26 October, 2008

A homecoming, yes, a homecoming. She’s taken me there… and she brought me back again. … and now I’ve brought her home too. On the 12th of October the Adelaide Express arrived in Melbourne after sailing from La Spezzia Italy on the 20th of September.

On the 16th of October the container (in which she had been travelling) was moved from the Port of Melbourne to Hoffman Freight in Newport, and unpacked.

On the 17th of October I visited Australian Customs in Docklands and obtained customs clearance – a surprisingly simple and civilised procedure by comparison with my experiences in other countries.

On the 21st of October I booked in a quarantine inspection with AQIS, fearing the worst and that the Burgie would need to have to be steamcleaned before she would pass quarantine inspection. On the 22nd of October I visited Hoffman freight, and set my eyes upon her for the first time in almost 8 weeks, to meet AQIS, only to find that AQIS had arrived 2 hours earlier and had already approved her for importation.

On the 23rd of October, Loyd and I rented a large trailer and collected the Burgie + crate to take her back to her home.

On that evening and on the subsequent day I removed the walls of the crate, bolted her back together (windscreen, bars, mudguard etc., reconnect battery, removed all my possessions which were still under the seat and in the Givi top box, and installed a new set of rear brake pads and air filter.

On the 25th I gave her a clean and today on the 26th I purchased 10 litres of fuel and filled her up prior to Loyd, Richard, Kimie and I lifting up her front end, bracing her with a hydraulic jack and putting the front wheel back on. By 2pm she was fired up and I slowly rode her out of the crate. I rode her around 30km to my parents and back twice today before changing out her vital fluids tonight. The rear drive oil was chocolate brown - yuk – but other fluids were not too bad. The rear subframe was also due for attention again as the welding I had done in Kazakhstan had not survived the rest of the journey.

This time I opted to remove the subframe completely, instead of doing an "on bike" weld, and took it round to Loyd's for him to show off his newly acquired welding skills.

Ok, so this was the historical tale but what is the real story???? …....

….well, I have to say that I truly enjoy being back in the saddle. Being back home again is great, but…. also a bit of a let down. It is oh, so easy to settle back into the rhythm of ones life, almost as if one never left it. However, I CAN’T do that – it would be WRONG to do that. I have to have something to show for my travels. I don’t mean in a tangible sense, I mean that I have to KNOW and UNDERSTAND what I have learnt, and I have to carry that with me throughout my remaining years. Being back on the Burgie encapsulates, and revives, that sense of exhilaration, and luxurious freedom, of the open road.

On the Burgie I feel once again that the road that stretches out before me has no end, and is mine to ride and live as I choose. She exemplifies to me the true existentialist notion of freedom – be decisive in my actions in the full knowledge of, and taking responsibility for, the consequences my actions. With her back it does make it easier for me to live for tomorrow, as much as today…. and with that I leave you for the moment.