fog and was asking me damn fool questions. 

"What is your name?  How old are you?  Who is the Prime Minister of Australia?"  I'd arrived as a migrant only 5 days before the accident, but Bob Hawke was easy to recall. His next question wasn't as easy: "What's the date?"  I'd been out of it for days and days, how was I to know?  But white coat seemed satisfied that my brain was still functioning and normal, a finding that many of my friends might choose to question.

"You've made history in this hospital" white coat told me "No one thought that you could or would survive!"  (I was too stubborn not to survive).  Indeed, for years afterwards, when doctors saw my X-rays they recognised me because of the structural damage and the fact that North Shore is a teaching hospital, so my case was widely discussed.  Try to imagine how confronting it would be to be instantly recognisable by your X-rays!

White coat (an intensive care doctor, I never learnt his name) said to me "You must be very fit and strong to have survived the trauma, what were you doing to be so fit?"  I explained that I was training for marathon and triathlon, running, cycling, swimming and despite my lack of success in staying upright in a narrow canoe, kayaking.  He listened, then was totally brutal and said "Well, you've survived but you will never run again.  In fact, you probably will never walk unless you are assisted, you will have to get used to being in a wheelchair and walking will be possible only with crutches. Or a Zimmer frame." 

My pelvis was crushed, I'd lost one hip joint (acetabulum) and my legs were smashed, held together by long pins inside the bone.  What a mess.

I was in traction, with pulleys and weights trying to pull me straight again.  (did not work)  I remained in the hospital, in traction for 3 months.  The worst bit?  For a very private person, toilet habits when you are strapped to your bed in the ward are right up there.

And yet here I am now, not just walking but having made an undertaking to you that I'll walk 63km! 

The point I wish to make is that medical science saved Nicki and I despite our both having extensive injuries, it eventually gave me my life back.  Surgery and technology has enabled me to walk, to cycle, to start a business, employ people and to have a fulfilling life.  While I'm not exactly Twinkletoes or pain free, the medical treatment that I've had has kept me alive against the odds and enabled me to do the walk that you've sponsored.

I've no doubt that the contribution that we've all made to Pancreatic Cancer research will in some small way, help others at some future time.  So I thank you, - if you wish to see our collection progress or how far I've walked to date or to donate, click on this link.

And by all means, do share this email!

Here's my latest walk, complete with an aberration:

Screenshot_20210911-104338_Strava.jpg

I remained in the suburb of CastleCrag - I don't know what that spike in the GPS trace on the map might be, that straight line that crosses the water. There's no way that I could've crossed to Northbridge across the bay.  No walking on water this time.


Screenshot_20210911-104500_Strava.jpg

In fact, the way I interpret the GPS data, it suggests that I crossed the bay under water, see the funny downward spike in the data:

Aberrations aside, my undertaking to you is to walk 63km this month.

First Walk =                    12.78
Second Walk =                  9.44
Third Walk =                    6.30
This Walk =                      9.99
Total thus far              38.51km

I still owe you                24.49km

Having resolved to walk fewer bush stairs this time, I strode off onto the roads of neighbouring CastleCrag.  My plan was to stay on more or less level ground.
A delightful suburb, CastleCrag is rather exclusive, extending along the spine of a long narrow peninsula jutting into Middle Harbour. 
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Most homes are blessed with a waterview and many have water frontage. 




_SR23707.jpg
I might've avoided steps, but not steeps



_SR23708.jpg
No steps?  Stay on level?  Yeah right.



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It is a peaceful area, with a truly village atmosphere.




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CastleCrag was planned by Walter Burley Griffin.
 
In one of the many children's play areas, I found a bit of fun, a sculpture by someone with a keen sense of humour, an effigy of a mythical Griffin.  The inscription, carved into the front of the plaque reads "Walter, the burly Griffin".

Mr Griffin (not the one pictured above, the other one) is credited with having planned Canberra and Griffith as well as CastleCrag.  One of his legacies is that he liked to leave a pathway, an easement between the rear of houses to enable the children to move around their neighbourhood without having to go onto the street.  Many of these easements form part of the paths I've been walking. 




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Griffin's wife Marion was also an architect, and a furniture designer.  My reading suggests that she made a major contribution to Walter's works. 
She also worked for the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.  I don't know who designed this striking home on Edinburgh Rd, but does it not make you think of Mr Wright's design elements?




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All this architectural and planning thinkings had made me very hungry, so I used one of the many little pathways in the area to find the perfect spot for a break. 
Sitting on the jetty, I contemplated a skinny dip but decided that based on my track record with my questionable luck, I was not going to risk being apprehended either by a shark in the water or an official out of it.





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My son James knows his father too well and had made me a splendid Father's day treat (which he and daughter in law Jane delivered in a covid safe manner). 
I had packed a suitably generous slice. Energy food.  Healthy as.  Nom Nom Nom.
(This photograph was included especially for my good friends Garth, Hotzy, Tammie and Simon, none of whom will believe that I don't stop at the bakery in CastleCrag on every walk.  No need, I have my own supplies, thanks to James and Jane.)




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Munching happily, I could enjoy the view and reflect on our good fortune living in a wonderful society where anyone may enjoy the peace, the beauty and the public places. 
You just have to make the effort to find them.




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Well situated, conveniently close to the city, CastleCrag's original homes and cottages are being modernised, enlarged and extended.




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Backpack a bit lighter I ambled further quite happily, enjoying my largely street walks, avoiding steps, appreciating the signs of spring all around.




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At one time the RTA (remember them?) were going to build a bridge across middle harbour and this peaceful park is the site on the CastleCrag peninsula where it was to have joined up.
The citizens of the suburb were suitably outraged and in the end, the plan was shelved.




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My walk, and my plan to stay on easier ground was doing fine, until I came to this sign, advising "Beverley Blacklock Reserve"




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which had one of these




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Which led to . . . .You guessed it - seemed like it led to somewhere interesting.  Forgot my plan to avoid steps and took the plunge.




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The steps led me down to the water's edge




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and the ruins of an old stone jetty.




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Contemplating old stone jetties made me very hungry. 
Fortunately, I still had some sandwiches so I was forced to make another food stop and enjoy the peaceful space I'd found.
I'm becoming very good at food stops.  It is an acquired skill that requires practise.
(note to self: do I need a larger backpack?)




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Suitably refreshed, I set off again, following the narrow pathway along the edge of the cliff.




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with a completely different perspective of the suburb.





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Did I mention steps? 
And did I mention 3 total hip joint replacements, 3 spinal surgeries, and a spinal fusion?
To say nothing of the physiotherapy.
There are days when I don't feel much like tap dancing, but what I'm able to do after such extensive, life threatening injuries is testament to the miracles accomplished by modern medical science.



Thank you for your support.  I'm confident that one day, the 10 Australians who are told each day that they have Pancreatic Cancer, will also be told "But we have a very successful treatment for your condition." 
We will have played our small part.


Where to next?  Will I get food stops?  Will James bake another cake?
Did I mention that, to his credit, my brother never asked for the return of what little was left of his Tarago?

04 Every Cloud has one

Thursday 9th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:

Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages during the time that surgical removal of the tumor would still be possible.    Which is why your support of this initiative is so important.  Thank you.

See how we're doing, or donate, by clicking on this link.
My blog, which you are getting in the form of this email, is also on that page.  Should you wish to re-trace my progress, it is all made easy and there for you in day by day splendid detail.

When first I put my name down to assist with fundraising and I undertook to walk 63km during this month, I thought "Right! easy as, that'll be fun, a long walk or maybe two southerly over the harbour bridge, one or two going North after that and 63 Klix done and dusted!"  Of course, that was before lockdown and the current "5km radius from home or Remain in your own LGA" restrictions.  But thank you Gladys!  By implementing lockdown restrictions and so forcing me to plan, she did me a great service.

I'm blessed that near my home there are a number of bush trails.  10 minutes' walk and I'm off road.  For 30+ years I've walked these same walking trails, with the extent of my creativity being walking in the opposite direction to the way I walked the time before;  3 to 5 times a week.  Ho Hum.  Every cloud has a silver lining.  The 5km radius restriction has opened a new world for me.  I'm well and truly out of the rut and finding and enjoying new experiences.

Between Gladys's restrictions and my undertaking to you, I had to get a bit creative.  Was forced to.   Hello Google Maps, and blow me down! 

I have already introduced you to Fatty Dawson and his local Piggery, to Henry Lawson and his place of solace, to Walter Burley Griffin's rather inefficient Incinerator.  But wait!  There's more.  A bit of planning and I've found new routes and with the routes, some delightful surprises.

Here's my latest walk.  Complete with surprises.
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Only 6.3km?  Well there's a reason for that.  Hundreds of reasons.
Stairs.  Lots and lots and lots of stairs. 
And can this old man walk on water?   The map above suggests that I can, that I walked a big loop into the bay, walking on water.
With a backpack and camera?

More about that later.
My undertaking to you is to walk 63km this month.

First Walk =                    12.78
Second Walk =                  9.44
This Walk =                       6.30
Total thus far              28.52km

I still owe you                34.48km



I must've driven the arterial road - Eastern Valley Way - a thousand times, no kidding!  It leads to the city, right past where we regularly shop at our local Woolies. 
I had no idea that abutting onto Eastern Valley Way, is this:
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When a local developer put up a townhouse development on what had long, long ago been a Chinese person's Market Garden, in recognition of its past history he created a community garden which is enthusiastically tended by people from the area.
What a surprise! It is large, well tended and growing a host of lovely plants - veggies, flowers, and worm farms abound. 
And, see the roof just visible behind Annette the happy gardener?



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The roof is a sheltered picnic area, with a children's playground and not visible in my photo, open air exercise machines. 
All right next to the main arterial road.  And I never knew.



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Leaving the community garden and crossing Eastern Valley Way I came to a cul de sac. On the corner leading into it there's this unobtrusive stone plinth declaring "Griffin Federation Track".  Another surprise.
Down the cul de sac, just when you think "Nowhere further to go" there's another plinth, its twin - one has to know what to look for, at the head of a steep, narrow flight of stairs, leading to:



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You coulda knocked me over wiv a feather - another well tended community garden.  And another children's playground.
Both childrens' playgrounds were being well used, but not wishing to be seen as a creepy old man, I don't photograph other people's children.



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I picked up this trail a little further along, at this sign.  (I haven't yet downloaded the Willoughby Walks App, because my phone is full of podcasts that I listen to along the way.)



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The sign led to a path, with stairs.  Lots of them.  Descending the stairs,



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I came to an enchanted forest,



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with grottos, caves, moss, lichen and birds flitting hither and thither - hard to believe that I was but a few hundred meters from the arterial road.
Inconceivable that houses and gardens are just above me, bordering on where I was walking.



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Eventually, reaching a lovely waterfall, I was nearing the end of the path through the enchanted forest



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When I emerged, to my delight, the tide was out and I could tippy toe out past the mangroves.
(Tippy toed?  Not so much.  Squelched, really) for several hundred meters



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right to the water's edge.  This would normally be under water.  Which is what the map reflects and why my GPS track shows me as having walked on water.
By this time I had worked up a good appetite, so I found a cool spot and polished off my snacks.  Because I knew that having walked down lots of steps,



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I would have to walk up lots of steps - with soggy socks.



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And I included the photograph above because oftentimes, the path entry/exit leads right past people's homes. 
Were it not for the signs like the post in my earlier photograph, you might not know that there's a public path and a trove of delight at the bottom of the path.
Full marks to Willoughby Council for putting up the signposts and maintaining the bushland paths.


Google is great, shows routes but it does not show steps. 
Strava, the GPS app which I use to trace my walks, gives an idea of what I've done:
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So next time, I'll treat myself and find a flatter walk.  Perhaps.

03 Being able to predict the future is not enough, we need early detection

Monday 6th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:

During the day today, 10 Australians will be told "You have Pancreatic cancer."

In 5 years, 9 out of those 10 will have died.

Early detection is vital, but difficult. 

Nicki was a remarkable woman; she was quiet, shy, thoughtful.  With an interesting, kooky quirky side and a great sense of fun.  She was blessed with a remarkable 6th sense, an ability to predict things.  It was an uncanny talent, more so because she was so accurate.

When she told me "Something's the matter with me" I believed her, even though she was outwardly well.  I accompanied her to every single consultation and the answers were always the same.  The specialists we consulted could find no symptoms, nothing wrong. 

After a year of consultation and testing, her Gastro specialist said "You've been so persistent that even though we've found nothing, I'm sending you to a particular specialist"

The specialist he sent us to was a remarkable man.  He put her scan on his lightbox on the wall, the very same scan that so many others had determined to be quite normal, "Nothing wrong!" and after studying it carefully, he quietly drew a red ring on it. 

Pointing to the circle he'd just drawn, he said  "I am very sad to have to tell you that I suspect that you have Pancreatic Cancer" .  He did not sugar coat anything, and gave us the survival statistics.  Bleak does not do it justice.  Early detection is vital and we'd lost a year.  Nicki displayed great fortitude and bravery, which never wavered throughout her illness.  I so often wonder about the year we lost, when her instinct, always so reliable, warned her that something was amiss.  Something that science and medicine failed to find.

Others might not have the same predictive talent.  Which is why what we are doing together, with this fundraising, is so very, very important.  We are funding research into early detection.

Click here to see how we are doing so far.  Thank you to so many who have taken this challenge to heart.


My undertaking to you is to walk  63km this month.

First Walk =                    12.78
Second Walk =                  9.44
Total thus far              22.22km

I still owe you                          40.78km


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My second walk followed one of the tributaries of Middle Harbour, starting near the Roseville Bridge and following the Southern side of the water as far as the river crossing.



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It is a stunning walk, passing above idyllic calm water with oyster beds and tidal mangroves.



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The first few kilometers of path is wide, mostly flat and makes for easy going


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The path is well frequented and really enjoyable, frequented by young and old and the bushland is stunning.



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The first section is a very popular walk and well graded and well maintained



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There are plenty of places to rest, have a breather and enjoy the ambience.  In this photograph you can just see the well graded picnic lawns on the far Northern bank.



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Approximately 3.5 km along the path, things become much more demanding.  The path becomes rocky, there are lots of steep climbs.
I continued until I'd walked nearly 5km, taking a break and a rest at the well known stepping stones crossing at the head of the tributary, before turning back to retrace my steps.

Where to next?

02 What have Henry Lawson, Walter Burley Griffin and Fatty Dawson in common?

Monday 6th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:
This week, 63 Australians will die from Pancreatic Cancer. 
This deadly cancer, with the highest mortality rate of all major cancers, will strike down one out of every 66 of us. 

Thank you all for helping me raise funds for research.  I'm overwhelmed by your generosity and support.  Together, we've blown my $5,000 target out of the water and with your help, as of the time I'm writing to you we've collected an astounding $5,982.00 . The link for donations is here

Having undertaken to walk 63km during this month and with yesterday being the first day of the month, I made a good start.

Sydney Harbour Bridge opened on March 19, 1932.  My first day's walk highlighted just how much the bridge's easy access to the Northern side of the harbour transformed the Northern suburbs of Sydney.  A piggery, less than 8km from the centre of the city?  Join me as I walk less than 5km from the bridge and explore with me some of the history through which I passed.


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My walk came close to the bridge approaches and I covered 12.97km. 

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My route meandered past Willoughby Leisure Centre and an unusual building that was erected by the Council 90 odd years ago, as a rubbish incinerator.  The architect of this unusual structure was Walter Burley Griffin, better known as having planned Canberra and laid out the suburb of CastleCrag.  As an incinerator it had limited success.  Today, the Incinerator has become a popular restaurant and art gallery. 

A walking/cycling trail adjacent to Willoughby Leisure Centre leads below the Incinerator, past a large cave said to be a refuge used for solace by Henry Lawson.  A little further on, the trail links to a bush path that follows Flat Rock Creek.  Just 5km from what would become our iconic Coathanger, Fatty Dawson lived on Flat Rock Creek and operated a piggery there in the 1860's.  He was said to be a hermit, but Go figure! -  maybe a man operating an early piggery was shunned by others as much as he shunned them? 

And what would Mr Dawson think of the hundreds of thousands of cars whizzing past his piggery every day, on their way to the harbour city?

During two depression eras (1890s and 1930s) work was created by implementing stonework lining the creek.  The stonework remains, along with the ruins of Fatty Dawson's farmhouse and 'tis easy to see how the creek gained its name.

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A delightful, higgledy piggledy bush walk follows the creek until it emerges under another famous and well known bridge.

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The attractive bridge signals the suburb of Northbridge and the path opens out below it to Tunks Park and Sydney's Middle Harbour.

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From where another bush trail leads into Northbridge proper and provides tantalising harbour glimpses.

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Along the path I met other bushwalkers, including Dave who showed me just how good the images from his I'phone could be.

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There's even the odd shipwreck, or two.  And no, thank you, the image above is not a shipwreck.  You will be forgiven for harbouring that thought.

At around 10km I'd 'had enough' but thoughts related to the infectiousness of the Covid Delta strain and sharing an Uber with a random driver spurred me homeward on foot.  The last 3 km seemed somehow longer than the first 3.

Where to next?

01 Ready steady, .......

Monday 6th Sep
Pancreatic Cancer fact:
Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers.

By joining me on this journey, you're contributing to vital research so that one day,  we can win the fight against this awful disease.

My undertaking is to walk 63km during the month of September. That's doable, made a little intense by lockdown.  But if one is walking a reasonable distance, you would think "Pack Light" to be sensible.  You'd be justified in thinking that a man of my advanced years should be able to minimise packing.  After all, I'm only going on a walk.  A 63km walk to be sure, but I'm not doing it in one fell swoop.  So a daypack it is, some energy foods, water and camera.  And I've been traveling - and packing for travel - my whole life.  But some people never learn. 

Maybe it was the upbringing that my Mum drilled into me.  "My son, one never, ever leaves the house without clean underwear!"  What?  Did she mean that unclean underwear was ok, as long as I was at home?   

So, pack some nuts, raisins, a few dates, some prunes - energy food and water, of course.  And a camera.  Which means, no space for a jumper.  But which lens?  Zoom lens, or prime? Wide angle, or telefoto? And wear clean underwear.  Of course.

And just as my Mother's words still ring in my ears, I've afflicted my own children by passing down my foibles.  My son James, after disciplining/admonishing my grandson, rolled his eyes heavenwards and said "Oh my God!!!"   I turned to him in alarm and asked, "What's wrong?"  He groaned and said "I'm beginning to sound like my Dad!"

So, traveling light?  Not so much.  Here's my daypack.  My first walk is this morning.  By the time you read this, I will be working up a sweat.

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I'm deeply touched by the level of support from so many wonderful friends to my Pancreatic fund raising effort.  Thank you all.  The donations have kept rolling in and it is encouraging and humbling to see how you've opened your hearts.  As of yesterday afternoon, which is when I last looked, you've contributed an amazing $4,678.00. I'm very close to my target of $5.000.00  Thank you all.

Gladys and her lockdown has rather limited my original planned choices of walkings.   But there's always a silver lining.  I've been out and about on my E-bike, scouting.  It was fun, and an eye opener.  Despite having lived in the same neighbourhood for over 30 years, I've found some truly beautiful neighbourhood walks that I've never found before.  Some secret, some not so secret. Right under my nose.  I'll be sharing them with you as I rack up the K's.

Just so you can enjoy them with me.


Thank you to my Sponsors

$1.02k

Repair & Restoration Services

Good luck with it all mate from all 4 of us here. Don't stop at the French patisserie on the way for you sugar hit will you !!

$630

Lindsay And Jeffrey Reinhardt

A lovely initiative in memory of a very lovely person

$515

Mtis Wealth Management

Such a worthy cause. Good luck Syd. Anna & the MTIS team

$515

Naden & Lyndon Millett

Keep on walking, Syd. You are now walking for two very special people.

$500

Gary Mcmillan

The McMillans are right behind you ,good luck on your walk.

$261

Geoffrey Nash

$261

David Mackie

Good on you Syd

$208.80

Aron Everett

Just read your recent update Syd and we are both very impressed with this latest achievement of yours considering your past medical history about which we knew nothing. Nicki would be so proud. Jen & Rob

$208.80

Syd Reinhardt

$187.92

Stephen And Lucy Chipkin

Go Syd! Great initiative

$156.60

Mrs Tammie Hotz

The Hotz family will be following your every step of the 63klm, just remember its not a race, pace yourself and you will cross the finishline, and Hotzy said you'll have this knocked over in a little over 3 hours!!!

$156.60

Simon Agar

Good luck Syd, a cause dear to your heart.

$154.51

Mark O'connor

Enjoy the walk Syd

$154.51

Peter Richards

well done Sid, its an honour to donate in the memory of you beautiful Nicki

$154.51

Emi And Richard Walton

Great cause, we have wonderful memories of you both on our ralleys

$154.51

Leigh

$150

Jane Cozens

In loving memory, Charl and Jane xx

$148

Mark And Tara Robertson

Great job Syd! Good luck Mark and Tara.

$148

Andrew Lydon

$131.54

Stephen Figgis

Syd, A little incentive to get you there and a little more to get you home. All for a good cause and a particular memory of somebody very close. Stephen F

$126

Michael Fisher

Go for your 63, Syd

$104.40

Daniel Byrne

It sounds like a great cause Syd. I hope you enjoy the walk.

$104.40

Mike Nicholls

Thats got you over your goal Fuck Cancer!!!!

$104.40

Adrian Lauretti

A great cause! Enjoy the walk Syd!

$104.40

David Stuart

Well done Syd you are walking for a good cause and Nicky would be proud.

$104.40

Wilga Coutts

go syd

$104.40

Deborah Frank

Good luck!

$104.40

Ashton Roskill

$104.40

Aron Everett

Good on you Syd a very worthy cause

$104.40

Tim Kierath

$100

Steven Pammenter

We miss Granny every day, such an amazing cause. Goodluck we'll know you'll smash it. xxx

$100

Dermot Thompson

All the best for the event Syd! I know you can ace it!

$78.30

Wilma Van Zeyl

A great cause Syd - Good luck and thinking of you all often.

$78.30

Rita Lubitz

more power to your legs Syd!!

$78.30

Trish Holdway

supporting research to overcome the disease that killed your beautiful, vibrant wife and a wonderfully giving and supportive friend.

$75.17

Stan Stern

Wishing you all the best Syd.

$75

Barrie Young

$65.77

Anonymous

$65.77

Jossel Ginsburg

You will walk it easily.

$63

Hurst Family

$63

Alan Saidman

Mate - hope you are walking the 63 kms in one day and not doing 2km per day over the month......Happy to support this for sure

$52.20

Jessica Martin

$50

Greg Reinhardt

Thank you raising funds for this excellent cause and sharing your adventures

$38.63

Giles Cooper

$31.32

Jane Reinhardt

In memory of a very special lady. Always in our hearts.

$20

Joshie Pops

Good job Dad. Love you both