Mayan Prophecy Countdown
Well, the rain seemed to have gone away today, although it was quite cold, this meant the beemer came out and took David to work :) While he was there I headed off to the local town of Belsen(of renowned Bergen-Belsen fame as the location of a concentration camp). I came to get some money out to pay for the tyres that the local shop had ordered on my behalf, I would not install any yet, I have ridden 16,000km since install and I still have heaps of tread left, I am wrapped in these tyres :) I also wanted to get a photo of the tank outside the local army base of Hohne-Paderborn, but was told off by the guard, afraid of terrorists I guess :( I spotted a shoe shop there and found what I wanted, some waterproof stuff, that looked and smelt like dubbin, so that would be great for the boots and gloves :) Meanwhile we had baked the boots in the oven(low heat) so the leather would be warm and David rubbed some Snow Seal stuff into them, they are now nice and shiny and maybe have a waterproof barrier :)
On the way home I decided to look for a couple of caches, the first one was quite easy, stuck in a birdbox with the entry blocked off so no birds can enter, and the second was easy too, but I could not reach it, it was 4m off the ground!!! I classify it as a found, even though I cannot sign the log :) On the way back I also saw these funny characters made from straw rolls, quite cute :)
Then it was pack up time, I had sorted out all my routes I was going to need over the next few days and it looked like some ground covered. The plan is to take two days to ride to Vienna, this way I get to spend overnight in the Czech Republik and try out a new beer. Then after getting my visa(hopefully, fingers crossed) I would have a long 850km haul to Bad Herrenalb in the Black Forest. I normally start a long ride like that at 6am to get the most done by lunchtime, but this time the embassy opening times force me to leave Vienna at around 10am, so a very late finish before setting a tent up and going by the forecasts, it will be raining. I had not booked any accommodation because I did not know if I would be there. :( This raining and tent business was not a happy thought, being cold and wet to start then getting inside with all wet gear is worse, but there was no other option at this time if I wanted to make the meeting.
Anyway, thank you to Ellie, David and Oscar for putting me up over the last few days, great to meet fellow bikers and real genuine people, see you in a few weeks or so for my tyres :) (And I found out later my battery charger I had left behind, doh!)
My route took me south into the old east German side of the country, towards Berlin to start with then south via Magdeburg and Dresden, and I even went past Colditz Castle, which I really wanted to see, but I would prefer to see it with time up my sleeve and see it properly, I hope to be back. I have to say it was very cold riding and another failure of equipment, my Gerbings jacket controller has given up the ghost, I tried a few ways to get the jacket heat flowing but resorted to the wet weather gear as a windbreak instead, which did work. Gerbings have a life time warranty on their electronics, so the failure is just an annoyance, all I have to do is find a shop with Gerbings gear and have it replaced, finding one is the issue. Because of the late start, it was nearly 2pm before I hit the slab, I did not enter the Czech republik until after 7pm. All the stoppages were for cold gear evaluation etc. I started to look for a place to stay and eventually dropped off the slab and found a hotel under renovation in a small town called Teplitz. And it was not long after taking a photo of the castle on the hill that I was wrapping myself around a cold beer and relaxing reading a book for a change :)
And I had a latish night just relaxing before I called for the Czech cheque, I had all day tomorrow to get down near Vienna and chase up some Czech caches on the way :)
Cheers from the Czech Republik