Emotionally it was a bit of overload. No more riding, no more damp clothing to put on in the dark of the early morning. No more coffees, thick shakes, guilt free full breakfasts, and importantly, no more comfortable conversations with Mark across a wide range of topics from past family memories to plans for the future. Instead it was endless questions from people wanting to understand what had been done, how far we had cycled and how did we carry our gear. Our phones beeped with messages of congratulations as we packed up and loaded the car, to finally head north effortless where previously every kilometre required ongoing effort.
Three days later, our lives changed forever as emergency meetings focused on getting Australians home from the A2O and Wilderness Trail and the start of the endless cancellations and re-bookings to next season as New Zealand started its journey into the unknown and our 4 week lock down. Memories of the Tour of Aotearoa may have been temporarily pushed aside but at random moments I am pulled back to the deep sense of satisfaction that comes with this 3000 km odyssey.