Day 329 | and so another year begins: some reflection on the year gone and the year ahead

Esperance Day 31

It’s traditional at the start of the year to survey the next 12 months. I’m intent on heading back across the continent: Perth to Cape York, then back to Melbourne. More obscure dirt roads, little adventures and weight loss. That means I’m roughly halfway through the circuit.

One problem: lack of funds.

I’m keen to amass enough dosh to do that milage in one go. One option is to stay in Esperance, the other accumulate in Perth. The economy is on the move in a big way over here in the west: the miners are ripping out ore at an increasing rate and the massive Gorgon gasfield development commencing this year will be the biggest single project ever in Australia. So the state is really cranking up.

Espy is my preferred option: the landscape is incredible, the weather benign for the most part, I found a great place to stay, the town is low key and friendly, basically it’s low stress. More cash is available in Perth but the costs are higher and, well, I’m over big cities for a while. (Perth has 1.6 million inhabitants.)

A reconciliation of last year’s efforts: 10 months in the saddle, 14,000km with a fair proportion over some rough roads, 38°C+ heat, (100°F+), biking mostly 6 days a week, major breaks 6 days in Adelaide, 6 days in Alice Springs, 4 days in Darwin, 7 days in Broome. Really knocked the stuffing out. I arrived in town pretty run down.

The break is doing me some good, it’s been 30 years since I had a summer at the beach like this. Since then it’s been decades of the usual mad rush of career and partners. It hasn’t been all beach: I’ve moved my blog from my personal site, available only to family and friends, to CGOAB; read plenty of trashy thrillers for the first time in years; had long conversations with fellow travellers.

Last year was fantastic.

It will be interesting to see how much of this beach stuff I can handle.