A Travellerspoint blog

Wasserbüffel Treffen 1999

This run was slightly different to that of 1993.

I was going to meet my friend and fellow SOC member Steve Hazlehurst. Steve had attended the Czech Invader Rally the weekend before.

My plan was to get to Köln to meet the DB Autozug to Salzburg. I'd meet Steve there and we were booked into the YH.

The bike was packed with my Swagman panniers and the Givi topbox.

The ride to Köln was easy enough and I had lunch near the Dom before finding the station near the exhibition grounds. There were other bikes there going to Villach.

Mostly HD on their way to some treffen of their own in Slovenia I think.

Just before the train was due to arrive there was a massive storm. The train was "lost" and we sheltered where we could.

As it thundered and the lightning crashed around us I tried to take a selfie. Not as easy as you might think with an SLR in those long days before digital cameras were invented.

Koln DB Autozug Station May 30th 1999

Koln DB Autozug Station May 30th 1999

Actually, I did have one with me. The first Casio I could get my hands on. But it was/is so basic that even the simplest photos aren't that good.

The Austrian conductor made jokes about German efficiency as the train was very late having been "lost" on its way from Düsseldorf. Probably not PC for the world we live in now.

When the train finally arrived it had stopped raining and we could load the bikes. Mine was in a different carriage to be detached at Salzburg.

I shared a couchette compartment with a family from Germany. I had the very top bunk of three each side. They were very pleasant and spoke some English. Luckily we were all asleep most of the way and they were also Villach bound.

Once spat out into Salzburg at around 7am I had to get breakfast and then locate the city centre and then the YH itself. The YH is walking distance to the city centre.

I had been having a few problems with the battery, the Varta I bought in Austria in 1992 (!) and so looked for a bike shop.

I found one just across the river from the YH in mid-morning. I bought another Varta. They had it on charge over lunch and by the time I got back it had enough life to start the bike.

I went for a little ride before heading back to the YH. Steve arrived in time for dinner at a nearby bar.

The next day we headed south with the intention of going over the Großglockner and then deciding what to do. I tried to book us into the YH at Heiligenblut.

On the way over we had a detour rather than the quick way. We went via the Gerlospaß and the view to the Krimml Waterfall before heading through Fuschl and the toll booths.

Kettle near Krimml Waterfall - May 1999

Kettle near Krimml Waterfall - May 1999

Kettle at Fuschertorl2 - May 1999

Kettle at Fuschertorl2 - May 1999

Kettle on Grossglockner again - May 1999

Kettle on Grossglockner again - May 1999

Kettle on Grossglockner - May 1999

Kettle on Grossglockner - May 1999

Once in Heiligenblut we couldn't find the youth hostel and it was getting late so we booked into the Landhotel Post.

A bit more expensive but parking for the bikes and comfortable for us.

After breakfast we decided to have a look at some of the Dolomites. Steve loves to ride.

First stop Cortina D'Ampezzo.

Kettle @ Cortina

Kettle @ Cortina

Then we embarked on the the triangle around the Sella Ronda. Three passes; Sella, Pordoi and Gardena.

Passo Sella May 1999

Passo Sella May 1999

GT750A (1977) Passo Pordoi - 2239m

GT750A (1977) Passo Pordoi - 2239m

The roads are superb. Scenic as well as a bikers paradise.

On the way around we needed petrol and stopped at a station to find it closed for lunch. So we had ours too and left the bikes on the pump. Nearly two hours later the old guy rocked up and we ran over to get served.

From here we had no great plans and looked at the map (no google maps back then!) and headed roughly back towards Austria, sort of north west.

Arriving in Pieve de Cadora we saw a hotel and stopped. We spoke no Italian and the lady spoke no English, but we ended up with a twin room on dinner B&B basis. As we had little cash we wandered around to find a machine and being totally dim we had no idea what the exchange rate was. When we settled up the next day it all seemed a bit pricey. Then when we saw the exchange rate was over 2000 lira to the £ it was very cheap!!!

At dinner Steve looked at the map and saw that Venice wasn't that far away. In fact about 75 miles the wrong way for Austria. As we didn't have to be at Moosham until that evening we decided to give it a go.

The ride down wasn't too bad. The Kettle ran well (I have never given this bike a name!) and we arrived and parked up in the garage right by the bus station square and the train station. As we were wary of thieves we paid and parked inside. Chaining our jackets and helmets to the bikes and under cover.

GT750A (1977) in Venice

GT750A (1977) in Venice

We had a walk around, In St Marks Square Steve and I watched kids trying to catch pigeons. Apparently this was the game for young scousers when he was a kid.

As we had no idea how the river buses worked we risked it an hopped on and off again.

Sadly, I have been unable to find many of the photos I took on the trip. After finding that tourists will stand right in front of you to have their photo taken whilst you are trying to get one of a sight, we decided to do the same! In a bright yellow Arsenal 1971 FA Cup Final replica shirt and massive steel tipped boots I must have ruined enough to call it quits.

821935223_065d7970d4_o.jpg

Once back at the bikes we paid the rest of what we owed the garage guy as we had been longer than the time we estimated,

Checked the map again and then looked at a route that would take us through Slovenia for a short distance, up a narrow pass and into Austria near Villach.

The ride past Udine and across the border at Ratece was pretty easy. We used the free to bikes Italian autoroute, I took a couple of photos to show we had entered another country. First one way, and then the other!

Italia Slovenia Border - May 1999

Italia Slovenia Border - May 1999

GT750A (1977) Slovenia June 1999

GT750A (1977) Slovenia June 1999

The route then took us to Podkoren and then northwards up the road to the Wurzenpass. By the standards we had already ridden, this was a wee one at 1073m. At this time Slovenia wasn't part of the EU and so the borders with Italy and Austria were both properly manned and checked,

Once in Villach we decided as time was getting away from us that we would head for Moosham on the autobahn and so we had to buy the vignette at the petrol station we filled up at.

The run up was once again easily achieved. Both bikes running well and a fool that I was I had forgotten to pack two-stroke oil for the tank. Buying in Austria required a mortgage to buy a litre.

By post and email I had booked us into the apartments right opposite (and owned by) the Schloss owners. We checked in. There followed two days of eating, drinking, and shooting the breeze, plus some rides out,

Once the rally was over, Steve shot off for home as he was riding the entire way. I had a return train to catch but not until Monday evening and so I had a lazy day locally to get back to Salzburg.

All in all and great trip. The last big trip I have done on the Kettle. Hopefully, as "renaissance" kicks in it won't be the last.

Posted by InvictaMoto 04:16 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Mars Moto 1993

sunny

The Mars Moto was held not by Martians but by the Moto clubs formed for/by employees of the Mars company - best known for the chocolate bar of the same name. Also Galaxy and Milky Way....

My mate Tony was coming from UK and brought a pillion with him.

I was still living in Zastávka in the Czech Republic with Kettle as my main transport.

As Austria was considered too expensive they had the accommodation across the border in Sopron in Hungary. Ať this time Hungary hadn't joined the EU so there was a hard border - one where passports had to be shown. It was the same getting out of the Czech border at Mikulov.

As I didn't work for Mars I had to pretend I had done, not that anyone even asked, and share a room with Tony and his mate. I got the put-u-up bed.

Friday evening we had coaches into Austria for a BBQ. It was strange to share the BBQ site with lots of Austrian border police looking for illegals climbing the border fences.
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On the way one of the guys on our bus sang The Marseillaise! Tears running down his face as he sang perfectly. We joined in even though we didn't know the words and weren't French.

Saturday we had a ride out around the yokel area to the north east of Sopron. Villagers came out to stare at us on a Kettle and GoldWing Aspencade.

We had lunch for a price that we couldn't believe. An Englishman could live like a king in those days! No wonder the Moto was in Hungary rather than Austria.

Saturday evening was in the hotel. Entertainment and music provided.

Sunday was going home day. We set off together and Tony and I parted company near Vienna.

I rode back up to the border at Mikulov and home to my flat in Zastávka u Brna.

In total I had done around 500kms for the round trip. Apart from petrol it hadn't cost me a penny! Czech petrol is much cheaper (at the time) than Austrian but OMV stations were beginning to spread northwards...

Sadly, there are no photos as I didn't have a camera with me. It was long before the Smartphone or even digital photography was available to us normal people or even invented?

Posted by InvictaMoto 05:00 Archived in Austria Tagged austria hungary sopron suzuki_gt750a Comments (0)

Austria & The Alps

Day 1

The plan was to break the back of the journey with a longish first day.

The Mercure hotel in Friedrichsdorf, near Frankfurt, is classed 4* and it is very comfortable. I learned that Erdinger weiss beer only comes in half litres. Ate at a Hungarian restaurant.

Another thing is the Lakeland vacuum bags are very good but a fiddle to pack.

Today's mileage about 350. With "Doris" (the Garmin Quest satnav) losing the satellites every few minutes it's hard to tell if we came the right way all the time; the detour through a seedy part of Brussels certainly was "off route"!

And it was raining on the way down. A miserable experience at best.

Day 2

The weather seemed to have improved overnight, so we left the over trousers off. We got a whole 70 miles before we had to stop under a bridge and put them on. Have stopped a few times for petrol, the latest about 70 kms from Austria.

Our triumphant entrance into Salzburg was in dry weather and after a petrol stop we had a frig about for the YH. Doris has it firmly fixed in her mind what road we have to go down, but it's been blocked recently by a barrier, luckily my incredible sense of balance, cat-like even, allowed me to ride up the kerb and go through on the pavement! Yeah. Off-Road. Gripped.

It is still raining. Then it stops. we change from bike gear into street clothes and take a walk to see if the strip nearby has any restaurants. It doesn't. It starts to rain hard. Claire's new lightweight boat shoes are soaked and the blue dye stains her socks and her feet.

We eat in the Hostel and dry out. Tomorrow we have a day sightseeing in Salzburg.

Day 3

Was it really only ten hours ago that we awoke to the familiar sound of pissing rain? Of course it was. What's new? This part was penned in the late afternoon.

Anyone stupid enough to holiday in western Europe in August gets what they deserve; summer was in July for three weeks only.

So what was supposed to be a no-bike day became a yes-bike day! It meant for around four hours we did the tourist bit in Salzburg in full waterproofs. How glad I am that we chose Hein Gericke jackets over the vented ones we both bought this summer.

One success was finding a locksmith shop and finally getting a 2nd key for the top box. Not cheap at €14.50, but cheaper than a BMW lock set. :-).

"Baloo" at rest

"Baloo" at rest

We had goulash for lunch at a beer garden that had a big awning and then a miracle, it stopped raining. Yes really.

In years to come people will sing and rejoice about the almost three hours they had on August 14th 2006 when it actually stopped raining. Hallelujah! I'm sure if Mozart was still alive he would have been writing another symphony.

Salzburg

Salzburg

Looks like we'll snack in tonight like last night as it saves getting wet again. Tomorrow is a public holiday... More pissing rain? Who would be mad to vote against?

Day 4

On to Bad Aussee.

After three days of almost total damp if not actual rain, it was no surprise to wake up at 0730 to the usual sound of car tyres on wet tarmac. I had toyed with saying "bugger it" to another day in the wet and heading off to Italy, perhaps even Venice.

In the end the weather was shit everywhere in Europe, or so it appeared on the net. As we had only 50 miles to go today I planned a more circuitous route via the Wolfgangsee, Mondsee (where Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer married in the Sound of Music!)

Claire @ Wolfgansee Tourist Office

Claire @ Wolfgansee Tourist Office

Church @ Mondsee - No Julie Andrews!

Church @ Mondsee - No Julie Andrews!

Mondsee

Mondsee

Coffee Time @ Mondsee

Coffee Time @ Mondsee

The Attersee to Bad Ischl (where Doris threw a wobbler and took us through the same tunnel three times) where we saw the same group of bikes inc 2 1200 and 1 1100 GS's; not one of the miserable b*****s bothered to return our greeting wave. So much for the GS Brotherhood.

The weather looked up after Attersee so for the first time since Sunday morning we could ride without waterproofs! Big HURRAH!

We arrived at the hostel in Aussee just before 3pm and luckily were able to book in.

Youth Hostel @ Bad Aussee

Youth Hostel @ Bad Aussee

Our double room without a view!

After unloading we changed into civvies and walked into town. The guide book (Rough or otherwise) says the hostel is 150m from town. My arse it is! More like a mile BUT 150m above the town at the top of a cliff! We found the mountain goat shortcut on the way back from a map in the tourist board window.

Apart from eating places and most petrol stations everything was shut for the Maria Himmelfahrte public holiday.

At least today I could take some pics on the Nikon as I remembered to put the CF card in it!

On our walk into Aussee earlier, we saw a poster for a grand firework party in nearby Altaussee, so after read of our books in the sun we had a ride out there.

Firstly dinner, ate too much and felt too pogged to walk, but set off anyway 'zum see'.

Dinner Spot

Dinner Spot

After a long walk we decided to get the bike for when it was all over. Parking was easy, the coppers waved us by all their posts and we parked up by the lake. Some people were buying tickets but didn't seem to worry we hadn't got one.

We joined a load of others on a pontoon on the lake. The display took ages to start but when it did it had a microlight flying in darkness trailing three trails of fireworks.

After a long lull we went and sat on a picnic table to wait for what appeared to be people to climb to the top of the surrounding mountains. By then we went back to the bike for a quick getaway. As we set off the fireworks crashed into life. Blimey, they were loud and we seemed to be at Ground 0.1! In the sky was another human firework, this time a paraglider trailing flames and sparks. As the show died down we set off back to the hostel with Doris giving excellent advice.

Day 5

"Up and at 'em" could have become our motto. Not!

We seemed to be last in to breakfast; a trick we have learned helps us make a few extra rolls to eat for lunch.

First stop the tourist office at Grundlsee to find out about the boat trip. At 1145 we set sail for Grossl and were tucking in to soup with liver dumplings 38 minutes later in the Gasthof Hofmann and back on the boat back at 1250!

Lake cruise boat @ Grundlsee

Lake cruise boat @ Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Grundlsee

Zipfer Lamp @ Grundlsee

Zipfer Lamp @ Grundlsee

At rest by the Grundlsee

At rest by the Grundlsee

Dinner by the Grundlsee

Dinner by the Grundlsee

Putting camera away

Putting camera away


The second lake of the day was the Hallstatter See. The run took us over a pass of a mere 690m above sea level, hardly worth mentioning! Hallstat is very touristy but still very nice and pleasant, but hardly anywhere to park a bike.

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

Decorative Salt bottles @ Hallstatt

In the end we left the GS in a supermarket car park after buying a few things to eat with the rolls. We ate by the lakeside and shared our lunch with some swans.

Plans to go down a salt mine were put on hold as it was by now good 1700. Home and a beer beckoned.

What will tomorrow bring? We have another full day. At least the weather was okay today. Only a spit or ten on the way to Hallstat forcing us into waterproofs.

Day 6

Today was supposed to be a run about so I could show Claire Schloß Moosham where the Waßerbüffel Club have their Austrian rally, usually at the end of May.

In the end it was a 175 mile round trip that included the Radstatter Tauern and Twenger passes before Moosham, and the Sölk afterwards.

We had lunch at Moosham, dining on exploding bratwurst. They must have been the most fat filled I have ever seen, almost lethal as the stream of hot fat sprayed about 6 inches. A defence mechanism?

Schloss Moosham

Schloss Moosham

Like the infamous Scottish "Haggis" these beasts are known to fight back.

Finding the Sölk Pass proved quite complicated as Doris refused to route that way. She did manage to lead us along a 10 mile gravel road and then lost interest. In the end Mr Michelin's map 730 sorted it out before we rejoined the roundabout route that Doris thought we should be on.

Solk Pass, Austria

Solk Pass, Austria

After a late siesta we togged up and rode to the Grundlsee for dinner - more schwein! Early to bed as we have to pack and leave tomorrow for the Grossglockner.

Day 7 - Grossglockner

There was only one goal for today and that was the Grossglockner and the two side attractions, Edelweisspitze and the Glacier.

After a very slow procession across country we got to the Grossglockner. The trip took us around the Hallstatter See and on small roads clogged with trucks and motorhomes. As it was a working day we would have better off retracing our steps from the day before and going via Schladming and Radstatt.

Unfortunately it was also the last weekday of the local school holidays in Austria and Germany and many people decided to cause a massive road block. Ironically to avoid the weekend's massive roadblock! Once again we had to slip on waterproofs as it began to rain a little.

On the way up to the tolls we stopped for a spot of lunch at the side of the road and watched the bikes going up towards the tolls and those that had done it and were coming back. Bikes of every sort, some fast but most taking it steady.

For most of the way from the toll booths we followed behind a couple of custom bikes with the pillion on the one directly in front using a video camera. Claire had my Nikon and took a load of pics from the back of our bike.

Foot of the Grossglockner

Foot of the Grossglockner

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

Grossglockner

Grossglockner

Hochtor

Hochtor

First stop was to take the left turn up to the "Bikers Nest" at the Edelweissspitze. This part is very narrow and we got stuck behind a motorhome. We still followed the other bikes and the video queen.

It was bitterly cold up top and and we had a few minutes standing about looking at the orientation boards and reading about the pass and how long it has been open before we mounted up and Claire took the obligatory pic of a fat bloke on a GS by the sign. Luckily she managed to click the shutter just as a crowd of cyclists muscled in, you can see one of the observant chappies on the right of the pic.

A couple of Croatian guys arrived and asked if they could take a picture of both of us.

829895114_c7f9236090.jpg

From the Edelweiss we headed back down and off over the main part of the Grossglockner to take in Hochtor.

I wanted to manoeuvre the bike to get a pic of the sign as I had done with the GT in 1999, but they have changed it a bit and put up a sculpture. When we arrived there were a couple of bikes and we needed a coffee, so after taking a pic of Claire by the patches of snow that nestled in the hollows alongside the Hochtor Tunnel we went for a coffee and hot chocolate in the gift shop. When we came out there were a couple of Croatian guys, one on a Triumph Rocket-3. We had a chat and he said that it had cost him €20000 but he thought it was worth it as it was a great bike. I took a pic of him and his buddy with his camera and he returned the favour, the GS now by the sign and the sculpture thingy.

From there it was a short ride to the roundabout that took us up Kaiser Franz Josef's Hohe and the sight of the grey glacier. Once again it is biker friendly up there, with separate parking and lockers to put your gear, so you don't have to traipse about with it. We opted to traipse about as we parked as near to the visitor centre as we could with a selection of GS's through the ages... It was warm in the sunshine and we had an ice-cream overlooking the Glacier.

The people that took the funicular railway down to the bottom of the valley looked like ants. It was then as I peered over the edge that we got to see a real marmot. I'd not really believed that they existed outside myth as we had been warned across the Alps from France in the West to look for them and hadn't seen hide nor hair, and then there they were, not just the furry toys the sell everywhere and that you can hear squeaking in all the gift shops as punters squeeze them, but real ones.

Marmots (and Alpine Choughs)

Marmots (and Alpine Choughs)

Marmot

Marmot

Once in Heiligenblut we played hunt the youth hostel as we had done in 1999 with Steve H. Last time we hadn't pre-booked so gave up. Although not sign posted it is about 150 metres from the main square and not where it is supposed to be on Google Maps! Thanks to the lady in the tourist office!

Heiligenblut

Heiligenblut

Heiligenblut

Heiligenblut

Tomorrow we head for Italy, the Dolomites and the Stelvio.

Day 8 - Passes

Between breakfast and of setting foot outside to load the panniers onto the bike it had rained. Sheepskins soaked through so it was waterproofs on (and off all day). Quelle surprise!

The plan today was to take in the passes to the west of Cortina D'Ampezzo and then head to the Stelvio.

Once on the main 100 road from Lienz to Italy it was hard going with trucks, motorhomes and bloody caravans and the last two along with tourist coaches set the tone for the day.

We did manage some passes I hadn't done before like the Valparola and Costalunga before we cut our day short at 1630, and according to Doris there were still two hours (at least!) to go to the Stelvio and our eventual overnight in Switzerland.

From the Pordoi pass it poured down making the 20 plus hairpins down to Canazei slippery and hard work given the tailgating and pillocks pulling out giving you hardly any chance or many options.

Falzarego

Falzarego

Pordoi

Pordoi

After 134.4 miles we called it a day and stopped in Nova Levante at the Engel "Wellness Hotel".

We had no idea if we would be let in. Dripping with water after torrential (at times) rain I sat at the top of the drive whilst Claire, the acceptable face of biking (!) went in. Yes of course they had room.

Whilst she waited for them to book us in, she had a free beer and sat in the dry. Meanwhile I was outside being pissed on.

The hotel had free parking for the bike and I wish I had had a camera with me. I had to ride on the road and then turn into the barn on a first floor level wooden bridge. The barn had some cars in, but the whole lot creaked and I had to ensure I didn't drive down any of the cracks in the ancient planking. At least it was out of the rain!

Tomorrow? Stelvio?

Day 9 - Stelvio!

The entire trip has been like the search for shangri-la; the sunshine is just the other side of the mountain, when you get there it's.... Well you know!

Today it was sunny straight off. On the road from Merano it was dire. Traffic and lots of it. Being a weekend it turned out to be the last weekend of the school holidays for Swiss and German kids, and they were making their way home

Once on the road up to the Stelvio through Prato it was better.

There were a few twats about who seemed to enjoy cutting up other bikes as well as the cars. Sadly the two that cut across me as I was halfway around a tight turn were on 1200 GS's. So they were faster than me, but at the end of the day they were arseholes no matter what they rode.

Passo dello Stelvio

Passo dello Stelvio

Passo dello Stelvio

Passo dello Stelvio

Passo dello Stelvio

Passo dello Stelvio

After a wurst and a beer and a bit of sheltering from a shower, we set off taking in the Umbrail and into Switzerland. I was enjoying the almost deserted 8 miles to Santa Maria until after 2 miles of smooth tarmac it was unpaved packed mud and gravel time for the next 4. Not a worry one-up, but not as much deep joy two-up and loaded.

Luckily we were prepared at the sight of the blackening sky and were already togged up. We'd just got ot the top of the Ofenpass/Fuern Pass (2149m) when bikes coming the other way all had their wet kit on, so we did the same.

Pass dal Fuorn

Pass dal Fuorn

And then it started to rain hard. Miserable cold and wet. With some distance to go to the next stop we took refuge. We then decided to let the train take the strain for 11 euros we rode on the train through the Vereina Tunnel under the mountain to Klosters.

On the train... Vereina Tunnel

On the train... Vereina Tunnel

This is an experience; loaded into a rail car that resembles the truck carrying carriages on the Shuttle. With the bike in gear and sitting on it with Claire standing holding my arm we hurtled through the dark for about 10 or 11 miles! Well worth the money! Better than a theme park ride for sheer fright!

The last 80 or so miles to the YH at Stein on the Rhine was uneventful. Nice medieval old town. Sitting having a bratwurst for dinner was the first night for over a week we haven't been surrounded by mountains as we ate.

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Gateway @ Stein am Rhein

Gateway @ Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Stein am Rhein

Sunset @ Stein am Rhein

Sunset @ Stein am Rhein

Tomorrow we set off north to the Rhine in Germany. Two nights in St Goar with a day off the bike?

Day 10

Well. As is now the norm we set off in waterproofs. Waterproof over trousers and Hood Kevlar lined jeans do not make for happy motoring pleasure. Betty Swollocks within minutes.

At least on the positive side Doris has got over last week's problem of losing the sats every ten minutes. And so she led up from Switzerland into Germany. Swiss petrol was reputed to be cheap, but the fill up I did just before the border was 118 cents a litre. So about 55p a litre. No wonder their so many American cars about with Swiss plates.

Once in Germany we hit the motorways. Getting to St Goar was more important than scenic touring! One small detour was forced on us when I chose the wrong Rüdesheim from the two options that Doris had in her city finder. I had a 50-50 chance and chose wrong. In mitigation I have to say that both were about the same miles from where I created the via point AND are the only two in the entire Atlantic base maps and 16 miles apart! As a result we added 20 miles to the days mileage and had come up the wrong side of the river so I aborted Rüdesheim and came straight to St Goar. we had lunch and then booked in the YH.

Once unpacked and showered we walked back to town for a look-see and an ice cream. We watched the ferry going back and forth to St Goarhausen and decided to have a boat trip and for €2.60 each return it was a good trip!

Today's mileage was 260, and we'll have the same sort of day on Wednesday so tomorrow will be a no bike day to give our arses a rest. We plan to be plain tourists and take the riverboat trip to Rüdesheim and back. It takes 3 hours to get there southbound but only 1 hour and 40 minutes to come back.

Any guesses?

Day 11

I had to get up in the night to check on the bike as it was parked on dirt...

As it had rained heavily for a few hours. In the end it was pitch dark and I had two disc locks to get off, then I could see f.a. and took in down outside the main entrance.

When I came to shift it later in daylight, I found I was only about 2ft from nice firm tarmac! Bugger!

Today is boat trip day, 1020 from St Goar. Let's see how it turns out.

Boat trip on Rhine

Boat trip on Rhine

A whole day on a cruise boat might sound a nightmare but in fact it was very relaxing to sit on deck before going to one of the saloons for a coffee and a cake. A chance to unwind and read a book.

Rüdesheim was a bit touristy and the greatest gathering of our fellow countrymen we had seen since we got off the ferry over a week ago. There are also more Christmas shops than seems really necessary, one lured Claire into buying a small snow storm dome thingy complete with snowman!

Rudesheim

Rudesheim

Back at the hostel we had a read and a second cake! Dinner to look forward to, then back to the hostel and start packing the panniers.

Doris reckons it's about 285 miles to Dunkerque and the ferry is at 1600, so we need to be away pretty smartly after breakfast. Should be home in time for Corrie!

One of the big successes has been the Lakeland vacuum bags. Apart from one losing the little slider that helps seal the zip end they have been tremendous - I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to anyone.

Day 12

Today started off badly. I dropped the bike exiting the petrol station in St Goar! Not anybody else's fault but mine. No real damage to us or the bike. Pride suffered the most with the bike getting scuffs to the plastic cylinder guard and to the right pannier.

I simply lost balance making a U-turn out of the place onto the road. It was slightly downhill and an acute angle to turn onto the road.. foot down, nothing there and bingo; nought mph keel over.

What is the secret to BMW mirrors? The right one is prone to loosening and spins about and as if by magic it fixes itself. But not today, over 200 miles before I managed to get it tight. This time I tugged up on it and turn it at the same time and it locked in place.

How the heck do you get them off? Mine simply turn round and bloody round. Aaaagh.

After 308 miles we arrived at Dunkerque for the 1600 ferry back to Dover. Holidays for 2006 nearly over.

The ferry on time and the short ride from Dover to home.

Posted by InvictaMoto 11:48 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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