Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Walking through the shires

Thirty-six years ago Grant (John) Cadoret decided he didn't want to work in the bank any longer and took to the roads - on foot.

ROB MUIR February 11, 2014 3:39pm

"I started out in a country bank. The bank offered me a job in the city and after two years I asked myself: 'Twenty-years of this? No', " he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

"I had no ambition to be a manager, had no ties. I thought: 'I'm going on a three-month hitch-hiking holiday'."

And except for three months when he looked after his ill dad in Caloundra, the only difference in lifestyle has been doing away with the hitch-hiking for solely walking.

and that's the way it has been for John for three decades.

"I walk a bit, sit down a bit, walk a bit, sit down a bit," the 59-year-old said. With the current heat wave, John's system is "two hours walking in the morning, sit down then go back walking in the evening". I cover 10 to 15 kms a day."

Last week we caught up with the Minyip-raised John walking along Spring Drive after passing through Corowa. Former Corowa Shire councillor and police sergeant, now RSPCA Inspector, Lionel Smith, alerted us about the man with four swags, one solely containing "lots of bottles of water at the moment".

"He doesn't get Centrelink, he doesn't ask for handouts but he accepts things and scrounges a bit. He just makes do and he's good to talk to," Lionel said.

"John didn't ask for anything but I gave him some tin food and some money to help him a little. He's appeared on Australian story, been on TV and in newspapers."

Years ago the roads took John all around Australia but these days it is Victoria to Queensland and back, via different routes.

"I came through Yarrawonga/Mulwala/Corowa two or three years ago but came along the other side of the river," he said. "I always keep my eyes open looking for anything. I pick up a few coins on the road, maybe two or three times a year a note. People hand me food or coins or a dollar.

"No complaints, just a few aches and pains. I love the life. I have a radio and find newspapers to keep up with the news.

"I get exercise. I don't know if I've got the best diet. I eat all the required stuff eventually." 

Last week John passed through Corowa, Mulwala and Yarrawonga on his way to Ballarat which will be via Cobram and Strathmerton. Ballarat is a popular location for various reasons.

"I have a brother and sister in Ballarat, they're both divorced. My parents were divorced. It's good catching up with them."

No doubt, sister, Michelle Cadoret, has hearty meals for her nomad brother to help meet the required food items, as well as areal sleeping bed.

John has no base. "When the police stop, it's 'no fixed abode'. I have no plans, it's just about the body keeping up.

"When that goes I might have to camp along the river if they don't lock me up or I might go into an old fella's home."


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