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The Wizard of Oz - Toto, there's no place like home! (Part 2)

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    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.:love: 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). :oldman:

    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.(y)


    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<3. Toto, there's no place like home! (or is there??) :angelic:. 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). :ROFLMAO:
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    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:rolleyes:. As PetesulPetesul stated before "I'm beginning to think "home" is 2 wheels...." and I am starting to agree....:D

    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 :peeking:. Phase 2 will come within the next week. The initial though was to go up north to Cape Tribulation for some thawing! lo :hilarious: 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 :-/. EricEric , 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' :sorry:.... I understand everything that goes up, must come down. I am trying to prepare for it; but how do you prepare yourself for this?? :bored::bag:
    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. :pompous::unsure:

    At least for today. I'll stop thinking and I'm going to reacquaint myself with what my own bed used to feel like! :sleep::sleep:

    About Author

    The energy of a cut's lizard tail,
    The passion of a Spaniard at motoGP,
    As annoying as a flea in the ear,
    With the love for biking as Kayne West loves himself.
    Looking at life through vertically challenged eyes.
    Valvoline.... you know what I mean! ;-)
    caz64, Sibi, 69SIM and 8 others like this.


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  1. caz64
    Love reading your blog and seeing the photos....pity I never got to meet you....always another time..maybe :) Hope all the next phases in your life are as good as this one and hoping you all the best.
  2. Cormanus
    'Ask the Leyland Brothers' went the jingle. Paul Hogan did a great take off of it in his pre- Dundee days.

    ValvolineValvoline there's some OK riding in the North and South Burnett. I've not ridden the road between Monto and Gladstone and am not sure whether it's sealed, but there's a bike-friendly pub at Mungungo just outside Monto. Quiet when I was there. Get further west and north and the roads are very straight.
  3. Petesul
    ValvolineValvoline, I guessed you wouldn't have heard of the Leylands, now you know something else. They were the forerunner to Crocodile Dundee, and the likes of Indiana Jones, our US equivalent. You have the true Leyland spirit, Dundee was only a cash cow and a new squeeze (and a tax dodge) for Hogan.
  4. Valvoline
    PetesulPetesul , I had to look up who were the Leyland bros! lol I think I just have an itchy bum and can't stay away from bikes :hilarious:
    I'm so glad for you Steve VtecSteve Vtec , I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your mini epic trip - you deserve it! And yes, the bed was the sweetest thing!
    CormanusCormanus , better late than never, eh? It really depends on funds. I may just do a tour of the SEQ section below Gladstone... time will soon tell... :)
      Steve Vtec likes this.
  5. Cormanus
    ValvolineValvoline I came late to your saga, but I've enjoyed every kilometre. What a way to end. The hinterland roads around the Queensland-New South Wales border, in spite of patches with dreadful surfaces, are great riding on any day. Kyogle to Murwillumbah is a terrific ride.

    Good luck planning the next phase of your journey. Once you get past the northern end of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the roads probably get a bit less interesting for a rider. But enjoy them anyway.
  6. Steve Vtec
    You're an absolute legend viv. I hope it's the sweetest sleep you can remember. If you start getting depressed there's a few photo albums on here that I'm sure will accentuate your new smile.

    I'm trying to arrange a little 5 day stint off work so I can go for a big ride (north and away from this bloody cold!), just for a tiny taste of adventure that you've been gorging on for the last eight months =D

    Sleep well. It was great to meet you and be a small part of a big trip for you. Can't wait to ride again
      caz64 likes this.
  7. Petesul
    What a crazy, wild, exciting and all encompassing adventure you have led us all through. Thanks for sharing it with us. We're looking forward to reading about and seeing photos from phase 3.
    BTW, would you happen to be a love child of one of the Leyland brothers?
      caz64 and Sibi like this.
  8. Salt n Vinegar
    Goodluck, I'm looking forward to finding out what part 2 might be.
      Valvoline likes this.