Sunday, 11 December 2011

Life off the bikes

It’s now almost 4 months since we arrived back home in Point Lonsdale, near Melbourne, Australia and we thought it was time for a little update.

At the end of our 18,000km bicycle tour we were quite ready to arrive at home and be stationary for a while. As we lived overseas for so long, we have been quite busy getting settled back in here. So far we have been very lucky and were able to house sit for relatives and test drive some areas that we might be interested to live in. We feel particularly at home in Ocean Grove, a small seaside town 1.5 hours south of Melbourne, where Guy’s cousin and some friends live.

point lonsdale front beach  Queenscliff boats ||

Never prone to resting and relaxing, we dived straight into the next challenge and started a business! We decided to join forces and start a web design, development and internet marketing agency called Ondetto.

When we came back, we got in touch with Guy’s high school, Geelong Grammar, and were invited to give a couple of talks there. Having sorted through our thousands of photos and turned them into a presentation, we visited the school and presented to two groups of year 10 geography students. We were slightly nervous but quickly relaxed when we realised that the students obviously appreciated the diversion from their usual routine. Last week, we gave another school talk, this time to year 5 students of Ocean Grove Primary School. We were able to take the bikes on stage with us and were quite touched when the whole class came up to us afterwards to ask questions about the bikes and our tour. It was no small time investment to prepare for these presentations but it was a hugely rewarding experience.

We also gave a few interviews to the local press and made appearances in The Age online edition, a full-page interview in the Geelong Advertiser, as well as write-ups in The Rip and the Otway Tourism newsletter.

Some of you may remember Kerry from our blog. She was the amazing mum who cycled from Geelong to Darwin by herself in 30 days for her graduation. As she is local, we met up with her and her son for coffee. It was great to see her again and very entertaining to hear her story of how she got invited by a trucker’s association to do a keynote speech about her bike tour.

Having experienced so much hospitality on our trip, we were also pleased to host Rog and Dee for one night. We had been following their blog for the last year and been in email contact, so it was lovely to finally meet in person.

Kerry  Rog and Dee

Do we still like to ride our bikes? We do take them out a spin sometimes, but only when the weather is good. We look forward to some more cycle touring in the future, but for the moment we are quite happy to take it easy. There’s a big surfing scene down here and we’ve started getting into that too – it’s nice to use a different muscle group for a change.

After being away for so long, it has been lovely to spend time with family and friends again, knowing that we’re here to stay and ready to put down some roots.