Today 12th April was our D Day. I slept restlessly and so got up at 0500hrs and decided that I was not going to take a tent, so had a repack and saved some 8 kilos in weight. Jürgen/George came from Neuss to collect us and as usual Sod’s Law kicked in and it was raining.
Once the kit and bike were loaded we set off for the long journey to Einöd in Thüringen! It rained ceaselessly only occasionally were the heavens lighter than the dark dismal grey that you can see in the picture.
Once we got close to the old Inner German Border it became hillier and now we learned that if you do not have a connection to the mobile net, navigation becomes a problem. Using a mix of Pocket Earth and Maps I was able to navigate us to our destination and my jump off point. Jürgen was keen to be off and return home so without any pomp we said our goodbyes and I road off……in the wrong direction!
I realised it fairly quickly and stopped at an Imbiss and had a Braty and some coffee and a useful chat to the owner.
Then after a toilet stop at a filling station I set off in more or less the right direction. However, my navigation skills or rather my interpretation of what COBI Bike was telling me in a high pitched cartoon type voice left room for huge errors. Once again when I lost the Internet connection I had to use Pocket Earth to find my way. I must have went wrong four or five times and retraced my steps, so increasing the distance travelled unnecessarily! In the end I gave up and chose a direct route via the roads rather than attempt to follow the old border through the woods and the mud. I knew I was close to the chosen route on more than one occasion, but failed to find it.
It’s all uphill and down dale here so I was glad I had left the tent and other stuff behind. When I did have a mobile connection I rang ahead to an hotel and asked if they had a room for me, which they did, so now I could continue knowing I had a place to lay my weary head. The rain eased on a few minor occasions, but not for long.
As I write I am in the Berggasthof Bayernturm in Zimmerau.
I’ve had a meal an an isotonic drink and now shall lay me down to sleep, perchance to dream!
P.S. I am doing this journey to raise money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, so would ask you to donate some cash! You can do so easily using the following link, every little helps. Thank you.
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