And here we are back for more!
Indeed the Lavers Hill lesson was right. Climbing the hill was a pain, camping under the storm was pretty awful, waking up in a soaked tent with cold fingers (I don’t know why people think australia is hot. . .), and repairing a punctured tire after 20 minutes of riding, we finally set out for good. The horrible day behind us made the ride downhill ten times as good, not having to pedal, and finally doing some speed!
Riding the Great Ocean Road was good, it is indeed a nice place, although it has this strong tourist bus traffic rate that some “nice places” have around the world. But it seems that all that matters are the few viewpoints along the way, and not the way itself. I did enjoy watching the 12 Apostles and the other cliff formations along the coast, but I dare say I did enjoy even more watching the endless plains spread ahead of us under the setting sun. A lone road winding through thick bush as far as the eye can see, the noise of the wind in my ears and the clicking sound of the chain. The occasional crow greeting us with a nice SKWAAAAAK.
Another thing you experience in a long journey like that is the contact with the land and its people. You need a place to set up the tent every night and you need to have at least the feeling that it s gonna be alright to leave it there.
When you get this problem sorted by a local dweller inviting you to set up your tent beside his haystack, sheltered from the wind, and inviting you to a couple of cold beers as a welcome gift for having come all this way, the day ends even better. You forget about your sore muscles and your aching back, and you just enjoy these small and priceless things.
I think I understand a little better why I chose to travel like that, and maybe why others did before me as well. I think it s because although we do have material needs, some things in life can t be priced. A can of beer has a price, but a smile and a warm welcome dont. A sightseeing trip, or a bicycle, have a price, but a plain revealing itself in the setting sun behind the hill doesnt.
Maybe this sounds a little bit light minded, but simple things make a lot more sense if you choose to give some to them.
Because its not about the destination, its all about the journey.
And the ride goes on. . . more coming soon!