Dear readers, this is my final blog entry for my London to Magadan adventure. I actually completed the trip on 1st September which was my 106th day, one day later than scheduled due mostly to the problems we encountered on our final leg and our most challenging section of the entire tour “the Road of Bones” .We encountered a serious injury to Riaan van der Merwe , we had delays with the ferries and problems with the support vehicle. All this combined with the general condition of the 2000km long dirt road and the long periods of waiting for Danny to catch us up, all resulted in a one day extension. I have spent the last few days in a state of euphoria whilst I have been tying up loose ends, preparing my bike for shipping back to the UK, enjoying the company of my new friends and fellow adventurists, travelling on aeroplanes to Vladivostok, Moscow and London and saying lots of goodbyes. I thought I might be sad with the ending of this trip and the cutting of the day in day out friendship umbilical cord that has bound us all together. But, not a bit of it, I am looking forward to going home,to seeing my family and friends and, being one of those lucky people that likes his job, I am also looking forward to getting back to work. My company, Randalls Brewery has performed better than ever over the period that I have been away, so I am not sure if they will want me back!
So,let me summarise my “London to Magadan” adventure..106 days of the motorcycle tour starting at the Ace Cafe London and ending in Magadan,Siberia. Including farting about during the post tour, a total of 111 days away from home. Thirteen bikes, thirteen riders, four pillion passengers, one support vehicle one crappy towed trailer and one support driver, three guest pillion passengers, two guest support vehicles, four injured casualties, two broken ankles, one broken collar bone and one pneumonia, fifteen countries, UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia. 11 time zones, starting with GMT and ending with the same time zone as Sydney, 29,612 kilometres travelled, a maximum temperature of 47 degrees centigrade in Bukhara and a minimum of minus 10 degrees centigrade in Siberia, that’s a temperature range of 57 degrees,wow! a thousand bottles of beer, some of it too warm to drink, lots of crap Russian sweet wine, too few G&T’s!, one broken bottle of Blue Bottle Gin! that I hauled from Guernsey to Russia! plenty of Ballentine’s Scotch whisky, too many lunches of cucumber, tomato, tasteless cheese and salami sausage, five excruciatingly cold nights of camping in deepest Siberia whilst on the Road of Bones, too many new friends to mention, three Australian Alpha Males, four Ted’s Angels, one beautiful Samsara and one beautiful Kawangi, one grumpy old git! quite a lot of the Bruce method! so many fabulous brilliant evenings sat round the biggest camp fires I have ever seen- Australians are twisted! (sorry that came out wrong, I meant to say twisted fire starters) seriously, I loved the camp fire chats under the biggest sky in the world, an altogether wonderful wonderful experience,thank you everyone for your company, I will treasure this four months of my life forever..
This journey has been cathartic for me,it has given me time to concentrate on my time with Tracey and my time without Tracey,,I have thought about her and all the many things we did and the times we had together,,I have spoken with her, sang out loud with her, laughed with her, wept with her. and grieved for her.. People deal with grief in many different ways but for me this trip away from all the day to day pressures and sometimes humdrum routine lives we lead has been the answer. I am not grieving anymore. I have moved on, another chapter in my life is about to begin and I will grasp it with both hands. I did a lot of listening to music on my 106 days, sometimes for up to ten hours a day, luckily I have a huge collection and an eclectic music taste and also having sons that also love music and they have provided me with an additional huge collection with many original artists that I had never heard of before. My fellow tourists were mostly only casual listeners of music although nearly all of them enjoyed a good tune, it was therefore left to me to provide the music that we played via my bluetooth speaker whilst we prepared camp, did the cooking or sat around the camp fire.
I am going to leave you all with the lyrics of the one song I listened to most while I was sweeping through 29,612km of Europe,Central Asia and the Far East Asia countryside. I like poetry ,but I am not much of a poetry reader,I do believe however that the best lyricists over the past 50 years have been at the forefront of modern day contemporary poetry. The song is “Sarah” by Fleetwood Mac and sang by the hauntingly beautiful voice of Stevie Nicks. I for obvious reasons have changed Sarah for Tracey….
Wait a minute baby,
Stay with me a while,
said you’d give me light,
But you never told me about the fire,
Drowning in the Sea of Love,
Where everyone would love to drown,
But now it’s gone
It doesn’t matter what for,
When you build your house
Then call me home.
Said Tracey, you are the poet in my heart,
Never change, never stop,
But now its gone,
It doesn’t matter what for,
But when you build your house,
Then call me home.