Saturday, 25 January 2014.
Once again I got up at 9am; made it to the local Subway by 10am; and boarded a northbound train from Town Hall station at around 11am.
Just before noon I got off the train and binned the litter from my Subway meal at Hornsby station, about 25 kilometres north-west of the Sydney CBD.
It was another glorious, if very hot, summer’s day.
I began walking south-east back towards the distant Sydney CBD.
Hornsby is the last major suburban centre in Sydney’s north, before the final few suburbs that lead to the countryside (the last of these suburbs is where I had an interesting experience back in late 2012).
Also, Hornsby has featured importantly several times throughout my life.
Hundreds of years ago back in my late-1970s childhood when I was briefly a gymnast, I participated in a major regional event one Saturday in Hornsby.
In the late 1980s, Hornsby was the last place where my paternal grandparents lived before my grandmother’s death in early 1989. After her funeral the wake was held at my grandparents’ Hornsby apartment.
In recent years, as the weekend of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade has become increasingly rowdier in my neighbourhood each year, I have stayed a couple of times in Hornsby to get some peace and quiet.
As well, because it’s about an hour or so by train from home and situated on one of Sydney’s major roads, Hornsby felt like another good starting-point for another long walk.
I headed south from the centre of Hornsby, and about 10 minutes later I came to the major road that would be my trail for almost all of my planned walk – the Pacific Highway.
The plan was to follow most of the Highway all the way back to where it starts in North Sydney, about 21 kilometres away. After North Sydney was a short walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney CBD, where I planned to officially end my walk and once again have dinner at Star Bar.
I had been driven along the Highway many times and I had also walked stretches of it here and there, so it was familiar territory – but because the Highway notoriously twists and turns a lot, I was unsure how long it would take to walk.
Fortunately, the Highway runs close to most of the North Shore railway line, so if I had to cut my walk short for any reason a train-ride home wouldn’t be far away.
Could I make it all the way from Hornsby to the Sydney CBD by foot?
I began following the Pacific Highway south-east to find out.
TO BE CONTINUED