I Venture Out


Monday 18 May

Jet Lag! Nah, I wasn’t going to suffer jet lag, that is for wimps. Yeah right! After nearly 12 hours sleep I feel and look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. Still, a whole new world is out there to be explored. I need a few things first so Deb and I head out to the shops looking for a new pair of hiking boots for me and some outdoor chairs for Deb. This takes us about 4 hours because there is just so much to choose from and a fair distance between the different places.

REI is an outdoor emporium which makes Kathmandu and Jurkiewicz look like corner shops. The store we went to was huge. I was overjoyed to find a walking boot that is the same brand as the ones that I have been walking in for the past 16 years. The old ones are so comfortable that I cold sleep in them but they are looking all of their 16 years plus many k’s of bushwalking and every day wear. I had tried on some others earlier in the day and they were OK but the Vasque boots that I tried on in REI were just so comfortable – yep I’ll take those thank you. I have to buy some cycling stuff as well but both of us were all shopped out for the day so we decided that those things could wait for another day.

On the way out of the REI Deb said that she would take me to an even bigger REI with much more choice and I just couldn’t believe that there would be such a thing. More about that next time.

On the way home to Petaluma we pondered what to have for dinner and decided on the spur of the moment that eating out was the way to go and there was a great little mexican restaurant just round the corner so Mexican it is. The restaurant was fairly crowded at 6.30 but we were able to get a table. Dinner was great, although again I was a bit sceptical about it before we got there but the food was teriffic and washed down by a quite passable beer called Millers (not the same as our Millers), Corona being the other one on offer I think the Millers was a good choice.

I am a fan of Mexican food already.

Tuesday 19 May

Another slow start but today we are going to break in the walking boots. Once again we had a few errands to do in the morning but after lunch we drove to Olompali State Park and Mt Burdell. The park overlooks the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay from the east-facing slopes of 1,558 foot Mount Burdell. We walked the trail for about two hours then realised that we would have to get back to the car in a hurry because the gates were due to shut.

On the way I was introduced to stuff that I have only seen in Disney Movies; a doe that looked strait out of Bambi and she was so tame, then there was a cheeky grey squirrel that chased as as we walked and it jumped from branch to branch. There were a million lizards, a small snake so many dragon flies that were all different colours and a fair few butterflies. I was introduced to the charms of Poison Oak although not first hand fortunately. Its bite is a bit like stinging nettle apparently but a fair bit worse.

Wednesday 20 May

Today is a sort of a rest day, my jet lag is catching up with me a bit and I am feeling a tad listless. Deb has gone to work (she works one day a week) and I am free to just do what I want. The most energetic thing I did was go for a short walk down the road and back. I didn’t get too adventurous because my geography is still very suss and I am having trouble working out which way is up. Later in the evening Deb and I did a ‘neighbourhood’ walk which was about two k around some of the back roads of Penngrove.

Thursday 21 May

Yoga this morning and it was good to have an easy workout. Deb runs a class at a local Yoga centre and is slowly gaining some students. I was there to bolster the numbers as well as to get my weekly Yoga fix. It was a great class and I think Deb will do ok in the future.

After Yoga we did a walk around Petaluma township and had an absolutely fantastic breakfast at a little caf by the river. My choice was pecan waffle dripping with real maple syrup and a big dollop of icecream. Oh how wonderful! We had a bit of a stroll and then headed off to do some more searching for outdoor furniture and some bicycle necessities for me. 

Remember that I doubted the fact that we would go to an even bigger outdoor shop than the one we were at on Monday. This place was huge, and I mean HUGE. Size isn’t everything though and it really didn’t have a huge range of cycling stuff but I did manage to get most of what I needed. The prices are really excellent as well. Now I will have to break in a new bicycle helmet which is never a really happy experience for someone with a head almost totally devoid of thatch.

Enough for now.

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