Day 594 | St Leonards: a week at the beach

rest day

Tomorrow’s the last day.

This detailed, close inspection of vast tracts of continental Australia with a peculiarly erratic trajectory, initially scribed in my blog, Heading West, avoided the populated zones and roads for the most part, the wiggly woggly path taking in many highlights of the supposedly barren and empty landscape draws to its inevitable conclusion.

Hopefully these travels have opened up the country to other enthusiastic bike tourers, for some reason Australia isn’t seen as a tourer’s paradise, not exotic enough I guess, a little austere, there’s a misguided tendency to want to circle the country on the generally impoverished and at times highly trafficked Highway One, thereby avoiding the scenic and beaut roads such as across the Gascoyne, ie, Exmouth to Meekatharra to Leonora, now that’s a totally engrossing ride on a generally clay tennis court style surface, or those splendid Mareeba to Mt Isa roads, or the major fun of the Cape York experience. Cape York, yes, every bike tourer should have a crack at that adventure once in their career.

Of course it’s not vacant at all, I was never bored on those remote tracks between specks of civilisation, seemed plenty to occupy my active mind, out on the highways with the Grey Nomad traffic and the countryside hugely modified on each side of the asphalt, well, that’s another story and of course you always bring yourself along for the ride.

It hasn’t been your typical tour of self discovery, a naive novice becoming a battle hardened road warrior, eyes opened up to the way the world actually is beyond city life, preconceptions massively challenged. Instead it’s been a stripping back of some extraneous accretions of my life, no distractions, the space and time allowing an extensive meditation on what life is about and how I’d like to live it.

It’s been a mighty exercise of those virtues: discipline, perseverance and strength, both of body but more of mind in a world that may just be seeing these particular old school virtues as redundant.

We’ve been pretty active down here at the beach, not so far to go now, I picked out the high-rise buildings of the CBD jutting over the horizon, painting the outside of the shack, converting it from refrigerator white to a more subdued Jumbo, taking the tinnie out for some fishing, they ain’t around this year, maybe due to a rampant netting boat operating, but I caught one calamari for a tasty and fresh dinner, and apparently I have a mojo back, me oblivious to the distant perusal by some mad and dangerous woman, just my type.

Tomorrow I’ll be cruising up the three lane Geelong Freeway, the emergency lane gives the traffic a wide berth from memory, another 100 km and I’ll be unhooking the trailer for the final time in Australia.