Mayan Prophecy Countdown
It was a late start all day today, brekky was not until 9am which is very late for me but I took the opportunity to update some blog entries and then after brekky I wanted to finish the one on Amsterdam, which took a fair while. In the end I did not get down to the tyre place until 11.30! But, it did not take long to get the front wheel off and the new tyre installed and he even has a balancer, so that will be a first ;) There is still enough tread on the front for another 10,000km I reckon, but there is some scalloping and it causes vibration at speed. Just for the record, these tyres were put on by IB and myself when I arrived in Frankfurt at the start of this trip, they have done just under 25,000km, a brilliant set of tyres and the same style are going back on, Heidenau K60 Scouts.
Next was the rear, I also reckon I could get another 5,000km out of that if I had to, but it was slightly squared off. Once again a simple job with the right gear :)
After the bike was back together and all bolts tight I had a quick look around the farm. Frank has a unique business here, he started out with a bike shop then added a bar and then migrated into repairs and now manufactures specialised parts for older bikes that can not be found elsewhere. He can help those world travellers in need, so if there is a need give him a holler on +49 5051 919 0018, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, he speaks very good English, so no problems there. Thanks for the help m8 :) He used to race bikes for Kawasaki, so there is a lot of green around :)
The stuff in the glass cabinet was made on his CNC machine, plus he does fibreglass replacement parts for bike panels etc. Anyway, I was off and back on the road not long after 2 and quickly ripped around to Dave’s place. He had gone but left me my charger, thanks m8 :) Then off to the Harz Mountains on the old eastern border area. The goal this afternoon was to visit my German uncle and I arrived there around 4pm. Unfortunately, there was nobody home even though it was known that I would arrive after lunch, bummer. I waited a while, tried to phone but could not get any answer, so I left a couple of notes and hit the road again, this time east and south with a specific target in mind.
I had seen signs to this place a while back, when I was flying back down to Vienna to pick up my visa, it is the town of Colditz :) I used to read a lot of stories when I was a kid about the escape attempts from this prison during the second world war and of course there was a TV series I also used to watch. I thought it would be real cool to see what the real place was like :) It was a slab ride down there, but then when I was about 30km from the town, I hit Umleitungs, or Detours, heaps of them, it got quite confusing and in the end I am sure I did a full loop around the area to find the town!
I eventually found the town and I had tried a few motels along the route in, none had internet! But, in the end I chose one right in the centre of town, a pension, it had no internet either, but it was now 8pm and I was buggered, so I made a choice, this would do. I was even given a welcoming drink :)
Dinner would not be an issue it seems, according to the host, Ralph. He had just sent some others up to a local restaurant and that meant the owner would stay open, rather than close early, so after a quick refresh and change into shorts and thongs, I was off for a feed with my first view of the castle appearing over the town square. The place was near deserted, a very sleepy town!
I found some other English speaking people there, well they were from Birmingham, close enough ;) It appears these also were riding bikes and were staying in the Castle itself, part of the youth hostel system, but only dorms, I wish I had known about it, but I have made my decision now and will stick to it. Harmonia was our server and owner and she was a fun lady, the dinner was great and the company also. This is not a bar we kept being told, it is a restaurant, but while the beer was being served we had some fun :)
Eventually we had to go, but we grabbed some takeaways and continued drinking and talking in the main square, we were a bit loud at times, but nobody told us to keep quiet and it was gone 1am before we packed it away! The extended tour of the castle, in English was to start at 10.30am tomorrow, so plenty of time to sleep in :)
Cheers from Colditz, Germany