Best laid schemes o’ mice and men…..
Self improvement literature constantly reminds the reader: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Well, I had planned to be in Melbourne two days earlier, but my failure to keep to that plan was my good fortune. Staying a couple of extra nights with Jim & Anne was the best thing that could ‘befall’ anyone.
I accompanied them to their church on Sunday, where I was warmly welcomed, and showered generously with donations.
We drove into the mountains to a country restaurant and enjoyed a plate of locally farmed trout
…then we went to check out a beautifully restored wooden trestle rail bridge,
that once carried a line for the transportation of logs. Through a combination of bush fires and arson, the line became unserviceable and had to be closed.
But temperatures continue to be in the mid 30s, so resting in the cool indoors, or plunging into the pool, are as much as the doctor would advise……:-) How sad!
So, what about the ‘best laid scheme’ for my departure? The concept of leaving about 6.30am, before sunrise, obviously reflects my prowess as a decision-maker……but when you are a guest in somebody else’s house, it has ramifications. My hosts valiantly dragged themselves out of bed, Jim courageously donned his cycling kit, and he led me to the outskirts of town, just as the sun was breaking the horizon……
….and riding in a westerly direction, I had it warming my back, and not dazzling my eyes (a feature that has been constant for the duration of my journey in both countries).
I passed through Garfield, Jim’s birthplace
….and I doffed my cycle helmet, and thought of Jim (nice place, Jim!). But my best laid scheme (to have a shorter ride and camp somewhere out of Melbourne) did ‘gang aft aglay’ (with apologies to the bard). Once again, I got the bit between my teeth, reached the homeward stretch following the cycle track round Port Philip Bay, saw the city skyline of Melbourne in the distance,
and just kept pedalling. And to cut a long story short (thank goodness, you are saying) I got to my hostel accommodation in the city centre before I was fried to a crisp in the suffocating 36C heat which, unfortunately, will be with us for two more days.
The upside of this planning failure is that, with the extra day in Melbourne, I’ve been able to book an all-day bus tour to see the delights of the Great Ocean Road. What a considerable gain, I would say!
So this is journey’s end. I go into ‘recess’ and the bike now will probably go into retirement.
The welded frame makes its future durability uncertain. The big question now is: do I leave it in Melbourne, or box it up, bring it home, and dine out on all the derring-do journeys we’ve had together over 20 years? Is there room for sentimentality in the life of a long distance cyclist?
Do help me with this quandary…..
Help us to reach £6000: http://www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1