As I sit in our lounge overlooking Moreton Bay surrounded by familiar possessions and hearing the sounds of Manly village on a Saturday morning, it’s hard to image that in five days’ time we will be on our way to the second part of this round the world (RTW) trip. Yesterday Anne and I browsed through a selection of the most memorable photos, to us, from the last six months’ travel. Each brought back wonderful memories of people, buildings, locations or moments, many of which I would have to have thought hard about to recall. It does however seem like a dream – did we really do all that? One day I must sit down and read through the blog to remind myself of the journey.
What I am trying to say, probably somewhat ineloquently, is that regardless of how wonderful the past was and the memories are, we live in the present and that, plus future planning, is where our focus is and should be. With our medical activities of the last few weeks over, we must prepare for departure and develop our preliminary plans for riding through Chile. The break in Australia has made us both feel like we are starting out our trip all over again. While all the acquisition of bike and touring equipment was done last year, it still feels like a new start: a new continent, new road rules, people and cultures (and fresh supplies of medication and bike spare parts) but with the last six months’ experience under our belts, we have less trepidation than last time.
Yesterday we acquired two new pairs of hopefully waterproof TCX adventure boots as we suspect that the next part of the journey will see more rain and we are both tired of wearing plastic carrier bags on our feet and feeling water slosh from one end of the boot to the other as we change gear on the motorbike after a short time riding in the rain (and the ensuing smell of cat’s pee wherever we spend the night). The old pairs, currently with the bikes, will be mailed back from Santiago to the UK for a refund as the manufacturer agrees they are faulty. Talking of motorbikes, they will depart today for Santiago arriving, if all goes according to plan, on the evening before we do. We seem to have found a good agent in Santiago, who not only speaks English but is a motorbike rider himself with a Triumph 800XC. We hope to have the motorbikes out of customs before week’s end so we can take Anne’s to a BMW dealer to have the engine management system (DME) replaced.
Since we will have to wait for the motorbike to be fixed, we are considering a trip to Easter Island should we be able to find a last minute package at a reasonable price. Anne has always wanted to visit there and since we will be so close relatively (5 and a half hours’ flight away), it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity to visit such an amazing place. It appears that we are heading into the peak season so we will have to see what last minute deals we can find there.
This weekend has seen us say goodbye to many of our friends in Brisbane, brunch, lunch and dinner have pleasurably filled our time, but tinged with a little sadness that we will not see them again until 2016 unless our paths cross overseas in the next 13 months. We have enjoyed being back in Brisbane and reconnecting with all the aspects of our lives here (and the luxury of having a washing machine) but the open road beckons and we are really looking forward to the experiences that the Americas will give us and recording them here on the 2slowspeeds blog.