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Friday, April 14, 2017

Writer Fitness: Walking with Ingress and PokemonGo

It was a beautiful Canberra autumn day,and I'd been cooped up at home for most of the week with a little one that was under the weather, and an essay on Wittek's ghazi theory to complete, so, with the little one in safe hands, and the essay done bar a few extra references and some formatting, I went walking. I needed a long walk just to clear the cobwebs, and Ingress had just the thing.

I'd started a mission series a few weeks ago, and hadn't been able to get out to finish it, until today, when I set out to complete the last 9 missions in the set... and maybe add a few more kilometres towards the trekkers medal, while hatching a few eggs for PokemonGo.

Well, that was the plan, anyway - and it worked beautifully.

The buses ran on time, and I was down by Lake Burley Griffin by half ten or so, finishing Enlightened agent, Wharty's, pictoral series called The Burley Trail. Starting at the National Carillon, the Trail takes you along the edge of the lake to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge, and then across and along the south side of the lake to the Kings Avenue bridge and back to the Carillon. Along the way, you get to explore the memorials and sculptures along the shoreline, or close to it.

And at the end, you end up with the picture you can see just under the achievement medals below. (Ignore those; we'll get to those in a minute. Just enjoy the picture - it's worth the walk.)


Now, speaking of medals, that was the other bonus from today. I finally hit gold on the Builder's medal - and, no, most of that blue wasn't me, but another Resistance agent or three. I just bolstered a couple of portals, took a couple more, turned them blue, and fully deployed them, and was very pleasantly surprised, when this little chap popped up on the scanner. Mind you, I now have to go do it all again to get to platinum, but still...


And, in addition to the walking for Ingress, I played a bit of PokemonGo, switching back and forth so I could stock up on pokeballs - the Lake has a ton of stops to spin - and maybe catch the odd pokemon. I didn't get any new types, but I did manage to hatch three 2km eggs. These little guys, all "strong" or able to "battle with the best of them", were welcome additions to the poke-queue.


I have to admit that, while all this was nice, the best part of the day was getting acquainted with the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery. I'd skirted the edges, but the end of mission 14 takes you into the gardens, and the very first portal at the start of mission 18 takes you back to the lake's edge. What lies in the missions in between is magical - especially on a day when the sun is shining, and the weather isn't too hot, and the cockatoos come over in flights, shrieking fit to wake the dead, their wings gleaming against the sky. It was a sight I was, unfortunately, not quick enough to capture on camera, but I'll come back for another go. In the meantime, here's some of what I did remember to photograph on this leg of the series:


A wolf guardian,
 

a woman, who was clearly tired of whatever the two blokes in the background are arguing about,
 

not that they cared; they just kept on with whatever it was that had them going - perhaps it was something to do with the benefits of waste over recycling...
 

which was clearly causing the nearby group of fellows some consternation,
 

although I think this woman was in agreement with the other, and wanted them all to just be quiet,
 

  because she and her friend had yet to master the art of relaxing.


 I left them to take another path, which wound through the trees, and brought me to this startling sight,
 

and then these, who stood not far from some of the spookiest heads, I have ever seen - which will be the subject of another trip with something more suited to what I wanted to do than the phone camera.


There was also this strange construction, which frames the pole statues behind it, beautifully, but which I'm still trying to work out a meaning for.

All in all, it was a lovely day for a walk, a great walk, and some more beauty spots to mark down for a revisit at a later date.

And those spooky heads, the ones in the pond?

Yeah - there's a story out there with their name on it as inspiration.

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