The wood between worlds…

The limbo of travel by plane and other things mechanised.  In contrast to over-busy day-to-dayness, this ‘in between’ with its low lighting and unalterable timing had been something we’ve enjoyed in earlier ages.  Now the non-pedalling movement is taking a bit of getting used to.

A certain reluctance to admit finality leads to a spot of last minute packing activity – I was still taping the bike box closed when the taxi arrived to get us to Punta Arenas airport.  A casualty was my much battered, very worn out bamboo flute.  I’d brought it so that not too many tears would be shed if it was lost, so not a disaster – maybe even a chance for it to have adventures on its own.

Arrival in Santiago and the superhospitalidad of Diego and Shayen props up our spirits.  Oscar arrives the next morning – these people are wonderful.  Sarah spots a copy of the ‘Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook’ on the bookshelf and plumps herself on the couch to double check all the bits we’ve done ourselves.  A realisation that we won’t be able to buy manjar/dulce de leche in Australia together with more than 40kg of un-used baggage allowance sees us in the supermercado buying 5kg of the stuff with plans to eek it out, accompanied by all the fresh bread Sarah’s planning.  We giggle at the indulgence of our addiction.  After arriving back at the flat and confessing our purchase, Diego looks aghast at our degree of self-control, so we almost go back out to buy some more!

The next steps – a trans-pacific flight to Sydney including a couple of hours in Auckland – lots of movies (something we have missed) – a potentially hurried and troublesome quarantine clearance and a terminal change in the East – my bike has been scrubbed to within an inch of its life in anticipation of this – and another flight westward across Australia.

Then a stubbornness – we’re riding home from the airport – a paltry 30km or so along the Swan River – all of us and our stuff fit on the Big Dummy, though Sarah’s sister has threatened to bring a tandem to spirit her away for a good, proper, long-awaited natter…



  1. Sarah and Tom,

    WOWEEE!!!! We’ll miss following you two through all the Americias!!! We’ve looked forward to every post, but we know the journey is not over. You’ve inspired us and by now we feel as though we’ve been following good, old friends – we thank you for all you’ve done, for all you’ve inspirired and all those you’ve touched. It’s been quite a journey. Gary and I look forward to hearing about how the re-entry journey will be as well. Thank goodness that we were around the day you called us from the Divide in Colorado some what, 18 months ago???? Please stay in touch…. Much love!! Patti and Gary


    • Yea, what Patti said. I hope you two will keep the blog going. I’ll write you both an email when we get back to CO. We’re thinking of you every day.

  2. Welcome back to Aussie Tom and Sarah, Peter and I and other members of our family who have been reading your blog, thank you for such an amazing journey.
    We have enjoyed it , yes it will be hard to adjust to work and life again, but you both will.
    Keep in touch and do let us know if you are coming to Tassie.

    We will be in Darwin in early June.
    Enjoy the next life journey for you both.
    love Pam and Peter.

  3. Wow! Sometimes the day job throws up wonderful surprises… just had a long chat with Tom for an article we’re doing in the magazine.

    What a blog and what a couple!

    Amazing and inspiring… and they both write so well that the blank page is even more daunting than usual.

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