Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 899, The Last

The day that I had been riding toward for so long final came, the finish line on the farm in the Mallee. This day I had imagined on several occasions since leaving South Africa over a year and a half ago, I would imagine the final turns the final track up to the house, recognizing things I could remember, who would be there waiting at the end, the end of an epic journey half way across the world that would be completed on a farm in the middle of the sticks.

Yes there is such a town name, "Speed"

As I left Adelaide it was all a bit surreal, this was it the last day, the last time to pack the bike up, to find somewhere to stay, to not have to go anywhere tomorrow, quite simple really, all those days of traveling, on the move, seeing amazing places, new adventures, they would end on this one day. Thankfully the weather turned it on for me, cool breeze with clear skies as the last 420 k’s clicked away under the wheels. I made it to the tiny town of Speed and there on the post was a sign, “Welcome Home Robbo, only 8 k’s to go”, reading this really made it a reality, only 8 k’s to go I had made it, the bike had made it. Then it was the last 4 k’s up the dirt track to the farm, I screwed the throttle and headed the mother ship down the track, I rounded the final bend and there waiting under a Finish Line Banner was quite a crowd, everyone clapped and waved as I rode past, it was a great feeling, under the Finish Line I rode and parked the trusty steed for the last time and there waiting for me was my mum and sister with her family which I have not seen for over 5 years, it was great to be home.

Roberts road, the last few K's.
Rounding the last bend.

Amongst the crowd of about 90 there where old friends, family and other travelers I had met on the road, it was great to catch up and we all spent the afternoon catching up on old times and exchanging stories over a few well deserved cold ones!

Dirk waiting beneath the Finish Line.

So that was it, I had made it, when I departed London 899 days ago on the 16th of September 2006 with Amy I never had a clue what was to come, how it would be, how far I would get, well now I know, I conquered what I dreamt of, riding a motorbike all the way, yes it took 3 different bikes to cover the 102 991 k’s, one been stolen and then the Chinese Sunik to make the 7000 k journey from Mongolia to Bangkok before reuniting with the mother ship. The adventures are endless, the list of new and amazing friends, the wonderful experiences, things I would not swap for anything.

One very happy mum.

In short this is how it happened, from London it was through Europe then head first into Africa, where I watched Amy develop into the most incredible motor bike rider I have ever seen, remember Amy had never ridden a motor bike in her life except for a scooter and here she was taking on the desert sea of the Sahara. Central Africa bought some testing times with drunken soldiers forever wanting bribes and on several occasions staring down a barrel and finally onto South Africa where we parted company and I went alone. East Africa saw me mix it with some amazing tribes and meeting more amazing Over Landers from all walks of life and different countries, another bout of malaria in Ethiopia, the first been back in Angola. After 14 months I made it out of Africa and entered the Arabian Peninsular into Yemen, a new continent bought a new world with new adventure but I never expected the ultimate hurdle having the mother ship stolen.

Eventually after 4 months I was on the road again north to Russia through central Asia where I had the pleasure of meeting the wild man from Belgium, Dirk. Together we traveled across Mongolia, raced across China aboard the 150 cc Suniks, watching them vibrate and fall apart around us, all the way to Bangkok, what a wild and crazy adventure we had together. At this point I returned to Dubai for the UAE desert Challenge just to give it a shot, manged 2nd in class, 11th in the world, so a new dream was born, to compete the Dakar.

Back to Bangkok and south through South East Asia, been so close and wanting to just get to Australia I crossed Indonesia as quickly as I could, this still took almost 6 weeks, windy roads and millions of people making the going slow. Once on home soil in Darwin it took a leisurely 4 weeks to reach the end. What a journey!

What’s next for me? What does one do after been free for so long, I will relax for a few weeks then start the dreaded hunt for a job and begin the next part of my life, all I know is I need to keep it as interesting as possible because anything less for the time been will be not enough, already I am looking toward my next dream, to start racing motor bikes and ultimately to race in the Dakar in South America it will happen so watch this space, after all that’s what life is all about following your dreams and making as many come true as possible.
I have a few requests from different groups, including some schools to give a talk so if anybody is interested in hearing a few tales to your group then don't hesitate to get in touch via email.

Thanks everybody for all your support, it was welcomed weather I was having a blast or facing a challenge, like you have enjoyed reading the journey I have enjoyed reading your comments. I can say that there will be more in the future and another adventure to follow so see you then.
And remeber
“In the end it will be alright and if its not alright its not the end”.