Ground Zero

[Jeff] I'm standing in the middle of the room, looking around, wondering 'how did this happen', we were so organised, now the place looks like a garbage truck exploded in it. To top it off, I've come down with a bad flu, Sally has to put in 200% because I'm about as useful as a carpet fitters ladder.

It's the last day before we fly to Buenos Aires to start our journey. We still have the bikes Carnets to get signed at the airport freight terminal, a load to take to the Salvation Army store, packing to do and rubbish to take out. This last item is going to be a problem, the garbage trucks haven't been since Christmas and the bins are overflowing. As a last resort we pile the rubbish out into the hallway between our apartment and the one next door, our splendid neighbours Craig and Vanessa say they will take it out when bins are empty.

We take a  load to our storage facility, just make it this time but they are closed now and we have lots more to take. Sally calls friends nearby for a favour to take the rest for us later - thanks Daniel and Corina, you are the best. Sally loads the rest of the gear into the car to take over to them. My flu has hit it's peak and my body thermostat has gone haywire, feverish one minute and freezing the next. I need to lie down for five. A builder shows up, our landlord wants to renovate and is keen to get started. Five minutes later I get up and go to the bathroom, all the door handles are gone. I come out of the bathroom and the hall carpet is gone. I tiptoe over the scattered carpet nails.

That's it! Everything that's left is thrown into the luggage that we are taking with us to Buenos Aires. These bags were just supposed to hold our camp beds which we have been sleeping on the last few weeks and a couple of changes of clothes to get us by before our bikes arrive. Now we really have no idea what these bags contain, everything left in sight was literally scooped up and shoved in.

We have a final night of luxury booked at the Shangri La in Sydney. It's a five star hotel, porters, valets - the works. We had hoped to arrive early and enjoy the evening. Instead it is 10:30pm, and we are, let's say, very casually dressed. We are sweaty and half our luggage is contained in shopping bags. I was expecting to be chased back out onto the street with brooms.

Up in the room, we open our 'mystery' bags to see what ended up being packed. It's immediately obvious it was done in a rush. I'm looking down at a mixture of dirty and clean clothes, a handful of bulldog clips, a piece of fuel line and three socks.

It's a relief that the day of over, we can at least enjoy a proper bed for the night. Nothing more we can do now - except draw up a three sock roster.