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Day 595 | Melbourne: that's the end of the road

107 km | zzOz total: 19,803 km

All things come to a conclusion, then again new realms appear. No hurry for this final sector, no change there, the full on southerly will swing to an extremely helpful sou’wester later in the day to push me those final ks into the big city I’ve known so well.

Funny that in this final procrastination I’ve almost completed a spiral of the city’s circumference, edging closer by the day but after lunch in the familiar Geelong suddenly the shilly shallying ceases and the bike is finally pointed directly at the CBD instead of the recent tangential path.

I left late, after 10 in the end, to miss the traffic on the shoulder less 15 km into Drysdale, unsuccessfully to my mind, where do all these vehicles spring from, but there I rejoined the Bellerine Rail Trail and other competing means of transportation ceased to be an issue, pedalling dreamily along, no effort required, just more than a little reflective.

I’d imagined the Princes Freeway would be unproblematic and so it proved, the 2.5 m emergency lane allows bike travel and that gives sufficient separation from the whizzing cars and trucks, max speed is 100 which drivers here respect, compliance is relentlessly, ruthlessly and expensively enforced, the massive wind shunting me along, full spinnaker conditions.

30 km from Melbourne you are forced to leave the Freeway and instead follow on the Federation Bike Trail, a route I’m familiar with having exited town via this method four years ago. Well, four years less 10 days to be exact.

I did find myself perusing the options for whacking the tent up, over there’s OK, so close to the city, wouldn’t even be troubled by dog walkers, that’s not so bad there either: they tell me that’s a preoccupation that will never leave me.

Plenty of time to reminisce but it wasn’t about my recent travels, more about the 18 years living in this city I am soon to abandon, I ride between the major metal recycling complex, and 1000 newly imported cars under shade cloth on the other side, near where I auctioned my car and took to my bike and, more confrontingly, the gates to the tip where I dumped all extraneous effects after I cleared out what remained in my accommodations.

It’s not a mute city like many in my travels, each view has a resonance, I can remember the building that used to be there before those apartments appeared, houses I’d done a little work on over the years but it’s a new set of faces, any that remain are probably so modernised to be unrecognisable.

Me?

I dunno, am I so changed?

Just calmer, unconcerned by much, totally relaxed, I guess you could say I’m completely unrecognisable as well.

It might be over, except for the last few kilometres, but I feel bloody good about life.