A mixture of excitement and trepidation of the uncertainty of what's to come. I'm nearing home. Ditching the GPS and navigating by memory; every turn, landmark and pothole of about 300km radius is etched in my mind. However, something very different was there today .... Although navigating my patch's roads, there's an added element that this trip has given me; I am seeing these roads in a whole new beautiful way. A worldly view.
Elated to be getting home, but also scared for the unknown.
Approx 8 months living out of home (4 months out of my car and two suitcases and 4 months from panniers on the bike).
Stopping at the NSW - QLD border: Overlooking the mountains over Numinbah Valley and Natural Bridge, I knew it was just shy of an hour before being able to saddle down, greet my folks, hang up my gloves, have a shower, meal and ... sleep IN MY OWN BED (oh, what sheer luxury, feels like a Lux add!).... !! You'd think I couldn't wait to get home... but alas I was finding myself make a beeline for some of my fave twisty roads skirting around the Gold Coast Hinterland before getting home. Having one last blast, unbaggaged just for fun.
Visiting one of my fave secret, quiet spots in the GC Hinterland to gather my thoughts before hitting civilization again... I'm definitely appreciating the local sights in a whole new level. Kind of like a mini Gippsland area of my own, 25 mins from home. Toto, there's no place like home! (or is there??) . I was deep in meditative thought, and drunk on the sights that I didn't notice a herd approaching. A happy photobombing cow got me out of the mood and reminded me I had better get back before sundown (and skippies emerging).
I'm now at the point where I'm not sure where is where and what is when. But it's a delicious feeling and one which I'll try cherish as long as I can. As Petesul stated before "I'm beginning to think "home" is 2 wheels...." and I am starting to agree....
Later that night I was able to stand in front of a full length mirror for the first time in ages... I could hardly recognise myself. Just like a scientist looks down at their subject with much curiosity and without judgement, I took the time to do the same. I have lost weight, but it has mostly been muscle. Gone a bit softer in the middle. My hair is longer, and the ends are as frayed from being exposed to the elements as an outdoor hard bristled broom. The bridge of my nose, cheeks and lips are red and dry from wind burn. My eyes are slightly blood shot and I have deeper bags under my eyes. My knuckles aren't healing as well as I would like and the joints in my hands and wrists feel like they have the onset of tendinitis. My knees ache. I'm in general - a little worse for wear. And I'm tired.... but there is one thing that has changed that's made it all worth it - I have more wrinkles... a deeper set smile.
This is the end of Phase 1 of my trip. You could almost say it was the 'easy part'. Now I'll need to do some SERIOUS thinking about what I'm going to do next with so much uncertainty . Phase 2 will come within the next week. The initial though was to go up north to Cape Tribulation for some thawing! lo l But now i'm not so sure... The world is my oyster, and I'm more than scared at the sheer amount of possibilities . Eric , you are so right in saying that there are 3 parts to a large journey.... and I am mostly scared for the 3rd part - The 'downer' .... I understand everything that goes up, must come down. I am trying to prepare for it; but how do you prepare yourself for this??
At the moment all I can think of is - faith. I have faith that things will work out in time, and I have faith in judgement (or I can only hope). I listen and look towards other riders for their years of experiences, as to tread softly.
At least for today. I'll stop thinking and I'm going to reacquaint myself with what my own bed used to feel like!