6 AM in the morning, tuesday 10th of January. I slept only 3 hours due to “suboptimal travel preparation”. Time has been flying away too fast these 3 last month and I didn’t really see the departure coming. Thanks to the efficient help of my father, everything is finally “ready” for my 5,5 months bike tour in Tasmania and New Zealand. I did not expected that the departure would be that difficult, as well for the logistical aspects as for the emotional aspects. It is definitely not easy to leave the ones you love and all your usual and well settled day-to-day life. During the last hours packing my stuff, lots of questions ran in my head: will I be autonomous and resourceful enough for this trip? What if I get bored of being alone? What if something goes really wrong, with nobody that could care for me? Am I really taking a good decision? Etc. Finally you can never know all the answers, so you just have to go for it, do your best, and we will see…
Hopefully I slept really well in the first 9hours flight from Brussels to Abu Dhabi. The meal in the plane where delicious. When booking the plane tickets I misunderstood the meal choices: because I could not find a “normal” menu (they were only displaying the choices for special dietary requirements), I opted for hindu meals. Finally it was a very good choice because I was served before all the other passengers and the food was delicious. Moreover, it led to a funny situation when the air hostess really was confused when bringing the hindu meal, because my neighbour was an Indian guy :-).
I did not see much of Abu Dhabi, being there only in transit for 2-3 hours. A huge and very luxurious tax free zone with lots of (super) expensive and (super) useless luxe-stuff, and a particularly broad palette of skin colors buzzing in all directions. And yes, they even sell top-notch Belgian chocolate!
The second fly to Melbourne was in an A380 aircraft, first time for me. It is really huge and very confortable even in the economy class.
Finally I arrived in Melbourne airport after 26 hours of travel. No issues with my luggage. There, after asking at the info desk if it was possible to bike to the city, I decided to unpack my bike, re-assemble it and ride by bike from the airport to the city. It appeared to be a quite bad decision, because the night came quickly and there was no clear way suited for bicycles. After some trial and errors, I began to be a little be afraid that this could last for hours. Then I passed over the highway going to the city and noticed it was stuck with traffic jams. One minute later, I was overtaking the cars on the highway. It gives an unique feeling, but was a bit stupid since after the trafic jam it became a bit scary. My boldness however paid off since I managed to find my way to my hostel quite easily after this little highway biking circus. After nearly 30 hours of travel, I was really happy to find a bed to sleep in.