What happened next – life in Melbourne.
Now we are up to the accident you might reasonably ask what have you been doing in the last 7 months.
At the beginning we had no idea it would take this long for Karen to make a full recovery, I thought that we would be back on the road after three months or so.
But the pelvis is a serious bone to break and it has taken much longer than we expected to be in a position to resume our journey. Indeed we are not quite there yet but the end / beginning is now in sight. Karen has been extremely brave and patient throughout and I am extremely proud of her. She has worked hard to get fit again as some of these pics show.
We have to say a massive thank you to the Victoria Guzzi Club (MGCoV) who made this possible, ordinarily an accident of this magnitude would have meant we would have had to get medically evacuated home and that would probably have been the end of our journey. We would also have had to have abandoned our bike or bundled the smashed remains into a shipping container to send home. Neither of us wanted to do that as we felt the trip wouldn’t have the same dynamic if we had to stop and start again at a later date let alone the complications of employment, housing and everything else that conspires to trap you in one spot.
This is taken outside one of the MGCoV’s social sip nights at the Leinster arms in Collingwood, Melbourne.
Shortly after the accident while Karen was still in hospital and I was walking wounded (well hobbling anyway) Neil (then vice president of the MGCoV) and a great guy took me up to meet one their members Pierre, who had offered to put us up in his pool / party room to help us out. It was the start of a great friendship which along with a lot of the other members here will endure long beyond the trip and has made our stay here really special. The first pic shows Pierre at the front together with Neil on his left accompanied by Nancy and Paula some of our other friends here. The other pics are us in our new abode and the pool room taken at night. I was busy doing something one day and turned round to find Karen with a washing basket on her head. Perplexed I asked why ? “It’s the easiest way to carry it in a wheelchair she said “” It won’t fit on my lap and both my arms are busy pushing”
In the first few weeks I stayed with Craig, his wife Paula and their family who were closer to town which made it easier to visit Karen in hospital in the city centre. Craig and Paula have also become firm friends and have helped us immeasurably during our time here. Here is us having dinner with them on Karen’s first weekend leave out of the hospital and a picture of Ted one their Airedale dogs who we are going to dogsit later in the year. You will hear more about Teddy later as he has had a hard few months too.
I must also say thank you to John who helped me straighten out the bike during this period, he was a massive help and I was really grateful for his no nonsense old school approach and skills. Between us we managed to repair things which initially looked like scrap and we got he bike back on the road in a matter of weeks. Here is a pic of John when we were straightening out the front rack. Apologies for the poor quality pics from this time, our camera was smashed in the accident and the mobile phone this was taken with also went blurry after the bounce down the road. We have bought another second hand camera now which works well.
A few people have asked “Aren’t you bored with staying in one place for so long” We laughed the first time we heard this, we haven’t had time to be bored, our days have been and still are full and the time has absolutely flown by. We have at last caught up with our trip blogs to the accident and will give you edited highlights with pictures of some of the things we have been up to in Melbourne since.
Despite the strange circumstances we have both REALLY enjoyed our time here. The hospitality and friendship that has been shown to us has been truly humbling and we will be forever grateful for it. Plus Melbourne is a great place and there is loads to do and see around here. We have had lots of days out, Karen was in the wheelchair in the early days and later on crutches but she is happily now back on two feet. Here is a pic of us at Mont De Lancy with Pierre and our friend Seraphina (more of Mont de Lancy later)
During our tour around Australia we have been treated to some great Aussie hospitality in many places which has made this part of the trip really special. We have tried when ever possible to give something back to our kind hosts and have cooked dinners, washed up, mended fences, cleared gutters, dug gardens, walked dogs, chainsawed trees, mowed lawns etc etc many, many times.
It’s not always been possible due to time constraints and circumstances but we try where we can. Happily we have been able to do this in Melbourne as well and there are some pictures of us later helping Pierre and Neil amongst others with various projects. We have also been house (and dog) sitting for one of the Guzzi club members for seven weeks while they were away on a cruise and we are already booked to look after Paula and Craig’s dogs and house over new year.
Here we are helping Pierre with fallen trees on his property, there will be more pics later. The glasses were lost a few days before when I was jetwashing the mud off the roots of the stump. Pierre was bulldozing the stump with his tractor and uncovered them amazingly undamaged. The last pics are Karen making friends with BJ (Pierre’s horse).
These experiences have really enabled us to get under the skin of the place and see how people live. This more than anything has helped us to understand what makes the country and its people tick and we have made some great friends.
We covered the accident itself after Blog 210, labelled “Guzzioverland Update” and “Moving to Rehab” (they can be found in the archives under May), the intention of these next few blogs is to fill in some of the gaps between then and now and finally get up to date. To this end these are edited highlights, there were obviously many days when compared to our usual activities not much happened especially when Karen was in hospital.
We will let the pictures tell the story as much as possible and explain where necessary. We thought we had better get another blog or two in before the 21st Dec in case the Mayans were right and we all go KABLOOIE. If that’s the case we will have no regrets, we are just happy that we travelled the world as much as we did and met so many lovely people.
Hopefully not the end.
P.S If the world does go fatoom we will just stand the Guzzi on it’s end light the blue touchpaper and ride the pressure wave to who knows where ?