Mayan Prophecy Countdown
After breakfast and posting a blog, I relaxed. As I had decided not to ride hard to get to the Black Forest by this evening, I could take a slower ride and maybe enjoy the good weather. Whats that, yes, the sun is out and it is warm, touching on hot maybe. I am cynical though,so I kept my thermals on as I went up to the Kazakhstan Embassy at 9.30am, and of course I ran into problems. Because of the public holiday, nobody was there except a security guard inside. He said he could not find my passport when I asked and said come back later :( Bugger!!
Not much I could really do, so I went back to the hotel and packed my gear and checked out. They were fully booked for tonight so I had no chance of staying even if I wanted to. I rode up to the embassy and parked and grabbed my Kindle and read a book, I was going nowhere without that passport, even if I have to camp here overnight! ;) Not really, but that was the impression I wanted to give :)
It was 10.30 when I sat there and it was only about 20 minutes or so when a chap turned up and asked what I wanted. When I explained he took me inside and found my passport in a cupboard, it had NOT EVEN BEEN LOOKED AT!!!! Bloody heck, but he was very good and made a few phone calls and did all the electronic paperwork needed and printed me out a visa :) Well done that man :) I forget how to pronounce his name, it is written on the visa but I don’t have those Cyrillic letters on my keyboard but anyway, thanks a heap, stage two complete, now to hit the road :) And I would be basically doing a repeat of what I did last week when I left here and headed west, been there, done that!
I had to navigate through town again and I reckon the worst bits for a biker in this town are the rail lines running everywhere and the lanes are used by normal traffic as well, today was not too bad, in the rain it is a bit slippery. They also have an extensive electric bus network with the overhead live lines running through the streets.
I headed west once on the interstate and I had planned on finding some caches, but for some reason they were not showing up on my GPS, so I stopped at a reast area and re-loaded all the caches into the GPS and rebooted, lo and behold, there was one right there about 40m away :) It was one on the list I had prepared, and it was an easy find, a film container with a magnet stuck to it, shoved down a pole :) It was wet though and needs a new lid, this one was buggered.
The next one was just up the road about 5kms, but this was a major pain as to get off the slab is fine, but to get back on you have to head back to Vienna then find a crossover and do a loop de loop to get back the correct way, there has to be a better way. The worst part about it was I could not find it, all the info and other log entries were in German and I could not quite understand where to look, but I did understand enough to read that others found it not to be near where the co-ords said it was. Anyway, it was under the interstate overpass somewhere, I took a photo from here and also a bit later I was up there again on the interstate and took a photo toward down here.
That chewed up about half an hour and I was a bit wary of others that may lay off the slab from now on. I tried a few others but there were so many people in the rest areas that it was not worth stopping, you need to be stealthy with these. So I kept on going, the sky was nearly clear, the air temp was warm which made for excellent riding weather :) In fact, I decided there and then, I would keep on riding until I really had to stop, maybe when the weather changed.
Once I entered Germany the cloud cover did start to fill up and it got a tad cooler as well. I went through a few sprinkles but nothing to worry about and after about 50km it was back in the sun again. This went on for most of the afternoon and as the kms racked up and the distance to Bad Herrenalb shortened, I had thoughts of just keeping on going. I was comfortable in the saddle, the weather was fine, why bother stopping? But of course, around 8pm I noticed some darker clouds ahead and took the opportunity to don the wets, I would ride a short way and if I broke through I could keep going, but if it looked like it was settling in, I would find an Inn.
Well, it was not to be, the rain looked grim for about 20kms, so I dropped off and went looking for a room, in the end I found a hotel, it was warm and dry and had cold beer :) I was only 120km from the Vstrom meeting, so tomorrow would be an easy morning and according to the weather site I use http://www.yr.no/ it would be fine when I arrive and fine for a few days in that area, good stuff, I may get the tent out of hiding ;)
Now, because I have this meeting, then ride to the Horizons Unlimited meeting on Saturday before riding to Switzerland on Sunday, I may not be updating for a few days. Simon(Prudhoe Bay) has invited me back to his place and we will be doing some rides, plus I will be doing the visa application for Kyrgystan in Geneva, near his home. If I get WiFi I will do some status updates via Facebook, but other than that, follow my SPOT
Cheers from Germany