I still have vivid memories of when I was nine, perhaps ten, being with my father as he travelled to some of the fantastic landscapes of northeast Victoria in Australia. Travelling, learning about the landscapes and listening to discussions with people about their work, landscapes, communities and hopes for the future made a big impression. I didn’t realise the significance of this until later in my life.
But their significance did emerge – through university studies, my professional work, teaching in various universities and being ‘out there’. I’ve been fortunate to have understood more about rural landscapes and the people who live in them.
I’ve been a walker, cyclist, canoeist and camper for a long time – long enough to remember the pain of walking with external frame rucksacks. I still have scars on my hips to prove it I’m sure. (For those of you who have never heard of external frame rucksacks, do a quick web search.)
My first hiking tent weighed about 5 kg if my memory serves me correctly. It was ‘A’ frame and the fly went on separately to the inner. When the tent went up in the rain, invariably the inside was wet before the fly got on. Wet weather gear consisted of Japara rain jackets and breathable rain gear was some glint in a scientist’s eye in someone’s laboratory. I was so happy when I bought my first geared bike – a 3-gear heavy beast which made contours ever-so-slightly easier.
But there is no way I’m going to say ‘Ahh.Those were the days’. Things improve, technology has made walking, cycling and paddling easier, safer and more comfortable.
Come and join me. You can get in touch/stay in touch via the links below or get to know more about me by going to my site at BRIAN FURZE