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NOTE:  It is April 2013, I have been home in Sydney, Australia for almost 3 years now and I couldn’t possibly do justice to the last few months of my adventure by trying to remember the details of what / who I encountered, and my associated thoughts and feelings.  I will bring my account to a close by sharing the photographic documentation of the remainder of my journey, as well as a few explanatory words.

Thanks for reading.

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I don’t know if it was a sign from above that the tour wasn’t supposed to end, or if the King Brown was telling me that he wasn’t ready to go home, but the journey wasn’t made easy.  I only needed one more small period of good weather to get to Istanbul airport from the city.  It wasn’t to be.  My 30-minute ride was pittered pattered on from above, resulting in a slip, slide and stack on the slippery-as-soap cobble stone streets, as well as a punctured tyre along the way.

My flight included a 10-hour layover in the icy cold Abu Dhabi airport with plastic seats on which sleep was impossible, but nothing could dampen my spirits.  I was so excited to be in my homeland with my loved ones again.  Adam, Alice and Mum, who had landed just before me, were there to greet me with big smiles and hugs.  It was a wonderful moment.

Mum offered to drive the King Brown and I home, but I wanted to finish this the way I had started it; door to door, home to home.  The King got off the plane in good condition except for a flat tyre.  Having had about 8 punctures in the last 2 years, I thought it very unlucky to have had 2 in one day and a virtual impossibility that I would get a third.  So with that, I fitted my last spare tube and told the family I’d see them at home.

I found myself a bit lost in the airport carpark and asked a cabby where the exit was, “Just that way mate.”  I remember the wonderful feeling of being able to have a simple question and answer with a stranger rather than some long-winded game of charades with a mish-mash of sounds.  It put me on a high for the 35km ride home on this sunny, Sydney winters day.

It was with 8kms to go at the entrance to the National Park that I had my final blow out.  With no means of communication, I had no option but to walk the tour to a close.  And I didn’t mind one bit.  I moved slowly, but steadily, and soaked it all in; just as I had done for the last two years, after which life will never be the same.

Adam & Al welcome me home

Adam & Al welcome me home

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