Mayan Prophecy Countdown
The weather was crap again this morning, a light rain, but the forecast did say it will get better, so I headed off with only 120km to go. I had been along this road before, but in the other direction and remembered seeing this parking place near Stuttgart airport, it is massive, but a novel idea, quite a few stories high and it went for about 100m deep across a 6 lane highway :)
It was not too long after this that I entered the Black Forest and the winding country roads which makes this a bikers heaven, except today because the roads were wet! And I eventually arrived at the town of Bad Herrenalb where I saw about 2 Vstroms in total around the hotel location!
But, when I asked I found out 98% of them are out on tour rides, so they would not be back until 5pm or so. I decided to go and look at the campground and there seemed to be about 20 bikers or so camped there. The weather was supposed to improve and by now it had stopped raining, so I thought why not and set up “Camp TS”. Apparently my kayak bag has a seepage problem maybe from all the days and days of rain, so there was a bit of dampness and a bit of mildew on the sleeping bag, but I hung that out to dry and I can brush the stuff off later :)
After that I was a tad hungry and found a Kebap shop and while there I started to look for something to do, mainly geocaches :) I had downloaded 1000 for the area around here and should be able to find a couple at least :) And that is what I proceeded to do over the next three hours, ride around the mountains looking for treasure and found in total 7 for the afternoon, not a bad effort. :) Some were so close it nearly was a waste of time to fire up the bike, but the ride was good and the result excellent :)
Some of these small caches are a tad difficult to find, especially when the description/hint is in German and although I can manage to understand a bit, sometimes I am left wondering!! This particular cache had a hint of the following in ca. 170 cm Höhe an einer Eiche Now, from that I knew it was about 1.7m off the ground, but I had no idea what the Hohe is nor what an Eiche is. Of course I just did a translate and Hohe means high and Eiche is Oak, so it is in an Oak tree. Well I searched and searched on that day and eventually I went down into the gully(behind my bike), which was a long way from the co-ordinates(about 20m) and found the damm thing, but I had plenty of time and although I nearly gave up, I came away with the goodies :)
Some of the larger ones are easier to find, especially when they are in a forest and no one can see you scrabbling around near the base of trees :)
Some of them have a great stories, but I will need to get online to a translator when I get time, some are easier to understand, the last one shown here is at one of the gazillion solar farms they have all around this continent. With them and the other gazillion wind farms, you can tell they are in to serious green power, maybe we in Oz should be doing similar things on a larger scale, with the amount of sun we get!! ?
It was nearly 5pm and I had texted Simon and IB earlier, to meet up in the bar of the meeting hotel at 5 for beers, no reply from IB yet :) In the hotel foyer was a Vstrom with serious mods, including a massive fat front tyre, I think Touratech has been playing around again :)
So, I met a chap called Sammy who was from Finland, he has heard of Beemerbird and is also an Ironbutt rider. He had just done 2000km direct from Stockholm to here in 21 hours, arrived at 5am this morning and had to wait in the rain until 6 before the hotel opened up, then crashed for a bit :) Each to their own, but nice to meet you m8. Also Simon turned up, so we had some beer, he was staying at a hotel about 2km away. Simon is the Swiss guy who rides a BMW GS1200 and rode with me in Alaska a few years ago, we did the Prudhoe Bay run and the Denali Highway together.
During this time I had been getting texts from IB, it turns out he will not be arriving as his bike is not repaired yet, bit of a bummer really :( I would now have to make a detour via Frankfurt at some stage to pick up the gear I had had delivered there, but them’s the breaks, and I have taken bigger detours in the past ;) There was no big dinner here on this Friday night, it seems Saturday night was when that was happening, so it was lucky that I had decided to camp, because they were having BBQ night and the camp owner had organised tables chairs and a tent. Simon went to book in and have dinner and would come down to the campground later. I headed off to buy some beer and something to eat for myself and Sammy and met some other riders also doing the same thing. I then proceeded to show the locals how we do onions in Oz, and the beer was placed into the freezing cold creek to be removed on a regular basis over the next few hours. The pommy lads from the UK Vstrom forum had heard I was here and walked down from the hotel for a chat, nice to meet you all and thanks for delivering my Wales Tshirt and the bolt on extra large foot for the side stand, that will come in handy :)
Check out how tall Sammy is, compared to me and Preload, he is head and shoulders above us!!!
So, it was a late night, after midnight and finally dark before I crashed out. I was to head north in the morning to the Horizons Unlimited meeting with Simon, and Sammy was heading back to Stockholm for another Ironbutt ride :)
Cheers from Bad Herrenalb, Germany