|05-30-2012, 02:46 PM||#154|
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Kent UK
|05-31-2012, 12:01 AM||#155|
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: chococ land AKA switzerland
|05-31-2012, 12:09 AM||#156|
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: chococ land AKA switzerland
i see a few people tried to log into the server last night but didnt use the correct password, if you have problems then please PM me and ill write it for you
|05-31-2012, 05:32 AM||#157|
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Oxford, UK
Fantastic pictures and great story-telling (especially Matt and Windy)!
Glad that you all had a great time and even better that you came back in one piece (which I was slightly worried about...).
Keep the photos and reports coming - thanks for your time!
|05-31-2012, 07:23 AM||#158|
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Schriek, Belgium
More pictures to come, and perhaps even some soundmaterial from karaoke night
Even thought about you Ella
Fresh from the ocean:
G650XChallenge, G650XCountry, DRZ400E
|05-31-2012, 07:47 AM||#159|
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Kent UK
It's Windy in the Balkans
Day 2 - Friday - from the clutches of evil
Mons to Karlsruhe - 476 km / 296 miles
So far the trip wasn't turning out quite as I had hoped.
Even taking a shower the night before seemed to be fraught with danger as my presence in the shower block upset one of the other campers who voiced his displeasure by barking, whooping, screeching, whistling, grunting, groaning and finally smashing things off the walls. Eeek! I don't really need a shower - time to retreat to the tents!
Morning came far too early.. and noisily as the site was also home to a large number of geese, ducks and other noisy little buggers who didn't appreciate our need for a nice lie in after a hard day on the road.
Thinking back I only actually saw these three ducks on the site, so there was a good chance the rest of the morning chorus was provided by my friend from the previous night - time to get out of here!
We again headed for Luxembourg, following the Zumo which was taking us on a direct route, still ignoring motorways, but not dragging us around the houses. We had a fairly pleasant ride through the morning with the weather getting warmer all the time.
We arrived in Luxembourg and immediately got stuck in a massive jam caused by some roadworks up ahead. I wasn't sure of the legality of filtering here, and there were quite a few motorcycle cops around, so I wasn't too keen to try.
The jam carried on for ages, we got hotter and hotter - the bikes too - and my clutch started playing up again.
Half way up a hill I spluttered to a halt and looked back to see Janice spewing coolant all over the road - damn, this isn't looking good.
We retreated into one of the roadwork entrances and let the bikes cool down a bit.
Time for a drastic change in the plan. There was nothing for it but to head for the motorway and forget about taking a nice scenic route. The bikes cooled down, one of the nice workmen stopped the traffic for us and we finally escaped from the jam hightailing it to the motorway.
The motorway wasn't too bad and it felt good to be actually making some ground for a change, so we continued until just before dark and found a campsite for the night.
Albgau campsite Waldbronn
Tents set up, showered and about to head to the bar for some food it turned out Danielle had something on her mind..
'Your bike needs a name'* it wasn't called anything like that - the site was on a street called Köckmühle.. I was tired
And so there you have it, Mike was christened.. the odd thing is that even I have started to call him Mike.. damnit! I'm even referring to him as 'him' aaarrggghh
Janice and Mike were put to bed and we stumbled off to the restaraunt to find out it had stopped serving food a few minutes before - doh!
We put on our best helpless puppy dog expressions and before you could say 'two glasses of your oddest german beer please' the bar maid had pursuaded the chef, who was sitting at the bar, to head back to the kitchen to make us a couple of pizzas - yay!
Warm, dry and well fed, we spent a nice relaxing evening in the restaraunt. Even though we still had a long way to go, we were now motoring along and nothing seemed likely to stop us from getting to Villach and the rest of the gang tomorrow.
Day 3 - Saturday - under pressure, under the weather and under the mountain
Karlsruhe to Villach 629 km / 391 miles
We woke up early (ish) to a slightly drizzly day. At some point the previous day I'd been mistaken for lunch by something that, judging by my swollen leg, must have been at least the size of a small dog. Antihistamines taken, boots and knee braces forced over the offending limb it was time to set off.
I pulled up near the exit barrier and checked for D&J in the mirror - they were nowhere to be seen. I'm sure they were right behind me, I've only ridden 30 yards? I walked back round the corner to see D&J slowly riding towards me.
'Whats up?'.. yet another photo oppourtunity squandered!!
Today was going to be a very long day, we rode motorway after motorway in rapidly worsening weather - Ipods on full blast to try and relieve the monotony, stopping only for petrol, or when the need to get off the bikes became overwhelming.
Slowly but steadily we ate through the miles to Villach, coming eventually to a place called Bockstein with about 60 miles to go.
Left turn here.. what this? it looks like a train station!
'This doesn't look right' said Danielle
'Do WHAT??!! board the *$#%! WHAT? board a #$%&ing FERRY! a $@#!$ng FERRY!!!, WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU THINKING, yer havin' a c@#!$ng GIRAFFE!..I quietly thought to myself
'It looks like we have to put the bikes on a train.. erm, completely part of the plan, no need to panic'So, another sat nav faux-pax. I hadn't thought to set it to avoid ferries, not expecting to come across any, or that trains counted as ferries in the sat nav world.
There wasn't much we could do. The train went straight through a massive mountain unlike the road which would have added another 100 miles or so to the journey.
The place was deserted, we couldn't find any notices in English, so we didn't even know if motorbikes were allowed on the train, the only hint that there might even be a train was a clock over the entrance reading 19.20 which we assumed (hoped) was the time of the next train.
We hung around in the rain and eventually a couple of cars turned up and started to form a queue. The train arrived, we paid the princely sum of 16 euros (to where? I had no idea) and rode onto the flatbed carriages.
The bikes were strapped down, we were ushered into the passenger car, and set off under the mountain.
Surprisingly Danielle could still manage a smile :)
The train ride didn't last long - about 10 miles to Mallnitz. Off the train and back on to the road - we only had 50 or so miles to go, but the going was slow as motorways had turned to mountian roads, the light was fading and we were completely soaked through, cold and tired.
With every turn it got darker and wetter, and before long the sun had gone down turning the last few miles into some kind of insane computer game,
I couldn't see Danielle behind me, she couldn't see me in front and at every corner the road dissapeared into the gloom.
Finally, nerves frayed, all energy drained we turned one last corner into the campsite and were greeted by the welcome sight of familiar, friendly faces, the end of the journey and a much appreciated bottle of cider (thanks Timpo!).
'So.. this is where the adventure starts right?'To be continued...
Episode IV -- Part Deux -- Far Trek III -- Fantastic Four -- The Fifth Element -- Episode VI -- Se7en -- Eight -- Intermission -- The Last Gasp
Windy screwed with this post 06-10-2012 at 04:01 PM
|05-31-2012, 09:35 AM||#160|
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: dreamy spires of oxford UK
englebert van halen.............bring it on
|06-01-2012, 10:03 AM||#163|
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Worcestershire UK
I do remember the roads being a little rough but it was dry
Would have liked to joint this trip just never worked out timing as I love it down that way, please keep the pictures/write-ups coming
|06-01-2012, 10:59 AM||#164|
Goin down hill fast
Joined: Apr 2008
My side of the story
Even by my standards this is a long winded one & we didn't take any pics for the first few days
Apologies for the punctuation & the fragmented nature of the rant as I did it on the iphone & it gets a little scatty in places
I'm putting it up now in an effort to make myself finish the story as I'm heading off first thing in the morning
If you cant be bothered reading it (& I wouldn't blame you) the jist of the story is I had a feckin ball
Really enjoyed myself
fab riding during the day
most nights at some stage I cried with laughter
a brilliant two weeks
I won't get into the nitty gritty of the why's & wherefore but even though I started the prep for this trip in January or February we were on a very tight schedule to make the ferry (late really) & while missing it wasn't the end of everything it would have meant getting a ferry to the UK that night driving through the night just to get back on schedule & with 1600km to go after getting off this wouldn't have been an ideal start, anyway it didn't matter as we arrived within the time allowed for check-in & then the ferry was three hours late leaving!
After a pleasant crossing with Irish Ferries we disembarked to a sun filled French sky & just on leaving the port we came across Phil Gunn on his way back from a jaunt to Spain with four bikes in tow ( Oh for the lifestyle of the rich & famous)
Phil had a few tall tales to tell & after a short chat we wished each other adieu & left in opposite directions
Phil had deposited a handy map of France with us as a leaving gift & it was a pity we hadn't spent a little more time perusing it as it would have had us in Austria a lot quicker than the SatNav on the windscreen,
That night was spent in Dijon (hello SatNav!) & we were aware that we still had a major spin to the startpoint in the southern region of Austria adjacent to the Slovenian border so reasonably early on Sunday morning we set off from our overnight halt with a spring in our step but because of our late ferry we always knew we were going to be arriving at the start after the rest had left & we were intending to head for the day1 campsite in the north of Croatia but we hadn't envisaged how long it was going to take that day,
when we arrived in the afternoon it seemed the most logical thing was to sort out our bikes, finalize our luggage & prepare properly for an early start the following morning, all too often being rushed at the start causes problems later but after removing Fiona's bike I could see a fluid stain beneath the front of my bike, not good that's for sure!
worriedly I removed my bike from the van & proceeded to remove the tank bags along with the side panel worst case scenario rushing through my mind!!
luckily it turned out to be the fitting that connects the expansion tank to the rad cap ( I've had problems with these units before & have replaced a couple on 950's & I'm not convinced by the design/ quality of this particular piece of hardware & would be interested if anyone knows of an aftermarket solution) luckily when I popped it back together & it appeared to hold but something to be checked later!
Dawn came the following morning (surprise surprise) & we were up & stowing our tents & ready to hit the road, after fueling up we were on our way when the sign for the border road had a line through it but we pressed on & shortly after a sharp incline we had arrived in Slovenia we stopped & double checked our bikes & luggage & rolled on past the start point of our track on the GPS, OK we were a bit late but we were off & the sun was shining but after only a couple of hundred meters we were faced with a barrier completely across the road we could see dirtbike tyre tracks to the side of the barrier so we kept going & shortly arrived at roadworks which would have been impassable on most vehicles but we were able to scrape through & were soon back on track, the road downhill from the border soon approached a village & after a glance at the GPS the track wasn't visible anymore!
that's a good start I thought as we did a U-turn & retraced our steps we didn't want to miss the first trail after all!
at a hairpin bend we entered a small lane & were immediately confronted with a ford & from here we headed down through some Alpine type scenery wonderland, a glance left & right to see if I could find Heidi to no avail meant it wasn't a dream we were here; the plan for today was to do a few trail along the route short cutting where we could & try to make camp 2 by evening ( well you've gotta have a plan, don't you? )
the first trail being a fab little affair was to be unique in this area as from there on we encountered dead ends people trying to stop us & even a man of the cloth stopping us in our tracks & getting his mobile phone to contact some form of support, It had started so well!
We headed a bit further down the route & picked up the trail once more this time entering a village by a mountaineering centre? passing over a picturesque little timber bridge & into a forest & then proceeding up a chalky type of mud & past a forester who barely even gave us a glance; we carried on towards the foresters track type tractor & struggled to get past on such a narrow path but eventually making it on to the indicated track again where the mud was gradually replaced by rocks & the banks at either side & we were now confronted by stone lined tracks which at first appeared to be a blessing
(not my pic, stolen from somebody else as we didn't take any pics for the first few days)
but as the stones grew to large rocks we were eventually halted & drifted off course while trying to maintain forward momentum this was to be our final gambit on this mountain as the track became a dense forest & whilst trying to ride the bike to complete a turn & keep momentum Fiona's luggage clipped a tree & ripped the stitching holding the cross piece which allowed the luggage to be hung from the saddle away from the left side pannier, she carried out repairs as good as possible under the circumstance & placed a ratchet type tiedown around the panniers which were now nothing more than two bags this multi-directional locking mechanism was her mainstay for the rest of the trip & to her credit never once caused a stoppage on the trail.
The luggage secured we made our way back down past the forester who by this time had gained a buddy & several trees strewn around his tractor which made for an interesting overtake down the mountainside, once over that picturesque bridge the mountaineering centre now made more sense when we started to realise the scale of the scenery spread all around us, we regrouped & decided that we had spent a good part of the morning being thwarted on the trail & we needed to get some distance covered.
The opportunity to get on the motorway was available to us at almost anytime but neither of us had traveled all this way to ride on a motorway & we never did for even a single meter of the trip.
A while later we stopped for lunch & a plan for getting across Slovenia, Croatia & into Hungary for tonights camp was put into place & the distance was starting to look like we were going to be in the saddle for sometime,
but even I was surprised that after riding pretty much all day & into the dark we were still a long way from the Hungarian border but we pressed on myself leading & Fiona keeping close as the enduro headlight on the WR didn't offer much in the way of light then the rain started to fall & it looked like it was going to be a long night!
after a final fuel stop we made a push for the final border & even though at this time on the approach to the checkpoints we had taken to the main road we didn't meet a single vehicle on the last 20 km or so to the border n fact it was eerily quiet.
The border post eventually appeared out of the murky night sky & it appeared to me as though the border was closed with no lanes showing any red or green signs & the lack of any traffic almost confirming the situation; Fiona thought that she saw something in one of the control booths so we rocked on over & hoped for the best, the post was indeed manned & shortly after at least four or five police & customs emerged out & we were promptly dealt with & on our way over a large river towards the Hungarian frontier; my thoughts now turned to if the Hungarian border is closed that leaves us in no mans land which in this case was a large river bridge & not the ideal place to spend a night, but at this stage there wasn't anything we could do but charge ahead, fortunately this wasn't the case & we were swiftly dealt with on the Hungarian side, the last border for this night at least, we had set such focus on the border & we almost forgot how far the campsite was into the Hungarian countryside, this also provided for a little concern as I had recently purchased my GPS & had Europe 2012 NT along with Adria Topo maps neither of which contained any Hungarian mapping so we were at the mercy of the solitary line track on the GPS screen & had to stick with this regardless of terrain!
We rode on into the night & eventually came across a village & with a heavily clouded sky no light from the heavens to guide us on our path.
I spotted a transit van with Dutch plates which looked out of place & we halted our progress alongside & looked for any sign of our comrades; a young Dutch guy appeared out from behind a wall & opened a gate we immediately headed into the yard behind the gate & the young Dutch guy looked at us quizzically, we were in the right place but we weren't whom he expected & as it turned out a few didn't make it to the campsite, we were greeted by a few of the guys who seemed quite surprised by the distance that we had managed to cover within our first day, the large majority had felt the pace of the first couple of days & most had been asleep for quite sometime going by the chorus of snoring taking place. The lady proprietor even though the late hour that was with us offered to make up some food we thanked her but declined preferring just to get our tents up & get some rest.
The morning came & with it the familiar voices of friends we hadn't seen for a year since the last WYOA & during breakfast we were greeted by many & a the tall tales from the high saddles were started & I received a few quips about my new Rally jacket & trousers which even after the long foray of the day before still looked like they were fresh from the wrapper.
with the breakfast slagging over we packed up & headed back for the border crossing of the night before & on entering the Croatian police part of the border formalities Fiona's number plate was called into question by a female police officer who informed Fiona that it was too small & of poor quality & at first looked like she was going to make an issue of the mangled piece of metal but then by some change of fortune the officer relented & Fiona was waved through & we were free to continue on our first "real" day of the event,
We soon settled into a pace & the trails were flowing nicely & after working our way around a blockage of a trail due to a huge drainage ditch being excavated we passed through a largish town & saluted quite a few of our fellow WYOAer's who had stopped for a mid morning coffee wusses one & we thought as we pushed on down the trail & some lovely lanes rolled into view one after another we eventually rode into quite a deep & ancient wood where the track disappeared & were caught by our coffee quaffing comrades upon realizing that we had explored all options quickly left with us in tow & made our way to another part of the track the tracks at this point were very slippy & riding them in a large group tends to have the tendency to cause one to ride a little cautious & then the dreaded tyre bunging up with mud occurs & the pace slows to almost a halt as the group started to slow I made an effort to choose a different line gain a little pace & ride higher up the banking at the side of the lane seemed like a good plan as I went past Sarah (sorry Sarah) & then saw Timpo stopped on the track this ended up with me sliding down & my first off of the trip had happened (justice quick & swift Sarah must have thought!)
I remounted feeling like the twat that I was & pressed on once more, we rode many more of these slippy lanes but as we got stopped by some major growth of foliage & detoured once more & headed back out to a minor type road my fuel warning light came on & as we made our way to a point that we could rejoin the track I had been scanning the map for signs of largish towns that we would pass close to along our proposed route, alas their didn't appear to be any of these within the fuel range of our bikes & we made the decision to detour to the nearest fuel station (according to our GPS) our nearest turned out to be approx. 25km away, not good but what can you do!
As we rolled up to the small town no fuel station was apparent, we searched around but eventually were disappointed & when we found the remains of what was a fuel station many years ago we knew our day had taken a turn that would lead us away from the tracks we hoped to ride
we kept looking & with what basic sign language we could muster we asked a guy as to where we would get fuel through this international language we gathered it was about 25 km down the road & that this one really did exist (phew!)
we headed off on our quest for fuel with ginger use of the throttle backing off or coasting whenever the conditions would allow eventually we caught site of our fuel stop.
The guy did have fuel & a well stocked shop what he didn't have was electricity to power the pumps to get it to our tanks but informed us that he would have it an hour later but if we needed fuel we could get it 20 km further down the road in either direction, we discussed our options, hold tough or press on in the direction that would make most sense for the continuation of the track which is why we were here not for any fuel range testing; as I had already seen well over 50 km total up I was anxious about the chances of me making another 20 km but we decided to give it a try & hopefully at least one of the bikes would make it but we needn't have worried as both rolled into the fuel station & we filled up once more
The most pressing objective now accomplished we took stock of what this excursion had done to our route & what had occurred was we had almost completely looped back on our early morning track & as we passed the point where our coffee quoffing chums had been seen earlier we thought maybe a coffee & a fuel up would have been more useful than pressing on regardless; this in mind we had to put in some Tarmac to give us a chance to make the campsite at a reasonable hour, we didn't want to be heading into the campsite every night in the dark after all did we!
the day brightened & we rode some cracking tracks with very dense forestry, quite a few sights along the way, one of the most unusual was the slaughter of a pig in a stable which worryingly seem to interest Fiona a little too much but as we headed further into the evening the km's were ticked off & were on course for a relatively early evening until on the last forestry track of the day I glanced back to check on my riding partner, to my surprise she was missing & as I pulled up & eventually switched off my engine there was nothing but the sound of a cuckoo in the evening air, I gave it a few minutes more before I started the tracback & tensely I retraced my (our?) steps giving a lot of thought into positioning my bike at an angle that might be seen by a rider approaching at speed trying to make up ground, I passed the point where I believed I had last seen her but still no sign, I then started to doubt myself as to when I was SURE she was there, my pace started to quicken a little but still with each turn my mind started to wonder???
eventually I glimpsed a tail light or so I thought just rounding the corner as I came onto a long straight I cracked the throttle wide ,airbox at a growl (690 riders will know what I mean)& set off at pursuit pace, before long I caught up & to my amazement even when she saw me she kept going I was pretty confused as to what was going on, we stopped a little way down this forestry trail & with a worrying tone Fiona told me she'd lost her new Garmin Montana 650t & when I say new I mean new out of the box the day before we left; we had a quick discussion about the moment she'd missed it & when she'd last seen it & like my own recollection of when I had last seen her she couldn't be sure! but we had spoken about doing a trail not on the suggested track a little ways back & both could confirm the GPS's place on her handlebar at that time, as night was now fully upon us we made our way back to the start of the forestry track & turned & because of the distance involved all we could do was ride at a slow pace hoping that the GPS would come into view & it would still be functional!!!
Deep down this was unlikely as with our pace on the track & with the density of the foliage our chances for recovery of this vital & expensive bit of kit were small!
we proceeded at a walking pace wrenching the bars from side to side to give us the greatest chance of recovery but with every meter of track that passed we grew more anxious & eventually as we reached the point that Fiona had noticed that the GPS was missing & our hopes were dashed, whilst trying to be upbeat Fiona's loss was evident in her face, I suggested we return tomorrow morning & try with the fresh light of day & after marking the spot with a waypoint we headed off to the campsite once more arriving well after dark.
The reason for our late arrival was relayed to Wilf & Dani who offered a beer & a warm welcome as best they could.
The revelry had started sometime earlier & everybody was in fine spirits by the time we had washed & grabbed a beer, the evening had grown legs & as some eyes were starting to sink Pete started at a chorus that can only be described as unusual to say the least; his offer for Danielle to record his bodily vocular expulsions as a ring tone were recorded for posterity, what Danielle did with this recording is only known to her!
The morning arrived a little sooner than I would have liked after another long day in the saddle but we arose & were rallied by the breakfast put forward by the campsite, many sorts of egg & pork products combined with fresh coffee & bread were consumed by the revelers of the night before,&when we ventured out into the brisk morning air it was evident that the campsite was far from the usual kind of holiday stop off & was in fact a kick off point for the exploration of wetlands around the area being particularly frequented by storks,
The huge nests of these birds were visible everywhere & one warning for anyone encountering a storks nest would be to keep back quite a few meters not so as you'd frighten the birds high up on their vantage point but because of the height & their physical size their bodily functions appear to be quite frequent & speedy.
The troops all fed & watered headed off on today's track we headed back to continue our search of the woodlands of last night, we arrived at our waypoint & commenced a search pattern in which we parked our bikes & each of us took a side of the road proceeded to a point which we marked then switched sides of the road & returned to the bikes before moving them on to the marked point & progressing the search further down the track this gave us we felt our best chance as we covered both sides in both directions with two separate sets of eyes; we continued this search pattern for a few kilometers but hope was now fading as we reached the smooth part of last nights track but we pressed on with both of us talking of what little chance we had of finding what was now being referred to as "my preccccious" by Fiona we spoke about the markings of the Montana range & I gave my twopence on the reason for the colour range, the top of the range 650t a sleek black (not much good when your trying to find it in the undergrowth)
the standard 650 in an orangey/red still quite modern looking & then the 600 ( mine by the way) in the most noticeable in a look at my roadworks yellow cheapskate bottom of the range model.( subtle marketing or what!!)
then out of the blue Fiona at just above a whisper utters " I've found it " then deftly clutches it to her bosom & I hear a slight "my precious one" being uttered
after my disbelief at her finding it she secured it to the bracket & we headed back down the track & onwards past the stork sanctuary & were back in the game once more ;we carry on & after a little while the air begins to become heavier with moisture & shortly this turns to a light rain & we head through a fairly large town which appeared to be based around an oil refinery with its associated industries & not wanting to suffer with the same fuel issues as yesterday we headed into town & fueled up. The fuel stop allowed us a few minutes to gather ourselves & we also took the opportunity to put on our wet gear as the rain shower looked inevitable in fact the shower didn't arrive what did arrive was a continuous rain that looked like it was down for a while
(serious understatement )
And miles to go before I sleep
|06-01-2012, 12:38 PM||#165|
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Kent UK
It's Windy in the Balkans
Far Trek III
So, we made it at last
Fashionably late as usual and, of course, after the restaurant had shut.
A massive storm cloud was building above us, so we hurried to put up the tents before the rain hit. Egged on by a small audience, the race to erect the tents was a close won thing with yours truly managing to complete the task just as the heavens opened with a downpour of biblical proportions.
I dived into the tent porch closely followed by a bag of food rustled up by Sarah and Timpo (they really look after you those two). Time to get all my wet kit off and warm up at last.
'I'll just open the inner tent and sort my gear out. Oh bugger...'
..only a very special sort of numpty can put up a tent inside out and back to front without realising.
There wasn't much point hanging around in the tent (porch), and any attempt to put it up properly would have resulted in everything getting soaked as the rain was so hard. So it was abandoned for the shelter of a nearby building for a chinwag with the others.
Meanwhile the campsite owners had (luckily - you might be right Matt :) ) opened up the restaurant for people to sleep in due to the rain - I love it when a plan comes together
Day 4 - Sunday - right to roam
Villach to Hajdina 259 km / 160 Miles
After a very nice sleep courtesy of the restaurant I woke up at around 6... 6!!! What time do you call this?!! Dieskoenen and Kuiken21 (I think that was them), two others who had slept in the restaurant, started to pack ready for the days trails - keen or what!
Umpteen cups of coffee later, Danielle emerged from her tent after a fairly damp night, and we started to slowly get our stuff together. Timpo supplied some new brake pads for Janice, all our soggy gear was loaded and to our surprise we weren't the last to leave!
Some of the gang had been out on the trails the day before and reported back that most were dead ends so the plan was to skip ahead to Bled in
Slovenia to pick up the trails there.
We rode up to the border via the Wurzenpass, which was surrounded by a network of bunkers left over from the cold war
note: We didn't actually stop to look at the museum, and I didn't know what it was all about until I got home :)
At this point It's worth explaining that within Team Windy there was a strict division of labour between Danielle and myself:Anyway, on with the report...
We came to the border post which looked deserted; maybe something to do with the signs we passed that looked something like this..
we ignored these of course, until we came to a very closed road..
again, I'm taking liberties here - imagine the same picture, but covered with earth moving equipment
Update: this is what it really looked like!
Not sure whether to turn back I had a closer look and spotted some tyre tracks leading through the road works - well, that's why we bring bikes to these places
A quick blast through the diggers, past a workman who didn't seem remotely bothered by us riding through and we were in Slovenia!
Once through Bled and back on the route we stopped for a brew and some lunch which, for Danielle, turned out to be a piece of cold pizza from 2 days before (remember cock michael?), completely fused with the paper napkins she had wrapped it in
uuurghh - really?
After lunch we followed the route onto the trails. It wasn't a total disaster, and after a mere handful of wrong turns and a *small* amount of backtracking I regained the use of my brain and managed to navigate us to the real route. The trail took us through some quite dense woodland on rutted tracks, and before long we were working up a healthy sweat.
I imagine the tracks would have normally been quite dry, but as it had rained a lot over the past few days, mud was everywhere. We finally battled our way without any major incidents out of the woodland and onto the roads and a welcome breeze.
For the next hour or so we were riding in and around a lot of small villages, the inhabitants of which didn't seem too happy with us going by the looks we were getting. It was in one particularly confusing village while I was trying to distinguish the right lane from someone's driveway that Danielle was flagged down and stopped.
I wasn't aware of this at the time and was waiting for D&J to follow me to the road. After a minute I retraced my route and found myself riding past a lot of people hanging out of windows, gathering in gardens and Danielle being told off in perfect English by the woman who had stopped her. After being told in no uncertain terms to bugger off, and warned that the police would probably be waiting at the end of the next lane for us, we beat a hasty retreat back to the main road and stopped for a rest and to plan our next move.
We quizzed a local biker, who had pulled over in his car for a chat, about the legality of the lanes (he wasn't really sure), and realised how late it was getting ( we had faffed around a lot in the morning) we decided to call it a day and head straight to the campsite.
We made the (dry!) campsite in good time and set to a bit of maintenance on Janice - for the whole day she had been refusing to charge Danielle's phone through the accessory socket. A quick test with a multimeter revealed that it didn't have any power at all. Possibly something had been dislodged whilst strapped down on the train the previous evening? Nothing was obviously wrong with the wiring, so we decided to leave it as it was and use my charger instead.
Changed and showered, we snuck off to the restaurant, past the hardcore section of our group
For the first time the whole gang was in the same place, we had a great meal and made our acquaintance with a few bottles of this
nice stuff, unless you want to get drunk of course :)
Fed and watered it was time for (just one more ) brew and bed.
To be continued...
(hopefully a bit faster next time ;)
Episode IV -- Part Deux -- Far Trek III -- Fantastic Four -- The Fifth Element -- Episode VI -- Se7en -- Eight -- Intermission -- The Last Gasp
Windy screwed with this post 06-10-2012 at 04:02 PM
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