Sunday, 12 May 2013

Two go mad in Austria

I decided to copy my original post from ATR, to here, as a record for myself as much as anything else. I hope to record any future "adventures" too. I have some plans...

Ok, I'm not a particularly wordy person, but GB and I spent a BLOODY AWESOME week in Austria!  I will attempt to convey a sense of the week to you.
I pretty much left the route planning to GB and his all-singing, all-dancing Garmin Montana (I'm sure he's on commission), so I just followed in his tyre tracks trying not to crash while looking at the amazing scenery or taking photos of the same amazing scenery. Yes, I was snapping pics as we rode, but failed to get any of the alpine passes as I needed both hands on the bars! Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to where it all began...

I was toying with revisiting the Lake District and GB asked "why not make it the Alps?". Long story short; SWMBO agreed, if it was in school half-term, for childcare reasons. So we began planning. Eurotunnel across, down to Baden Baden (Pension Williams B&B) for a night, then B500 on to Innsbruck area for the campsite.

Fast forward to early Saturday morning and we'd planned a rolling RV on the A11. I made sure I got there early so had time for a few pics:
Time to kill... snap the bike!
Then along came GB:
Mister GB
Some miles later we arrive at the Eurotunnel (which was really busy) and discovered we have a 3hr delay  :( 
Delays at the EuroTunnel
But we do get on:
35mins to kill

Then it's "peage", blue skies and big grins for several hours:

We do a good chunk of the B500 in great weather and stop for a pic and take it all in (GB can work the EasyPanorama):

Shattered, we dump off at Pension Williams, a biker friendly hotel/B&B.
View from room number 1
We were not there long when we were whisked off up the road (free lift!) to a nice free house. Food was really nice but I was done-in and don't recall the restaurant name.

Did I mention I was knackered?
I do remember GB blagging a free glass of wine and six bikers piled into the owners Range Rover for the lift back to Pension Williams (me facing backwards in the boot, something I've not done since I was a kid).

Morning brings low cloud and hints of rain:

Packed up and heading south we take in the B500 again. This time it's 2degC thick fog and snowing! We're crawling behind cars we can barely see and snow is building up on our visors and screens. I did think about getting the camera out...
Later, after a lot of miles and a LOT of rain we stop to inspect GB's HID headlamp which isn't working. Water's got in and is shorting it out. We try some oil which we think is a WD40 equivalent...(wish we knew German)
Water and high voltage don't mix apparently
More wet miles and we get to Garmisch, a posh ski resort, by all accounts. It's getting late, we're dripping wet and GB blags a deal on the nearest half-decent hotel. The Best Western Hotel, very nice!

Free wi-fi, so I FaceTime home. GB takes advantage of of the facilities to dry his gear:
Do not force dry. Air dry only.

Then time for a cuppa...
Hope the fire detection system isn't too sensitive
Morning looks promising:

Breakfast is awesome!

Bacon, eggs, sausages and fried bread. Orange juice and coffee too: 

Off out for a look-see:

After our tourist act, we head back, gear up and hit the road again. Heading for Camping Stubai via a quick ascent/descent and photo stop:

It's very warm now and we have another bash at GBs HIDs:

We dry out the HID bits under the garage hand dryer and test it hand-held, all is good. We seal it up with chewing gum (pre-chewed and drying in the sun).

Let's roll!

The above pic says we're getting close to the campsite. It turns out that the Camping Stubai is in a cul-de-sac of sorts with a toll gate to get in and out (€2.50 each way). But that wasn't the deal breaker; on arrival at the campsite we were faced with caravans that had been there for a long time (overgrown and green with mould/moss) and bare stoney pitches that were too close to the neighbours. "Pitch anywhere you like"... it took maybe 2 minutes to cover the entire site and we did find a spot that didn't look too bad; a narrow plato up a grassy ramp. Oh, hang on, I'm not sleeping under power lines!
GB didn't argue and punched in campsites to his Garmin. We rolled back down the ramp and left.

We arrived at Natterer See and GB worked his magic again.

We were in and setting up:

We'd struck gold with this campsite (supposedly one of the best in Austria, we were later told). The main shower/WC block really does amaze; automatic glass doors, automatic lighting, ambient chilled music while you shower. Man, those showers are good! Big, clean and powerful. I could've spent the day in there. There's also glass display cases of every possible toy caravan and motorhome available, dotted around. You really have to see it to believe it. But look at the view from the tents!

Like we hadn't done enough riding in the last 48hrs, we opted to head over to Krimml Waterfall.
Fast, twisty, smooth, empty roads were just amazing. The scenery; breathtaking.

Now Tuesday already and we're doing Grossglockner. The original planned route was blocked by landslides three weeks earlier, so plan B was used, down through Italy and back up. I think I missed the "You are now entering Italy" signs and I'm not sure if GBs camera time was set the same as mine as the pics seem to order differently, but hey...

Quick stop in Italy:

Before or after, Italy or Austria? I can't remember.

Lots of tunnels!
Nearly there. Pee break and souvenirs? Then ride again.

Sorry about my glove in the corner, my attention was a tad split.

Coming back down, we tried to find good spots for photos. GB started it:

The ride back, through Italy, was phenomenal. Some dry roads, some wet, the K60s handled them amazingly. We were flying! I can honestly say it was the fastest, twistiest, most exhilarating riding I've ever done. And I managed to keep up with GB! 
Thinking about it now puts a huge grin on my face. I can't put that ride into words...

We got back to the campsite after dark, around the 22:00 "quiet time". GB found great merriment in the sound of my stove making a cuppa. "jet engine" was heard from his tent, as he's trying not to wet himself laughing.

Morning! I'm playing with my camera settings...
BMW R1200 GS Adventure. Awesome.
Weather's looking bad and we've had a lazy morning. What to do? Touratech in Munich!
Grey skies and wind's picking up:

All bodies of water are this blue-aqua colour, difficult to see in the pics:

Ah! The Autobahn. We had to. I bottled when my speedo said about 120mph and the tyres felt horrible. Topbox doesn't help apparently. GB hit 130mph. I'm surprised his tyres held together :-P
No pictures :-/

Somewhere along the line (I lost track, not even sure of the day), we stopped in an odd little shop run by a friendly guy that spoke broken english. We were after some waterproofer spray for GBs boots, gloves and nether-region. The shop was filled with dusty shelves mixed with new stuff and piles of bike and car magazines. Steptoe came to mind, but he had what we needed and after a quick chat, we were off again. I later found myself outside MacDonalds watching GB spray himself with waterproofer while not exactly dry like you're supposed to be. I had my doubts. He'd started spraying in Mac's WC but had to make a hasty exit and hope no one went in with a lit cigarette.   

Munich with major road works was interesting (no pics though). Then we had a nose around Touratech:

Heading back, a relaxed ride and more rain:

Thursday morning already? Today we've got to pack up. I woke reasonably early and got prep'd. Breakfast, sh*t, shower and shave, well three of those anyway. GB's finishing breakfast and tells me he's going to have a power nap. No problem, I've got lots of crap to pack... I'm hoping the rain will stop and the tent will dry a bit before I pack it. GB's still snoring so I go for a wander around the campsite:

My return to the tents wakes GB and we pack up. Then we realise we're 2hrs past checkout. 
GB flutters his eyelids and the girl in reception and we're on the road again!

I see GB give a little wave goodbye to the mountains and understand the sentiment completely.

More rain:

Even more rain! There's a lot of water on the road, we're doing about 80mph, K60s handling it well and I'm taking pictures  :-0

It does dry out again pretty quick and we ride along the Rhine and play spot the castle:

Had to stop and get a shot of this sunset...

We reached our stop-over for the night (big thanks to Jan, GBs mate, for letting us use his place). GB threw on The Wild One DVD and we vegged.

Next morning; we don't hang about:

A minor detour to the Nuerburgring, souvenir hunting, but can't stop long; we've got a train to catch...

Over 2500 miles done :-D

If you're still with me, there's the complete photoset, warts and all, and a couple of videos (GB's processing his) over on Photobucket:

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