Feeling Restored and Ready for What’s Next – Bludenz 24th June (Day 31)

When my train arrived yesterday evening Tobi was, unexpectedly, on the platform to meet me. I’ve found the guest/host relationship on CouchSurfing and Warm Showers – both web-based hospitality communities but the latter expressly for bicycle tourists – can quickly form and, even untended, be lasting. Tobi and Sarah had stayed with me and my then-husband in 2012. They were medical students. Their Austrian university allowed/encouraged their students to do learning-rotations at hospitals overseas. They were in the midst of a year-long series of such placements interspersed with travel when they visited us in Sydney. At the time, the idea …

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The Warm Embrace of Friendship Renewed – Firenze (Days 17 – 19; 10 – 12 June)

10 June 2015 – Wednesday It rains while I am on the train to Florence. A pelting rain slanting into the Tuscan landscape of green hills, fields of crops and towns whose names escape me. The station in Florence, Santa Maria Novella, is a huge building from the fascist era – modern and art deco-ish. The main hall is utterly jammed with people through whom I walk my bicycle. Jerry Lee lives a few kilometres away and I make my way to his piazza and there we meet for the first time in 25 years. He’s the same; I’m the same; we’re …

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I Will Miss the Tactile, the Small, the Changes (13 May 2015)

I’m at the midpoint between returning from my Australian test ride and boarding a plane for Milan. I am calm about the coming adventure – not entirely ready but ticking through the list and confident I will be good to go come Sunday 24 May. I’m trying not to let my mind settle to long or too much on the size and scale of what lays in front of me. I see it in the eyes of my friends and acquaintances when I speak of it but I’ve been living with the idea of it and the myriad component parts …

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All that and a Naked German too – Beach No 29: Flint & Steel (24 November 2013)

If I were ranking the best named beaches Flint & Steel would be near the top. That I can’t find anything explaining the source of that fantastic moniker adds mystery – maks it even better. I can tell you it was already called Flint & Steel by 1832. Flint & Steel was an exciting beach for me for three four five reasons: One, it was the first beach of the 2013/2014 season. Two, it was the first beach I visited after the demise of my marriage Three, it was the first beach I was visiting with my old mate Laura whom I was grateful …

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