My first puncture

I took my bike out of the garage yesterday for the first time in three weeks, to find I had a flat tyre for the first time on this bike. We have just spent another weekend cycling the lovely Central Coast region of NSW, and camped at secluded Patonga Beach. It was good to get out of Sydney – as in many big cities, drivers here can be pretty aggressive and are often hostile towards us as they don’t perceive roads as shared space. It was 35 degrees and very windy all weekend but we thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful riding on mostly cycle path and national park cycleways.1381539809319IMG_20131012_121433_683IMG_20131012_141546_556IMG_20131012_143305_127

Back on the bikes – briefly

Since arriving in gorgeous Sydney we have been working hard at relaxing – our days have been filled with barbies, beach walks, bike rides around the park, meeting friends, hanging out with family, and exploring old haunts. We also had a lovely trip to New Zealand to visit family & friends. We both worked for the Australian election last weekend and I’ll continue working on the vote counting for a couple more weeks, while Matt has a few things in the pipeline…

We just spent a weekend cycling 160km along the coast from Newcastle back down to Sydney. We absolutely loved being back on the bikes and even enjoyed camping in a thunderstorm. We took four ferries as we made our way down the picturesque coast (which I’ve decided doesn’t count as cheating).

What next?

After 1 year, 1 month and 21 days, 19,525 kilometers, 19 countries, 3 continents, 10 timezones, 5 saddles and 8 punctures, we’ve cycled from London to Sydney! Our Surly Long Haul Truckers have been brilliant, and we’re pleased that the old bodies held up well too. We assume we are really fit, but we just feel very tired and are aching all over.

So, what next? We we are enjoying taking some time out in Sydney right now with family and friends and we are going to spend most of August in New Zealand, spending time with family and friends there. Then it’s back to Sydney where we plan to get jobs, and have a think about the future. Watch this space…

The kindness of strangers

It seems fitting that on our last night before arriving in Sydney we were invited to stay in the home of people we’d never met (the family of a friend of ours). We were very grateful to be well fed and wonderfully looked after on our final evening and were waved off with a big cheer on our final ride into Sydney. The most memorable part of our journey has been the kindness and generosity of strangers in every country we’ve travelled though – of course Iran deserves a special mention as the most hospitable country in the world.P1030543P1030548P1030549