TransAlp Helps Vstrom – Bonus
Posted by TravellingStrom on May 31, 2012
Mayan Prophecy Countdown
Just a quick note here. If I go missing again, and by that I mean no updates for a few days or whatever, go to the top right of this page and click on the link :SPOT tracks of Where I Am: this will show you on a map page where I am currently riding, failing that, assuming I am not riding and there is nothing to see, click on the one above it, Facebook because if I get WiFi I update that regularly. If there is nothing new on both, then it means I am out of contact, but I do send out OK signals every day to a select few people. If they get no OK then I am custard!
Wednesday 30th May
I had a bit of a mad dash around this morning, because I knew I would need passport photos for my visa application and could not find them. I ripped through the bike twice and finally found them in the last place I looked. Which makes sense cos I stopped looking!!! So, off I trundle up to the embassy and found a cleaner doing maintenance, that was all I found, the damm place was closed on Wednesdays, bugger!!! Now I had to make a decision. Do I stay here at the price they are charging(98E) or do I get out of town and return through the rush hour morning traffic tomorrow morning. Well, it looked like a moot point, because they seemed to be booked up but the manager said he would call around to see if all rooms are confirmed.
I started to write some blog entries and was called back quite a few hours later by reception, saying I could keep the room if I wished. By now I was in ‘who cares mode’, so I accepted and spent the day on catch up, might as well make use of the fast internet while I had the chance eh :)
I wandered down to the local supermarket and bought some meat and buns etc for lunch and probably dinner as I would need to make up for the sudden cost overrun! Funny place that supermarket, I could not find any Vienna Sausages anywhere and although I could buy a single tomato I would have to buy a whole bag of onions, even though I wanted just one!! I bought a tube of mustard instead, easier to pack ;) And drinking black tea from the billy on the back porch of my room went down well, I am getting used to no milk now.
That pretty much wrapped up that day, all day writing, with a few nanny naps in between, to make up for the early starts and late nights :)
Thursday 31st may
It was raining when I woke, not good, but I may have a chance to try out my new waterproof gear. As I was ready yesterday, I had no need to rush nor panic today. Until I got to the embassy of course, now I had to jump through hoops, with the midday hotel checkout as my deadline. First off I had to go and pay a fee into the Bank of Austria, only 35E for a 30 day single entry pass, so quite cheap. Lucky for me other people were there because the Kazak lady did not speak English, unlike the guy I spoke to the other day. I also had to fill out an application form, so she printed me out an English version and I took a pre-typed deposit slip down about 5 blocks to the bank and deposited the money.
Then I went back to the hotel where I could fill the application out with the info I had there, then I asked the hotel lady to write an explanation in German abouty part 18- I do not have a Letter of Introduction, because I was told as an Aussie I do not need one(left that line blank) and part 24- I do not yet have a visa for my exit point(Kyrgystan), because I need to apply for the Kazakhstan one first, but I gave them my probable entry dates
With that I went back and handed it all over, including my vehicle details, she accepted it all and said I will see you next Thursday, a whole week without a passport!!! But, I had prepared for this and have 4 colour copies of it in case the police need to see it. It is time to get on the road, but where too?
I had quite a few contacts and 6 days to see a few of them, so I decided to head to Switzerland and see if I can catch up with Simon, we road to Prudhoe Bay together the other year. There was also the chain which needs doing, and a friend of Anthony’s called David who had access to a workshop and is a rider himself, had invited me up, but that was north Germany, plus a few others in Germany also. So, I packed and headed west around lunchtime, even getting lost in the switchbacks up a small mountain, so I stopped for a feed. What I mean by this is, when the roads are so close to each other, the GPS cannot tell if you are on the one that is higher or lower, so sometimes it gets confused, mine having this issue in normal traffic lately and will need to be replaced when I get to England in a few weeks or so.
I spotted a sign to add to my collection, it has been slim pickings over here, mainly cows and deer, I reckon Lesley would like this one for her frog collection :)
I was using the back roads rather than the slab but that was not a problem as I had a sort of destination in mind, but on the way I noticed a cache coming up so I decided to stop and grab it. They must be jokers who placed this one, I could see where it was, up on the back wall but could not reach it, so I found an old stump nearby to stand on. But, the hint said something like, “send a small cacher around the corner” I reckon that must mean a “tall” cacher LOL, anyway I ticked off Austria :)
Then just a few kms up the road another right there, so I had a look for that one too. This one was hidden in an old connection box, quite tricky and you needed a key or a coin to open the door, but another checked off :) Two for the day, now to make tracks, it has taken me 3 hours to get about 60km!!! It was slab time.
The worst part about this was I could see mountains to the south a bit, that would be where all the good roads are, but with the chain the way it is it would be too dangerous. I have already tightened it once today and can feel it loosening again, so when I go around tight corners, I can feel the chain riding the edge of the sprocket and slopping around, not a good feeling, hence the slab. Anyway, as I was riding in the late afternoon I decided I would try and find a place to stay and look for a mechanic and for some reason I decided this little town of St Georgen sounded right, so I dropped off the slab and ended up riding past a shopping center, and right there was a biker riding a Translap, so I stopped to ask for some advice, re cheap hostel or B&B, and a workshop space. It was a choice decision, because the bikers name was Richard, which meant he was alright, and he showed me to a mechanic, who had closed for the day but he should be able to help out in the morning.
I now had a GPS waypoint marked and while he did his shopping, which I had interrupted, I had a great dinner at this small joint he frequents. These sausage and chips are different, the snags have been cut lengthwise, cheese inserted then closed up by wrapping bacon around it then BBQ’d, they tasted brilliant :) Nothing wrong with the beer either ;)
The guesthouse he had in mind for me was closed today, but a friend(Christof) of his who was also there called one he knew of then got me to follow him there and I booked in, thanks m8. It had no internet, which was a bummer, but the main thing for me now is the chain, so I had been fed and had a bed and a plan, roll on 8am tomorrow :)
Cheers from Austria