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August 16th, 2011 | Asia

Yet Another Long Goodbye…!!

My bags were packed, the Big Fella loaded, blessed and ready to ride…

I had planned to leave as early as possible to take the ferry from Padangbai to Lembar, on Lombok Island. Ferries apparently left Padangbai every hour and a half, and took between four and five hours to reach the island, depending on conditions at sea… My thinking was that I could be on Lombok by early afternoon, and then ride across the island to the ferry terminal at Kayangan where ferries to Sumbawa Island left from, before dark…

The smile belies my true feelings about leaving Patricia and Bali...

I had spent the evening before, after our friends who had joined us for the bike blessing ceremony had left, completing the tidying up of my folders of photographs and videos, and copying them onto my external hard drives…

Patti and I spent the remainder of the evening quietly discussing our plans for the future, and reminiscing about the last whirlwind ten weeks in each other’s company…

Our conversation was filled with happy laughter and affection, but also tinged with sadness at my imminent departure…

I mind was filled both thoughts of what lay before me, as well as those of having to leave the love I had found in Bali…

Having first eased herself back into work by working a few half-days, Patti was now working full-time again, and I decided to walk her to the Como car for the last time the following morning, before taking my leave of both her and the villa I had called “home” in Ubud, afterwards…

The sky was gray and a light drizzle was falling, matching my sombre mood perfectly…

I had agonized about this moment for weeks, knowing that there was no way it would not match the other goodbyes I had experienced when I left South Africa so many months ago…

We said very little to each other as we walked hand in hand up the narrow lane that led to the Campuhan Steps…

I was overcome with emotion, my chest tight and my throat constricting… Her car and driver were waiting at the bottom of the steps, and rather than let all my taxi-driver friends see me in so emotional a state, we said our goodbyes at the top of the steps…

I hugged her tightly to my chest, kissed her one last time and then said,

“See you in November…!!”

It was all I could think of saying at the time… There seemed no need cover all the things we had said to each other, and the promise we had made to each other, earlier that same morning as she prepared to leave for work…

Suddenly November seemed very far away…

Greeted by a wet and windy day, I stood pondering my next move...

The rain began to fall harder as I rushed back to the villa to change into my riding gear… By the time I had finished, the rain had turned into a torrential downpour, and Agung, who was hovering nearby was convinced that it was a sign that I should not leave…

“The sky is crying, Mr. Ronnie…!! Maybe it means you must stay in Bali…!!” she said solemnly…

The house I have called "home" for the last ten weeks...

I stood on the porch, watching the irrigation channels used to flood the rice paddies fill up… The fish pond surrounding the villa was also quickly filled up, and began overflowing into the garden…

I had no real problems with riding in the rain, but I had to admit that getting onto a wet bike this early in the day was not my idea of a fun way to begin the next leg of my journey…

There should have been blue skies and a warm sun shining down on me…maybe a marching band and a small crowd of well-wishers…!! Ha…!!

I changed my plans and decided to take the midnight ferry instead, hopefully sleep while we sailed across the Lombok Strait, and then ride clear across Lombok and get onto Sumbawa the same day…

The rain fell for the remainder of the morning, and I used the time to write another post and copy music for Patricia, which I had not had the time to do the previous evening…

She was needless to say delighted that she would see me again that evening, and we both agreed that our earlier goodbye had been too quick and needed repeating…!!

I took Sadie for a final walk in the dark...

By late afternoon, it had stopped raining, although the sky was still dark with cloud… I wondered if I wouldn’t be leaving Bali in pouring rain after all…!!

Patti and I enjoyed a light meal at Made’s next door, and then while she dozed for a while, I took Sadie for a last walk… There was no way I could take a nap with all the things that were swirling around in my head…!!

We walked amongst the rice paddies, Sadie stopping often to question why she was on a leash and being walked this late at night…

She had spent most of the day nosing around my kit as I packed and loaded the last of it onto the bike… She seemed to know that something was up, and her little world was about to change again…!!

No arguments from me...!!

As I passed Stefano’s villa, I notice that he had hung another of the pennants that flutter from many homes and businesses her in Ubud…

The one that I was looking at now seemed to be more apt than most… I smiled to myself as I took the photo, and then turned for home for the last time…

I woke Patti with an “It’s time, Babe…!!”

Groggy with sleep, she asked “if we were having an earthquake”…!! A small earthquake had shuddered its way through Bali earlier in the year while she slept, rattling the windows and rocking the villa on its foundations… Perhaps she had been unconsciously reliving the event in her dreams…!!

We walked down to the bike together, stood staring at it for in silent contemplation for a few moments and then hugged and kissed again…

I promised for the last time that I would be careful on the wet roads leading to the harbour, and assured her that I would call as soon as I got there…

Then I was in the saddle, pressing the starter and hearing the Big Fella roar to life, shattering the silence of the night… I felt the tremors from his eager engine roll through me in waves, up through my gut and into my chest, fueling my excitement…

All that was left to do, was mount up and ride...!!

I turned to Patti one last time, where she was standing, arms folded and shivering in the cold, and said,

“The first kilometre on my ride back to you starts now…!! The sooner I get going, the sooner I’ll be back in your arms…!!”

I let the clutch out slowly, feeling the massive weight of the bike under me again for the first time in almost three months…

The Big Fella lurched forward, eager to be gone, and with a final wave to Patti, we headed down the long, narrow and dark lane…

On to new adventures in places we had only ever dreamed about before…

 ©GBWT 2011

9 comments to Yet Another Long Goodbye…!!

  • Lucia

    Good luck Dude! Take it easy and make sure you make it back safely to Patti. And inbetween know that the rest of us love sharing your story. Be well.

  • Mark Behr

    Wow – a difficult day my friend. Special moments are only special because they are not part of the ordinary. So … look forward to special moments in the future where you will be together again. So where to now ?

  • Tony Royle

    Cool. Enjoy getting back on the road.

    Great riding down in NZ (and RWC2011!) nudge nudge, wink wink. Land of the long white cloud.

    Are you changing tyres for Aussie outback?

    Aussie bike forum in case you need help on route etc

    http://obtrailriders.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=56

  • Trev

    Stay safe mate May the wind be always at your back and we look forward to seeing you here in Canada next year. This staying in one place is for the birds I have no interest in work and today was spent polishing Big Red. We have to get started with the house renovations so we can sell and leave again. What is great is that Chenty is on the same page as me!!! South America next.
    Who would have known that the girl we met in Turkey would make you so HAPPY. What a great place this world is!!!!!!!
    We are so pleased for you both
    Trev

  • Thanks Trev…!!
    Yeah….the world is a great place and we’ve seen so much of it…!! And there’s still so much more to come…!! Hope you get sorted with the house, but don’t finish too quickly…!! We have Alaska to do before you pop down south…!! All the best to you and hope you settle in…..eventually…!! Love to Chenty and Phil, and of course to you Big Guy…!! R.

  • Hi Tony…!! Thanks for the link…!! My current tyres will hopefully get me to Melbourne or at least to Adelaide, so sticking with the Michelins…. They’re the best…!! New Zealand…. Mmmm….!! Time is the factor… Have to see how I go in Oz…. Hoping to do Tasmania as well…. Give that Ponting chap a smack…!! Ha…!! R.

  • Thanks Loosh…!! Great to hear from you and that you’re enjoying the scribblings…!! Take care, R.

  • Michal

    Howzit Ronnie!

    Just checking in with your adventure again after a long time … Remember us? From Amsterdam? Romy askes after you … We’ve been having a bit of an adventure of our own down here …

    I see that Michel is heading out on the road again – South America …

    All the best … STERKTE!!!

  • Michal, jou Doring…!! How could I forget the red wine and fine dinners we shared…?? Hope all well with you and Romy…!! I will send you a mail so you can tell me about your “adventures down here”…!!
    Michel and I have been in touch regularly, and are planning to ride together in South America… I hope to do the run to Ushuaia in Patagonia with him…!!
    Take care and regards to both of you… R.

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