29 March – 4 April 2015
I got up at 6.45 when it was still dark – packing and a quick breakfast and then the short 5k ride to the ferry. We left ½ hour late at 9.30 and arrived at 18.45 in Melbourne so there was ample time for reading, relaxing and working on my blog. I was to stay with Matt and Yael and their kids in Bentleigh 20k southeast of Melbourne and despite the late hour (already dark) Matt was kind to come and ride with me from the ferry.
After 3 weeks in the wilderness, it was one of life’s simple pleasures spending the first day getting everything organised and clean including myself. The following day I went sightseeing in Melbourne – riding to the center through St. Kilda, Albert Park and Royal Botanical Garden and then just cruising along the Yarra River and around downtown area. It was a beautiful day and when I arrived downtown just after noon, it was extremely crowded with tourists and locals going out for lunch. Despite that, I randomly met Pierre and Loic that I had camped with in Tasmania some weeks before – small world. Late afternoon I bought camping gas and headed up to North Melbourne to get my stuff that Vicky and Pete had been kind to store for me while I was in Tasmania. Pete expected to be home around 18.15 but was 45 minutes delayed because of traffic, which meant I had to bike the 25k back to Bentleigh in the dark. I took the busy highway to go as fast as possible and the darkness added an interesting element to the perception of safety (which is one of the reasons why I never ride in the dark unless I have to). The two following days I spent in the library doing all kinds of practicalities and working on my blog.
I had only met Matt and Yael briefly at the Bruny Island ferry in Tasmania and still they were kind to offer I could come and stay as long as I liked when back in Melbourne. I spent my last two days with the family – incredibly kind, friendly and generous people and at the same time very interesting to talk to - during my stay, we talked about pretty much everything from our backgrounds, upbringings, life changes to politics, philosophy and religion. And lots of time to play with the kids amongst other reading stories, playing table soccer and visiting their restaurant in the garden shed.