Eventually the hero returns to Uruk reconciled to the inevitable end of the journey and possessing a new appreciation for home and the virtues of "placedness" (also deepened by the memory of the apocalypse of the flood story related by Utanapishtim in the final tablet).
Now Gilgamesh's travel is described during the final journey of the poem as a "restless roaming in the steppe" (for instance, at 9: 26-7, 10: 101-102 and 10: 151) at the same time that it is incongruously described as a quest to find Utanapishtim, from whom Gilgamesh seeks to obtain the secret of eternal life.
This ironic tension underlying Gilgamesh's travel explains the detached, vaguely parodic treatment of the quest journey to Utanapishtim that takes up the latter part of the work.
Finally, however, Siduri tells Gilgamesh he can cross the sea to Utanapishtim with the boatman Ur-Shanabi (10: 103-115).
Upon arrival, Utanapishtim also asks, again, somewhat incongruously given the context of the quest: "Why are you clad in a lion skin, roaming the steppe?