Oct. 15, 2015 Live from the road

Katanning, WA - Mount Barker, WA

Reported by Amalendu Edelsten 121.0 km

Running out of Katanning at 6.30am was a delightful experience. The torch provided warmth, the birds provided music and the occasional car or truck provided an encouraging wave. Being able to indulge in a nice slow start to the day's running was welcome. The van picked me up at 7.30 and it was back to business as normal. 18km later we were finished that segment of running and we drove to Tambellup Primary School.

Anubha, who was running the last leg in to Tambellup, was accompanied by a young student on her way to the school.

We were met by Kendell the school principal, who warmly welcomed us into the school as he collected classes to join us.

Learning the song ...

... and feeling peace inside.

The two school captains, Simon and Karis, received the Certificate of Appreciation and the World Harmony Poster.

They then carried the torch outside where the students formed a circle and each made a wish for peace as they held the torch.

The older students organised the planting of the Peace Tree, a red bottle brush provided by the town council.

All the students were enthusiastic about the project and will take great care of it.

Then it was time for a run around the school grounds with the Peace Torch.

As Anubha commenced the run away from the school, the children lined up along the fence and high fived her on her way.

Completing our running to Cranbrook ...

... we found the Councillors and workers already waiting for us on the street well before the scheduled meeting time.

The Shire President, Jan Pope was there to welcome us but had no idea she had been nominated to receive a Torch-Bearer Award for her huge contribution to the community of Cranbrook.

The ceremony was held in the park directly opposite the Shire Chambers where under the direction of Works Manager Jeff Alderton, two trees were planted and the plaque attached to a large stone between the two trees.

Twynam Cunningham, Vice President, made a lovely speech about the many contributions Jan has made over her lifetime in this region. She has served as a councillor for 16 years, Shire President for 4 years and had a hand in nearly every community function for decades. A very worthy recipient for the Peace Run Torch-Bearer Award.

We had a lovely lunch in the Chambers organised by Vanessa Fiegert and met Cassandra Hughes and Trish Standish, two of the very friendly managers working for the council.

We finally had to tear ourselves away from their generous hospitality to make our way ...

... to Cranbrook Primary School.

Michael Smith, Principal, introduced us to the students, who were very fascinated by the global nature of the Peace Run and asked many questions about which countries had participated in the run. The 2 school captains came up to receive the certificate and World Harmony poster.

Singing the World Harmony Run song.

The students all had a chance to hold the torch outside and led by their Principal, Michael, completed a lap of the quadrangle with the torch. After several group photos we had to say goodbye ...

... and run our way to Mount Barker, a mere 41km down the road.

As we pulled into the car park in front of the Shire of Plantagenet (Mount Barker) ...

... we were greeted by husband and wife team photographer and journalist for photos and stories of the run.

The Shire President, Ken Clements came to meet us in the car park and explained the origin of the Shire's name as walked into the Chambers.

Ken was a fund of knowledge of this area having served on the council for more than 20 years. The team gave a good performance of the two songs composed by Sri Chinmoy for the Peace Run ...

... and headed outside for the planting of the new Jonathon Apple tree, which continued the trend of apple trees in the orchard behind the chambers. These reflect the history of the area as a major apple producer in the past.

The feast they provided for us was unbelievable: pizzas, muffins, fruit and cheese platters, all assisted by tea and coffee. Their generosity saw us unable to refuse taking the left-overs with us, providing a lovely supper after our adventure at Porongorup National Park.

Ken and deputy CEO, John Fathers, told us of the remains of the oldest mountain range in the world from the Gondwanaland era. We decided we had to visit this area immediately and drove out to Castle Rock in Porongorup National Park. It proved to be a strenuous walk uphill through beautiful bush land ...

... emerging on huge granite rocks, some precariously balanced.

They have developed a sky walk with a steel ladder proceeding vertically up the rock face. The walk way is perched off the side of the rock hundreds of metres up above the bush land below.

The views were fantastic in the light of the setting sun.

The Peace Torch was proudly held aloft.

Reaching our accommodation quite late, we were guided in by Bev from Big Bird and Wolf Chalets, situated on a picturesque hill north east of Mount Barker. Bev's generosity was welcome after the long day and we wish we could have taken up her offer of another night’s stay here to recover.

The finishing touch was the plate of tim tams she left for us in the fridge. All were gratefully received.

Torch carried by
Amalendu Edelsten (Australia), Anubha Baird (Australia), Batbayar Bayarkhuu (Mongolia), Hastakamala Diaz (Australia), Medhavati Nasan-ULzil (Mongolia), Prabuddha Nicol (Australia), Rajpal File (New Zealand), Rathin Boulton (Australia), Saranyu Pearson (Australia).  
Hastakamala Diaz, Prabuddha Nicol, Rathin Boulton
The torch has travelled 121.0 km from Katanning, WA to Mount Barker, WA.

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