Thursday, 31 December 2015

Twenty sixteen

Human Memories are such fragile things. 
Day to day senses lost in the fog of time.
Photographic snapshots that didn't get processed to paper.

Cast adrift to infinity. Vaguely remembered with no clarity.

Life is only now.

Past experience of little consequence unless it's a lesson learned. Future expectation out of sight.

There's no window on what you've seen. No way to review that moment. But it's there. A part of what makes you, the moment gone but the impression stamped on our existence.

Mark Dalton December 2015

Go West (Not the 80's pop band)
Moving west up the south coast following in the footsteps of Henry Cole's "worlds greatest motorcycle rides" I recognise some of the towns names that I saw on that episode.
An overnight stop near the coast turns into trial by ants and I move on... 

Problem being that every km west I travel is another km to travel back to Melbourne. The desire to push on somewhat diminished, I land at Meningie on the shores of Lake Albert. After 200km of heat, dried up rivers and salt water marshes, through places with names like saltwater creak and along a seemingly endless road, it is a little oasis of cool water, rushes, pelicans and shady trees to pitch the tent under.   

That's far enough...

Buggles (as in video killed...) 
A disaster has befallen my ability to edit the video I've been shooting all along. For a while the editing software I've been using failed to recognise the different video formats I'm shooting on different camera's. For no obvious reasons that I could find. after spending far too long figuring it out it suddenly started working again. Fab!... except the PC now inexplicably has no sound. A windows 10 upgrade occured and a bit of googling suggested it may be an incompatibility with that, so a happy (not) couple of hours reverting to the previous version failed to resolve it. I think the sound card may have overheated as the laptop is very hot at that point. ... for the less PC literate amongst us the simple fact is I can't edit the videos I have at present. so for now they have come to a grinding halt. 

Earth Wind and Fire (not the 70's disco band!)
New year arrives with 40° C heat and warm winds that fail to cool over the shallow lake waters. Absolute fire ban in place and no one is allowed to create a spark in the tinder dry South Australian land. The earth dry from an ongoing drought the lakes not connected to the sea reduced to drying salt plains under the heat of the summer sun.  

Some Aussie though find ways of keeping cool while they compete with the pelicans for their fish supper.

The Sunset (Moody Blues)
So as the sun sets on 2015, its time to look back a little at the journey that has been an adventure of a lifetime. With more still to come as 2016 opens its doors. New Zealand early in the new year and on to the USA for a brief stop along the way. Sadly those 2 parts of the trip will occur without my trusty motorbike, which will begin its journey back to Blighty soon. Assuming the country has not been blown away or submerged or indeed overrun! 

Don't look back (Boston) 
From a rainy start in France, over the Alps and into Italy. Through Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and across the Caspian sea. Into Kazakhstan and across Russia's Siberian vastness. Down through Korea and a holiday in Thailand, with the delayed shipping to Darwin. Through the heat of Australia's centre and the cooler east coast and down to South Australia. Where the year plays out its final card. What  an utterly amazing journey to here it has been. 

My bike has withstood everything I've thrown at it - including a tram track in Irkutsk. It has suffered my neglect and managed to keep going through 40°+ heat. I've used three rear tyres, two fronts. one set of brake pads, front and rear. One chain and sprocket set. Two oil and filter changes and one set of rear wheel bearings. Its has now covered somewhere in the region of 50,000 km (approx 31,000 miles) of which 15,000 where on the clock before I started. So I've doubled its lifetime mileage in 8 months on the road. I broken more electrical gadgets and cables than I know about. My tent has seen years of use in this single trip and I've had more time to think about myself than could sometimes be considered healthy. I've discovered what makes me tick and what ticks me off. I've met adventurers who share the same thoughts of just doing it. And others who don't and never will understand. 

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow (Fleetwood Mac)
This is a life affirming adventure that just takes the courage to let your normal life go for a while. Forego your daily rituals and soap opera's. At least once in your life take the time to have a real adventure, however small that might be. Take a risk. jump in with both feet and see where it takes you. 

Travel as much as you can, as far as you can , as long as you can . Life isn't meant to be lived in one place. And in the end everything will be fine. If its not fine now, its not the end!.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Mark! Elaine and Nom