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4 May, 2021

The solo Coo-ee March concludes

Pieter Lindhout, the solo Coo-ee Marcher that Gilgandra Weekly has been following since the beginning of his walk, has finally concluded his month-long walk – with no blisters in sight.

By Emily Middleton

Officially ending at the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day in Martin Place, Mr Lindhout was grateful for the experience he had had.

Walking over ANZAC Bridge at 3:30am, the bridge was lit up with ‘Lest We Forget’.

“It was a beautiful service,” said Mr Lindhout.

“So many people came and spoke and the things we love so much with the Ode, with the trumpet playing, a beautiful Maori choir, there was a whole sea of wreaths laid. A beautiful touching service and a lovely time for me to reflect on a lot of the things I had been reflecting on over the last month, and just feeling very grateful for arriving safely.”

Mr Lindhout was sad to see the countryside go, as he began his walk past the mountains into Sydney.

“It’s sublime, just the serenity. It’s incredibly meditative. Clear mind, and you’re really at peace with yourself and the world around you. It’s quite a unique experience. So, day 28 when I walked from Springwood into Emu Plains and Penrith, and off to Rooty Hill and then Parramatta and into the city – it’s just a city experience. Which for me, is not as pleasant or satisfying.”

For Mr Lindhout, he understood the importance of the Coo-ee March, especially to Gilgandra.

“I have really enjoyed carrying the flame of Gilgandra. So, when I met the mayor on day one, he said that ‘we are really proud of the Coo-ee March here in Gil, thank you for walking,’ and I thought wow, that’s really interesting. And as I walked more and more and talked about the Coo-ee March, there’s a certain age of people that just get it, you don’t even have to explain it. So, I felt quite privileged to carry that flame from Gilgandra to the city for the Coo-ee marchers and for the memory of the Coo-ee marchers.”

Finally, after a month of walking, the hard work paid off and Mr Lindhout managed to raise over $20,000 for Batyr - raising awareness for youth mental health. Mr Lindhout already has itchy feet and is keen for his potential next big walk – coast to coast! However, has been banned from talking about long walks for the next little while by his wife.

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