Australia 12 February: Brisbane - Boonah

The Australian team hits the road...

Today is the start of the Australian leg of our round-the-world Southern Hemisphere Peace Run, a journey that will take the runners on a journey from Brisbane all the way to Melbourne...

For the first day of running, we split up into three small teams to cover the distance. The womens' team had the unenviable task of navigating their way out of Brisbane...

...and the two mens' teams covered the distance from Ipswich to the town of Boonah, where we would spend the night.

Due to fire restrictions in Australia, we can't light the torch while we are running, so occasionally we find a creative workaround...

Valeriy puts in his turn running with the torch...

Australia is vast.

We complete our running schedule in the morning, and then return to Brisbane for a school appointment...

A little entertainment while we are waiting for the programme to start...

The seniors come out to greet us as we enter Dutton Park State School...

A bug thank you to students Gemma, Milica, Jasmine and Lyra for introducing the runners.

Our team captain, Devashishu Torpy, thanks everyone for being such wonderful hosts!

We sing the World Harmony Run song composed by Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy; we have actions that go with the words that the children can join in with...

..and yes, the teachers can join in too!

A little theatrical skit - a highly competitive 100 meter Olympic final. Will we see some sportsmanship, or will we see the opposite? (judging from the look on Akrura's face, the odds don't look good)

Some beautiful and thoughtful poetry and artwork on Peace....

What Peace means to me
Goes with Creatures land and sea
Everybody comes together
To show respect forever and ever
We do not like wars
That's why we have laws
You should not be fearful
For our community is peaceful
- Holly Pryor, student
(read out during ceremony)

Thank you Dutton Park State School! We hope we can be back at some point in the future...

Then the runners drive back out to Boonah, along the route of our already-completed mileage, to where we will be staying the night...

The girls are very happy to stay in the Boonah Valley Motel for the night....

...as well as The Old Church Road Bed and Breakfast! Thank you to both!

And then its time to get out of running clothes and go to dinner...

We are being treated to dinner by Australian Peace Run co-ordinator Prachar Stegemann, who is joined by his 91-year-old mother Ellen, who lives in the area, as well as his brother. Prachar made a last-minute decision to join us for this part of the Run from Brisbane, and we are very happy to have him!

A good-bye to Nirbhasa, who was on the Peace Run team in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea...

..and a big thank you to our chef!

Planning the next day's schedule...

So that's it from the first full day of our Australian Peace Run. All our team is now in place, including Robert from Hungary (above), and itching to run for Peace! Stay tuned for further adventures...