Lost In The Outback With Laura the Koala

Lost In The Outback With Laura the Koala

Outing number 3 on my trip down under. I'm meant to be visiting my son, but Laura is much more fun. Oops - unintended piece of poor poetry there.

So I think I'll declare up front that there is a shred, but only a shred, of truth in today's blog. You see, I didn't actually take Laura into the outback and the whole run was so embarrassing that it has already been blotted from my consciousness. Intrigued?

It was back to pounding the streets of Adelaide today. Having an Australian Vodafone SIM in my phone meant the GPS was fully operational and I now knew where I was at any time. I did my 5 minute warm up, and turned on C25K week 2 (good music and I run straight through the whole podcast). I went down Bullitt Hill ( couchto5k.healthunlocked.co... and got straight to the park I managed to circumnavigate without finding on Tuesday. Through the park, and then it started to fall apart. As on run 1, everything was going so well to that point.

First, I missed the side street that was meant to take me away from the park towards my temporary home. Did I mention the koala? This was our first encounter. Realised my mistake, doubled back to regain my intended route - passing the dissinterested koala again. Going up the side street, I was getting hot so opened my shiny new water bottle only to find I couldn't figure out how to drink from it. I blame heat stroke but the koala's laugh said it all - I was simply an idiot! mmcinteractive.com/oz/05.jpg

Got water by unscrewing the filler. Now I found out why my hosts filled jugs of water each morning when they didn't drink it until the evening. It's to get rid of the chlorine. Imagine drinking from a swimming pool ... that horrible flavour enhancing quality given only by water purification chemicals. AAARGH - spit it out.

Back to the run. I came across a track that I hadn't spotted last time and it looked interesting, so off I went. But something felt wrong. It struck me as I passed a cute koala, and as it started laughing at me. I realised it was the same one as before. Yes, despite GPS, I had gone in a loop back to the park.

Back to the track, checked the GPS and this path DEFINITELY would take me home. Found where I had gone wrong and headed up the hill. Slowly - very slowly. Now the track ended next to some lovely executive homes. Do I go right, or do I go left? The GPS seemed to say right, so off I went. WRONG - it led me to the end of a cul de sac. Back to the track and head left - up an enormous hill. Next junction wasn't going to fool me. Not after another drink of chlorine cleared my head.

Did you ever see Hitchcock's 'The Birds'? The word had got round the koala population. Boring, fat old Scotsman providing endless entertainment. The trees lining the track seemed to be filled with koalas. I swear some were holding ripe tomatoes, ready to fire at me. But I ran the cuddly gauntlet, dashed up Bullitt Hill as fact as my tired legs would carry me. Took yet another wrong turning and, peculiarly, finished the run going downhill to the finish. No crampons needed this time, but goodness (and the entire koala population of Adelaide) knows where I had been.

I had survived, breathless, beetroot red and suffering from chlorine poisoning. But survived nonetheless. mmcinteractive.com/oz/06.jpg You know what I'm planning to do for run 4 in Oz? I'm going to throw away the GPS and water bottle ... and catch a bus!

Seriously, there was quite a lot of truth in this story. Next time I'll be going out with my son's partner who has a sports science degree. She knows her way around so there's no chance of getting lost. I just hope she can slow down to my Escargot pace.

8 Replies

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  • How I loved your trip, your account of the run is great. (Enjoy the bus ride - cross training day) Fingers crossed that your guided tour, with your personal guide goes well, Laura's going to get huffy but am sure she will enjoy koala story's.

  • that koala isnt disinterested, it's panicking because it's tree has disappeared!! great blog. keep it up! x

  • Good one! Actually, I think it's driving an invisible car ...

  • Great Blog well done and keep it up.

  • Great blog....look forward to hearing what you get up to with your son's partner.

    You will be running with Laura and another woman !

  • bless you, sounds quite traumatic actually, think I'd have sat down and cried at times if that was me!!

    I think its brilliant how you are getting on while away.

  • Thanks .... no doubt I'll find my way round just in time to catch the flight home.

  • Oh how I love your stories..........:)

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