Christchurch’s Lambda Latte walking group has been traipsing its way around the Christchurch area since 2004. Now the group is looking for new members to join for easy regular walks around the region.
The Lambda Latte Walking group was formed some years ago to cater for those of us in Christchurch who enjoy a regular walk with others. One of the foundation members of the Lambda Trampers, the late Ross Edgar, saw the need for shorter, less demanding walks to suit all ages.
It is designed to better accommodate those with time constraints – walks are located close to Christchurch and start at 10am to suit those who like a bit of a lie-in. A typical walk lasts two-three hours and will usually include an optional coffee stop afterwards.
Group spokesperson Tim Redwood was part of the Lambda Trampers back in the 1980s, but drifted away after finding the long tramps too demanding. A few years after the Latte group formed, Tim returned and began to walk with the group again.
“I’ve found that exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety and depression,” says Tim. “This has been especially valuable since the quakes!
“The Latte walks are shorter, catering for those who want to walk, but may not be fit enough for a full day tramp. The regular walkers are friendly and welcoming of newcomers. It is a great way to meet other members of our community. Many lasting friendships have been forged through the group.”
Tim says the group is pretty casual, with attendance always varying and walks being passed over for other fun activities if the weather packs in.
“The past few walks have seen around 18 attending,” he says. “Numbers tend to drop off if the weather is very cold or wet, and there have been occasions where we have skipped the walk because of inclement conditions and ended up having a good laugh round a hot coffee instead! The majority of the walkers are regulars, but we are very supportive of newcomers. Our walk schedule gives a contact person for each walk.
“It is a fun group that provides the Christchurch gay community with companionship and costs nothing to join. People can walk with the group if and when they want to and don’t have to commit to regularly coming – you just pick the walks you like and add them to your own schedule.”
Without getting too much into the earthquakes that rocked Christchurch, Tim says the quakes have reminded all people living in the city that it is people and connections that matter most.
“Since the quakes, a lot of the things we loved in Christchurch have been taken away. Groups like the Lambda Lattes help to fill in some of the gaps. It is a chance to just get back to some semblance of normality.”
Tim says he and the other walkers want to continue the legacy of group creator Ross Edgar, who was an extremely positive force in the group.
“While he may have been considerably older than anyone else in the group, he managed to walk at an astounding pace, and few could hang to his effortless stride,” says Tim. “If he spotted someone was not keeping up, he would drop back to the stragglers, so no one ever felt pressured.”
With Ross’ legacy in mind, Tim says Lambda Lattes welcomes newcomers. “Latte Walkers is open to all in our rainbow community and walks are scheduled every second Sunday,” says Tim. | Hannah JV
To find out more, there is a schedule of the Latte Walks on the Lambda Trampers website lambdatrampers.webs.com, or you can contact Tim on 03 332 2844.