Mayan Prophecy Countdown
So, I found out a few things today, this house is wired! There is an electric shutter system that covers the windows, I would like one in Oz, because it was closed tight and I slept in, so it must be the light waking me up every day at the wrong time! Anyway, I am in the basement, and when I opened the shutter I found that there was someone in the back yard working in the garden, nothing wrong with that, but my overnight clothing left a lot to be desired so I quickly worked out how to close it again 😉 Then while I was working the laptop, about half an hour later, the damm thing opened up by itself!!! It seems to be triggered by a light meter or timer, a bit of a shock and got me running again 😯 There was a nice view looking out, probably not so nice looking in 😉
By nice I meant SUN, NO RAIN 🙂 So, after a quick breakfast we had decided on a mutual agreement on a plan for the day. Ingo had planned an 8+ hour ride for the day, I honestly was not interested, I had just done two 14 hour days and needed a gentle ride, so one of the things I kicked on the head was a ride in traffic to the city of Koln, to see the twin spired cathedral. Been there done that I cried, and I had when I was a kid, and climbed it too. I have to say it is impressive, but once that was off the menu, it only left the Eifle forest area and here we agreed. We would ride for 3-5 hours, have a look at some caches, he being another newbie and come back for lunch, then take a ‘walk’ down to the old town. Not rapped in the walk business, but will do it for a reason 😉 Anyway, after all this negotiating we had a plan, don’t forget, Ingo had been housebound for a long time with a new baby, the bike had been on winter storage for a long time too, I felt a bit bad about not wanting to go for an all day ride, but in the end, I think it all worked out for the best 🙂
So, we said bye to Cecilia and headed to the first destination, which as it turned out, happened to be a coal mine, nothing interesting really to a CQ man like myself who lives with them, but this was different. It was the largest open cut mine in Europe and was operated by very few people. If the mines back home see how they do this it may change the work force requirements! Check this out!
So, this is basically a strip mine, or an open cut strip mine and each of the benches you see(stepped levels) has a digger machine with two operators, these then deposit the coal(or overburdern/spoil) onto a conveyor belt system which all feed into another belt system at the other end of the pit, each belt is 4m wide. The whole system is automatic basically, but the coal they produce is low grade brown coal, so that may be the reason for the automation, still scary though when you think of all the big trucks and things working in CQ.
Anyway, as Ingo had worked in this industry for a long time, he knew the area, but after this we headed east into the hills of a national park called Eifel where we found some twisties. 🙂
We ended up at a lake system where we stopped for an ice cream, and it seemed to be a popular spot for bikers of all types, motor and push.
After the break we headed back, via all the small country roads which really confused my GPS, it had no idea where Ingo was going at any time 🙂 Once we returned we had a late lunch, which was huge and really took the life out of me and while he was attending family matters I crashed out for a nanny nap, a well deserved one imho 😉 Ingo took me out later for a walk through the old city area, this is where we started the geocache hunt, but came up empty handed and in fact for the next few hours we went to three different ones and did not find a thing 😦 A very sad end to the afternoon, but we soon made up for it by having a few beers and watching Germany win in the footy match that night, he even picked the correct winning score for a bet he made at the office 🙂
It was not a big night due to the fact Ingo had to work in the morning, normally quite early, but he had decided to ride the bike and would head out with me around 8.30am. I had arranged to be at Bob’s around midday or so and as it was only 80km, I could relax and do some caching on the way 🙂
Cheers from Bedburg, Germany