Updates From People Around The World
With many countries beginning to loosen quarantine restrictions and opening in phases we have been checking in with our travelers as well as our staff and tour leaders. Lindy Lester from Australia sent us this letter and profile.
Lindy Lester, Australia
I live on a sheep and cattle property out of Geelong, the second city after Melbourne in the State of Victoria in the SE of Australia. We live very close to the start of the iconic area of The Great Ocean Road and Torquay, the surfing capitol of Australia. This area is one of our playgrounds both on and off the bike.
Life is so different for us all under COVID. Since mid March, various restrictions have been in place. Having had them relaxed a little in June, it was even harder when they were reintroduced in early August, after Victoria’s numbers started to climb again. The borders between all the states are shut to us and we are the Covid capitol of Australia. The rest of Australia, having seen our second wave and that of our neighbours in New Zealand, realise that ongoing extreme vigilance is required. A State of Emergency is in place. In Melbourne, Stage 4 is currently in place with an 8:00pm – 5:00am curfew, movement limits of 5 kms from home and outside of home limits of one hour. Here in regional Victoria, we are in Stage 3. Facemasks are mandatory, all schools are learning remotely, all those who are able to work from home must do so and all cafes and restaurants are closed except for takeaway. Gyms, libraries, galleries etc., which reopened briefly are closed again, as are all public gatherings including weddings and funerals which are limited to a few people only. We are only permitted to be outside with one other person and no visitors are permitted to our homes. Our economy is shot!!!
What does this mean? As a cyclist and president of our local cycling group of over 90 members, Geelong Touring Cyclists, I have twice had to cancel our 4 rides/week calendar. At present we may ride with one other person only. Our WhatsApp stream is working overtime as riders try to organise a ride for the next day. As for myself, I never know what I will feel like doing the next day, hence I ride solo. Depending on the weather, I decide where I will ride and my husband Don meets me for coffee. Days that I choose not to ride, we have a drive someplace in our locality and are discovering lots of hidden places. Other than that we stay pretty much at home. Our winter was fairly mild and rarely interrupted our 4:00pm walk which we started doing in March. Spring with its promise of warmer weather has arrived and hopefully that will mean more cycling and out of door activities. Until life beyond Covid arrives, at home I keep busy with jigsaws and reading and I have taken on a few extra Italian conversation classes/week. I have slide shows of holidays and various bike rides playing through constantly. The delayed Tour de France has just started so there is now also late nights of TV.
On a personal note: I thought that not travelling overseas until 2022 would be the worst thing that could happen to me, having already had to cancel our big European trip this year, May-June. I travel to Italy every year and miss it greatly. Now I realise the worst thing is being separated from family. Facetime is working overtime as I talk with grandson, Charlie 10 months, in the NW of Western Australia, whom I have not seen since Christmas, and my granddaughters in Adelaide in South Australia. I talk and read with Mizuki, 5 years, every afternoon. I am yet to meet, Hikari 4 months in the flesh. It breaks my heart. All of our fingers are crossed for a Christmas get together. I have one son living locally in Geelong and he checks in on us weekly.
I have enjoyed my many rides in Italy with ExperiencePlus! and the friends I have made – Hi to you all! Hopefully I will get there again although age is slowly creeping up!
Take care and Stay well – Lindy