So, I've been home for 10 days now and it's bloody cold. Strangely cold because it's now the middle of May, with plenty of lush growth and flowers, and yet the temperature struggles to reach double figures. I reassembled the bike and took it into my usual shop for a once-over, where the mechanics were more interested in how the bike had held up, rather than my experiences. I didn't have the heart to tell Neil his three hour cleaning session had been for nought, as the bicycle hadn't been inspected.
This weekend I rode to Edinburgh and got soaked, frozen and buffeted by a chilly wind in both directions. Still, it was good to be back on Scottish roads, with courteous drivers and amongst familiar sensations (notably birdsong and the smell of rain).
So, I cycled 3,097 miles in Australia, changed the chain twice, suffered the same number of punctures and lost 11 lbs in the process. I only lost one pound when crossing the States. I think that says something about the better quality and/or larger portions there. Don't know what country to tour next and I'm open to suggestions. Possibly Europe, Japan or New Zealand.
The photos I took can be viewed at www.shutterfly.com. Go to "my account", put in "email@example.com" and "golden" as the password and you can see all 374 of them as a slideshow.
Thanks for reading, thanks for all the comments and I'll let you know about future plans.