September 26, 2006 GMT
Homeward bound

We left Dinant, Belgium om 28 August, having had a few days rest and sightseeing.

It was around here that we had a long nail in the back tyre and were lucky to find a BMW dealer open on a Saturday afternoon with the workshop also open. Nail was removed and the puncture vulcanised for 29. We were very aware that we had no ultraseal in this tyre as we were unable to locate same in Oz when the tyre was changed last.

It was a wet and miserable ride to Arras, France. 12 degrees. Loads of roadworks with diversions everywhere and we stood in a cafe dripping water with the puddle beneath ouf feet getting bigger and bigger. To their credit the cafe owners did'nt turn a hair- just laughed at me in my all in one wet suit , the top half of which was tied around my middle.

Arras is a pretty town with Flemish design houses and the square lit at night.

Then on to Hon Fleur on 29th in monsoon type rain. Colin actually stopped , along with some lorry drivers, on the side of the Autoroute when he just could not see where he was going.

We had another day off in Hon Fleur, a quaint port town which was full of tourists and visiting boats. Then on to cherbourg through Arramanche and saw The Pegassus bridge.

And so to the ferry for Poole on 1st Sept. with a calm crossing and hey ho - we were back in UK.

I can hear you asking 'how does it feel to be back ?'-- well, initially it was just another country but when we actually got home we both had mixed emotions.

Elation that we had achieved what we set out to do ( to travel the world to see our friends in Australia) and that we had done it safely but also sad that the trip was finished and that the dream had been fulfilled.

Readjusting to the mundane way of life is coming hard- we wake in the morning and realise we have no goal other than the daily routine.-- We are already thinking where we can ride too next!

Would we do the trip again?- yes definitely ( if we had the money ! )

Total miles : 18520
Services for bike : Iran, Australia and UK on return.
Tyres: 5 ( 2 still on.)

Costs: Bike maintenence: 800.15
Hotels 7290.85
Flights, ferries and air freighting: 2443.10

183 days away: (26 weeks 1 day)
days of travel :98 days ( 14 weeks )
days off: 81 days ( 11 weeks 5 days )
flying: 4 days

Finally a huge thankyou to Colin for a wonderful trip, for all the planning and for driving safely.
Thanks to our son for 'giving his blessing' for our trip of a lifetime, to BMW teams in Karaj ( Iran), Caloundra and Mackay ( Australia ) and Bastoigne in Belgium.
Thanks to family and friends who kept in contact via e mail- these were a lifeline that, at times, were much needed.
Thanks to Colin and Judy for living in Australia-( if you did'nt live there we would never have thought of the trip !)
Thanks to many 'ordinary 'people , all over the world ,that helped us with forbearance, humour and understanding.

Finally- the star of the show- 'Herman' ( the bike). Every morning it was a thrill to hear it 'light up' - and we were off again.

Posted by Dee Masters at 10:09 AM GMT


Posted by Dee Masters at 11:11 AM GMT

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