Day 462. 105km. Elder Ranges – Quorn

Posted: September 26, 2016 in Australia, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

I sat at the café in Hawker and cried. Hawker is like any of the Flinders Ranges towns that are so familiar to me from my youth. I know why I have been lacking my motivation. I need some time by myself to process this. My journey is coming to an end, and I need some time alone.

The road to Quorn

The road to Quorn

Clement and I are in different places mentally. I cursed at every bit of mud and every rock in the road while cycling in the sun through the grassy, green fields on the beautiful Mawson Trail. Clement hurtled forward with excitement and enthousiasm, making my irritation even more complete.
Do I want to get home quicker? Finish this two-year life-time dream? No. I don’t want it to end. Yes. I want to be in Brighton, Adelaide. I want to walk down the jetty where mother’s ashes dissipated into the water. I want to be back. I don’t know what I want, and so here I am, in the café, bursting into tears.

Clement and I parted ways today. He continued down the bumpy but beautiful Mawson Trail. I took the straight, flat, bitumen road and entered into myself, gliding along with a tailwind in the sun. Over and over again I burst into tears. I was going to Quorn where my grandmother was born, and where we returned every year to walk and enjoy the Flinders Ranges. I had flashbacks of those times. Of my grandmother. Of my mother. Of everything. And everything brought back the tears. The journey is ending, and here I am.

I pulled over at a windmill. I used to love these windmills as a kid. We used to count them when driving up here. A game to pass the kilometres. These windmills are so iconic in my mind. I sat next to it and ate a whole packet of Tim Tam biscuits. It was sunny and warm, and I didn’t want to arrive in Quorn. But I did want to. I don’t know anything anymore.





I checked in to the first hotel I passed in Quorn, showered away the infinity of dirt and grime from my weather-beaten body, and then went to the train station to stare at the station building with ‘Quorn’ written above the door in big, friendly letters. Everywhere I looked were memories.



Clement will catch up with me tomorrow, and my father will drive up from Adelaide. We are going to spend a weekend here in this memory-filled place. Then it’s the last stretch – the last 350km – into Adelaide.

  1. Jude :) says:

    Thank you for your honesty, we all have these moments as we go through life. I will be the same when I get back to Perth WA in a few months time as the end of 2.5 years travelling. I am not looking forward to it, yet I often miss my “normal” life and I am months away from that moment.

    The only thing we can guarantee in life is change 🙂

  2. Paul.montgomery says:

    Hi Matthew
    How touching to read your last post. It sounds like a really sensitive time and place. Lots to reflect on and to feel mixed about.
    You have done an amazing journey. Not just in the last two years. Maybe recognise yourself in all this achievement. I reckon a lot of people are incredibly impressed.

    Go gently.

    Very best wishes


  3. Pat Gaudry says:

    Hi Matthew
    The past is the past and filled with good memories. We cannot go back, only onwards. The future will have good times too, you just don’t know what that will be just yet. Give yourself time to go through all these emotions. It is very important that you do so you can then go forward.
    Much love from your Adelaide neighbours

    • Hi Pat.
      Yes. It will be an emotional time. This amazing stage of my life is coming to an end, and the next stage is opening up ahead. I’m looking forward to it. It will be amazing. Like in the bike trip, we never knew what would happen each day, the next stage is unknown. That’s what life is like, and I’m enjoying it!

  4. Alessandro Zorat says:

    Thank you Matthew for sharing with us not just the trip but you emotions, feelings, memories.
    Thank you for the courage to show yourself not only as the incredible cyclist who went from the Netherlands to Australia, but also as the man that can cry when overwhelmed by what those places meant to you – and still mean to you.


  5. valerievolk says:

    Endings are always painful. But they are also beginnings – and that’s exciting.
    So many memories, so many experiences – but welcome home!

  6. Eliza Waters says:

    Transitions always take their toll on us. May good things lie ahead for you!

  7. Peter van den Hurk says:

    Hi Matthew, what a wonderful and emotional experience this must have been – after 2 years, cycling from Eindhoven, and then finally arriving at your destination. I’ve been reading (almost) all of your posts along the road – what a great achievement! I wish you all the best with finding your next destination, whatever it will be!
    Warm regards, Peter

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