One of the things we quickly found was a preference for each other's company over that of the various people we met on the way. They weren't bad, we simply couldn't cope with them. My feeling was just that we both felt so right hanging together, they couldn't help but feel wrong or discordant. I've already mentioned having to fit back in with fans, and finding that difficult at various points.
I did some good meditation work while travelling, and explained to Hespa the way I handled it. Once it was clear that there isn't a right or wrong result, there's just the act, she seemed to take to it well. I figured she would. It's a handy tool to be able to access, the hard part is finding a method that works. Hespa, like I, can't do the 'clear your mind' thing. It just doesn't happen. So the technique where instead of emptying your mind, you fill it with everything you can, seemed to work for her. Her way of achieving that was different to my own, her reactions very different, but the end result positive for both of us.
On our trip we watched the sun rise over the Bight, watched it set over the Nullarbor, we climbed trees, meditated in a forest, laughed, joked, told each other secrets and generally had a great time. I actually find myself wishing this had been the return trip, rather than the one to Swancon, so that I would finish on a huge positive. It will be difficult for my return trip to even begin to compare.
But then again, had this been the return journey, it wouldn't have been the same one - couldn't have been. Things happened in the way and at the pace and in the places they needed to. That's why the trip felt so right.
My trip back to Canberra will be slower. I can probably only do 200 - 300 km a day safely on my own for such an extended journey. So I'll be taking advantage of my limitations to see and explore all I can practically in the time I have. I'll camp at Frasier Range, spend some time in Kalgoorlie, spend a full day and night in Minnipa, follow the calls to odd out-of-the-way places, pause to drink deep of the land whose name I took as my own.
This trip I definitely felt my connection to the country deepen and strengthen, which is good and important as I may need to hold onto that strength for some time. I don't know when I'll next be able to do the trip. There are no buses across the Nullarbor any more, and my birthday journey is going to have to be rewritten in how I approach it. I will probably fly to the capital cities now, and sadly won't be driving the Nullarbor or likely to spend my actual birthday at Eucla.
But that's fine. So long as I take this trip back at a pace that suits me, it won't matter at all.
I only hope that my friend and I get travel like this again some day.