Days 89 – The End Of A Journey

Our final day with the bike was Wednesday 12th October. It was a short ride of 25 km but involved a fair amount of work.

First on the agenda was to wash the bike to keep the Australian Quarantine people happy. It certainly needed it as I’d only had one other opportunity to wash it on the trip and that was in Mandello six weeks previous, so there was plenty of grime to wash off which we did at a car wash.

It looked great after some pampering.


We then proceeded to the shipper’s facility



Here, while Norma sorted out our gear, I stripped the bike down and loaded it into its crate ready to be shipped back to Australia.

We’d had an amazing once in a lifetime experience. All up we’d covered 10,800 kms over 56 ride days and 90 travel days, so we’d had a few days off along the way. We spent $1590 on fuel averaging 14.5 km/l.

The short story of the  conclusion to our trip commenced with the shipping company once again kindly transporting us, this time the 45 km to Rotterdam where we stayed for 2 nights before catching the Very Fast Train to Paris which travelled at 300 km/hr, then onto Dieppe where we caught the late afternoon ferry to Newhaven on England’s south coast where we stayed the night before busing it through to Worthing where we spent two days with Bruce and Sheila Martin, a truly lovely couple who I’d boarded with back in 1970 when I was in the UK. We had a great time being the first time we’d seen each other in all that time.

On Monday 17th October we trained even further west along the southern coast past Portsmouth, Southampton and Dorchester to a little village called Burton Bradstock where my sister Jill and her husband Phil lives. We spent a wonderful 9 days travelling around Dorset and Somerset, visiting Bath and various other beautiful towns as well as spending a perfect day on the their 45ft power yacht cruising along the coast. Of course we ate far too much and laughed just as much.

Wednesday 26th October saw us on the train heading for the London area via the military cemetery at Brookwood where we visited the grave of Norma’s uncle, her Dad’s brother Richard, who lost his life during WW2. It was a good thing to do.

We then spent 2 delightful days with my 96 year old uncle, my Dad’s brother Albert, who is a most interesting and well travelled man. Then it was on to London for three days where we did all the sights and battled the massive crowds.

So yesterday Monday 31st October, we caught the train out to Heathrow where we caught our flight home via Singapore. I’m currently sitting in a motel room not far from Brisbane airport where our brother-in-law Cec from Gympie will pick us up from tomorrow and transport us to Gympie. We’ll spend a few days there with family before heading south and plan to arrive in Melbourne on Tuesday 15th November.

So until we can save vast amounts of money we’ll have to be content with planning our next trip, but this one has been a magnificent time for us as we start a new phase of our lives. Watch this space 🙂