After 290 kilometres on foot, Coo-ee Walk organiser Pieter Lindhout will spend the day in Bathurst to recharge as part of a long journey raising awareness for youth mental health.
Mr Lindhout arrived in Bathurst on Tuesday after a five-hour, 25-kilometre walk from Bathampton, serving as a key stretch in his 520-kilometre quest from Gilgandra to Sydney emulating a famous trail once taken by Australian World War One recruits.
"I was advised the first couple of weeks would be tough on the body but, 16 days into the walk, I'm feeling really strong and looking forward to completing the remainder of the journey," he said.
"The thing that's struck me about this walk is the amazing array of people I've met and the sheer kindness they've shown to support me on my travels."
Mr Lindhout said he spent Easter Sunday with a farming family near Blayney, and was blown away by their hospitality.
"They offered to pick me up from the end of my day's walk and drop me back at the very spot I finished, and we shared a fun evening of conversation and poetry around the 'bush tv' [campfire]," he said.
"And the number of people who give you a wave on the road, or donate you some supplies...I feel these small act help carry me each kilometre."
Mr Lindhout said the nature of reaching out to others is pivotal to the ongoing battle to treat youth mental health, of which his walk is serving as a fundraiser for Batyr, a preventative mental health organisation created and driven by young people for young people.
"Batyr do amazing work with students in regional NSW [including Bathurst], and their website provides plenty of information around the amazing work they do," he said.
"It's all about engaging with those five of every 30 students who may feel uncomfortable seeking support for mental health."
The walk has, to date, raised $14,888 of its $20,000 goal. To donate, visit www.cooeewalk.com.au.
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