Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Greetings from planet Earth!

ODO 111k

Well hello there.

I am writing, sadly, from the end of the road. I'm back in Sydney, and the journey therefore, is over.

It's good to be home!

The last leg of the journey was as excellently inspiring as any other, and went surprisingly according to plan. I got from Perth to Sydney in five days, covering 4,900 km, including a 350km 'rest day' in Adelaide.
I did change the plans a little along the way, though. I ended up going through fabulous Esperance on the WA south coust, and all the way around the Eyre Peninsula in SA. I got to Adelaide and decided going to Melbourne first was an unnecessary pain in the arse, coming straight back here to recuperate. The day-by-day showed 1005km - 1180km - 1150km - 350km - 1236km - That last one a new record, my longest day in the saddle! It's good to know, though, that if I'd needed to I could have arisen an hour earlier each day, and would have gotten maybe an extra half hour if I was travelling East to West. The real surprise was that after three odd months of never travelling more than 5-600km in a day, I got to the end of my cross-country jaunt and wanted to keep going! I got home and just couldn't sleep - I haven't felt tired, in fact, since shortly after arriving in Perth. So the body's travelling well.
Next time I ride to WA I think I'll do it in three days, just to prove it's possible.

Just because I travelled it without delay, doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ride. In fact, the leg reminded me what riding has always been about - being on the road. I've been far too much of a traveller - even often a tourist - on this trip. So concerned about where I'm going to stop, what I'm going to do, and what I can't miss... sure I did a lot of stuff, but next time round I think I'll relax and spend more quality time just coursing with the ebb of the European veins that cross the land.

So many stretches along this last leg are exceptional, just fantastic, totally negating any need to stop to search out attractions. Of course it helps that there isn't anything to stop for, nothing beyond the endless stretches of desert, scrub and coastline, for kilometre after kilometre. 120km/h is standing still when you're on a 147km straight.

The endlessness doesn't imply any lack of variation, however. The only invariant on any stretch is the road - the long, black ribbon, built to specification, slapped onto the land to make it possible to skoot through without regard, the fly through and think just because the road doesn't change, because so few signs of habitation mark the scenery, that the world doesn't either. To make it possible to see more bikes on trailers than actually with riders! As someone who was there, it's incomprehensible why so many people would deprive themselves of the opportunity to cross the Nullarbor. And the Eyre Peninsula! So much to see.

So if you get the chance, don't waste it!

So now I'm here, I'm trying to catch up with the world, trying to enjoy a last little stretch at one home before I move on to the new one. Looking forward to Melbourne very much, looking forward to starting work with VAGO, looking forward to starting something without knowing where it will end. It's a different journey when you don't know that you'll be returning to the beginning again.

Now that I'm back on a computer I can upload photos etc. once again - when I finally track down my USB cable. I admittedly haven't gone to town since my last upload, many weeks ago, but there will be a few shots there for sure.

All that's left now are a few loose ends. I'm looking to finish with this journey, but it's one of those things that you'll never leave behind.

Thanks for sticking with it!


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