March 10, 2007

to hike, or amble - that is the question?

People here are big on hiking. Well, big on talking about hiking, at any rate. The actual execution of said hike is a little different to what I always expect... I think it's a semantics problem. My idea of a hike is a moderately strenuous or even very strenuous walk in terrain that is not paved or tarred. I expect some climbs and dips and I expect to get my shoes dusty and become quite thirsty with the effort of walking (as opposed to thirsty from too much pink bubblegum). I expect the walk to last for a few hours and I expect to cover a resonable amount of territory.

I have been on many hikes with many different people in this town now and have seldom experienced any of the above. At best it's a little amble on a tarred road with maybe a hillock as steep as an average driveway, at worst it becomes akin to a window-shopping walk. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal in the human breast and every time I get fooled into thinking this time it'll be the real thing! So I bring all my hiking paraphenalia: bottled water, cap, suntan lotion, a small satchel, closed shoes and socks and my CPR mouthpiece.... only to spend 30 mins walking along a road before turning back and retracing our steps to the car. Then of course, my hiking partners go off to the gym for a real workout on the treadmill!

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