HE’s taken on a challenge which would be daunting for a man half his age and so far former Fairfax journalist Malcom Brown. 64, has come through with flying colours.
Mr Brown has set himself the treacherous task of walking from Sydney to Dubbo, where his journalism career began.
Walking in solitude in the heat of summer on roads he says are not user friendly for trekkers and bikers, Mr Brown says so far his preparation for the long journey has paid off.
“In the two months leading up to Christmas Day when I left Sydney I tried to average between 30 and 40 kilometres a day, two to three times a week, “ he said.
Apart from a blister on his foot and fatigue at the end of the day he says he has been buoyed by the support of passers by.
“I have been surprised by the level of interest from places where I stop along the way,” he said.
“Out of Bathurst yesterday I even had a couple wish me well who had decided to drive back out with a coffee for me,” he said.
With many hours on the road alone with the occasional horn from a passing vehicle, Mr Brown said he has been able to soak up the topography of the land and directly relate it to the pioneers who headed west after conquering the Blue Mountains.
However, he says it is the historical significance of villages and towns which has impacted on his walk so far.
“Today I stopped at the Beekeeper’s Inn which was of course an original stopover for Cobb and Co and I walked past the historic Wentworth Mine at Lucknow,” he said.
Using his highly-tuned powers of observation from many years spent as a senior journalist, Mr Brown said other aspects of the scenery such as the vegetation have captured his interest.
“The poplar tree for example is everywhere along the way, and considering it is an introduced species along with the willow, it has done remarkably well here,” he said.
After staying in Orange last night with members of the Orange Historical Society, Mr Brown is heading for Molong today, followed by Wellington, Geurie and then on to Dubbo where he hopes to arrive next Wednesday.
“I want to end my journey in Dubbo at the Cenotaph because I believe these structures are the spirit of any community,” he said.
Mr Brown said he is considering compiling his experiences from his long trek to pen to paper and write a book on his trekking experience.