Day 27 Hampton

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

– John Muir

Date 10th September

This morning when I woke up there was a ziplock bag on the floor near the door. Someone had slid a $20 donation in under the door while I slept! How cool is that 🙂

I went straight to the café and got the pancakes and a coffee. I was pretty excited about it. There were two pancakes, which were topped with bacon and egg and maple syrup. I was pretty grossed out by the idea of the egg getting on the pancakes, so I slid it off onto the saucer that came under the coffee mug. It was kind of hard to eat the egg because I have these weird rules about how to eat eggs and all of them require the use of toast, which I didn’t have, but seeing as I paid for the whole shebang I told myself to stop being so ridiculous and just eat it. I made very sure not to get any egg mixed up with the pancake. That was an offence I simply could not tolerate!

I didn’t have that far to walk to get to Hampton, so I went back to the café after I got ready and thought I’d get another coffee, but I decided on a milkshake instead. Carole from the shoe shop had rang them since I’d been in for breakfast and told them what I was doing, so they gave me the milkshake for free and also a $20 donation, which was really awesome. I got talking to some ladies at a table next to me and they gave me a donation too.

A wrote a little observational-type story about the people who surrounded me in the café:

They all sat in the café, sipping various forms of caffeine, hazelnut and chocolate. The girls, who looked to be in their late teens or early twenties, sat facing each other at a table too small to comfortably accommodate two people. They ate scones and looked as though they belonged to another time, their mannerisms not representative of others their own age. They were both beautiful in a way that held no gaudiness or garish colour.

The couple at another small table next to the girls sat not talking to each other. The woman studied a photocopied map. Some sections were coloured with orange highlighter. The man talked quietly into his mobile phone and rubbed his nose. Momentarily he gave up on his nose, and picking up a pen, began to record notes, relevant no doubt to the phone call that occupied him. Perhaps they were hunting real estate or maybe nature. Could they be ecologists? They didn’t have the right look nor the right clothing. No boots, just sneakers.

Another couple sat against the wall, not talking to each other, in fact not even looking in each other’s direction. The man seemed stern, sad and perhaps even lost. He had the look of someone who had spent the night prior in tears and turmoil. His face looked as though it was foreign to smiling.

The scent of Lily of the Valley wafts around the room, weaving a path through the aromas of coffee and bacon. To me a scent of new beginnings; the future arriving on a wave of perfume.

Some children enter. Both dressed I can tell in happy weekend clothing, kept aside for semi-special occasions. A morning tea at the café with their mothers. Playing at adults, although one of them cannot help but click her shoes, which seem un-worn, against the brushed concrete floor. An unadult-like act. How long will it be before she no longer takes pleasure in the simple of things of childhood like fluorescent lights and Christmas eve?

After the café I went over to the shoeshop to say good-bye to Carole. She said she put some stuff about me on Facebook. I told her the café gave me a free milkshake, but I forgot to tell her that they also gave me a donation. I felt bad about that later on.

The walk to Hampton was fine, but all up massive hills until I got to the pine forest. It was a bit of an effort to get in there though. I had to make my own little bridge out of an old fence railing. The embankment was too high to step up onto. I probably could have done it, but I thought it was safer to make a little bridge instead, which I promptly almost slipped off. I got in there eventually. It was a great place to walk. I’ve always loved pine forests.

I’d originally planned to camp at the tourist information centre in Hampton, but when I called in to see the staff about it when I was planning the walk, the manager (Kerri) was there and told me I should stay with her and her family instead. Just as I arrived at the top of Kerri’s road it started raining. Luckily I only had 300 metres to walk!

I really liked Kerri, her husband Graeme and their two kids Ruby and Ayla. I told Kerri that she and Graeme would be our “dream friends” if we lived close enough to spend time with them. Graeme had a massive collection of really obscure punk music on vinyl, so we had an excellent discussion about music and the  influence of old punk bands like the Scientists. I got to talk about Violent Femmes and even Gillian Welch (who is certainly not punk, by the way!)  to people who actually knew who I was talking about. Yay!

canadian-pancakes

The Canadian pancakes. The bacon I can do, the egg I can’t.

 

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