It was 1 degree when we left Enzklosterle this morning, but we have managed to end the day in warm sunshine in Austria, having entered our 9th country. So far GB, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and now Austria have been visited by the Sibirsky Extreme motorcycling bandwagon. (I dont think Wales counts as a separate country does it??)
Tomorrow, Italy should be country number 10.
We are camped in the Rhine valley, surrounded by Alps on all sides here … so far we have avoided the mountains (though there was plenty of snow in the Schwarzwald this morning above 600 metres … we did a lot of riding 800-900 metres amsl) but tomorrow does worry mee a bit. We cross the Alps at one of the lowest points, the Brenner Pass (about 1300 metres from memory) but we have to get through the Arlberg first. The Arlberg pass is still closed I think so we have to pay the big bucks and use the tunnel.
Someone seems to have got wind of our little project and we have been finding Sibirsky Extreme stickers all along our route, including border crossings and customs buildings! I cant believe people would do such a thing!.
Day three – Widooie (Tongeren) to the Schwarzwald
We said our goodbyes to to Thierry, Francoise and Norbert around lunchtime and bid farewell to the castle in Widooie. It was a perfect day of wall to wall blue skies and sunshine as we rode the few short kilometres to Holland and Maastricht. Even at this early stage we were beginning to notice discrepencies in how our resepective Sat Nav’s calculated the route. Mine was less problematic although the garmin’s propensity to tell you to turn left or right after the actual turn was really making navigating hard work. Walter’s sat nav gave up after a short time and drew a single ‘as the crow flies’ line across Europe to Ancona. We decided at this point to enter smaller towns that we knew en-route. As it happened the route we took was very picturesque and great fun on a bike.
For anyone that is looking for small foray onto the continent you could do a lot worse than head down to the Belgian Ardenne. We also took the opportunity to stop at the Spa – Francorchamps race track that is used for the Belgian Grand Prix tucked away in the Belgian Ardenne. I have this thing about the Saarbrucken triangle. It’s like the Bermuda triangle except the only thing that goes haywire is the garmin. It sent us around in circles and the only way out was to use the Autobahn. Eventually we managed to get off the autobahn and continue from Luxembourg into Germany, then France and back into Germany.
We arrived into Baden Baden around 9pm. Baden is a very wealthy town and there were casino’s and spa’s a plenty. Not the sort of places for two grubby bikers. We set the sat nav to seek out a campsite and in no time we were headed into the forested hills for a campsite that was 19km away. The 19km turned into 22km and then we we stopped to double check the route the sat nav said 15km to go. We should add that it was pitch black, the road had snow at the edges and there were many switchbacks.
Eventually we reached the town of Enzklosterle deep in the heart of the German Schwarzwald and after a few failed attempts to find a room we managed to find room at the Inn and some food despite it being after 10pm. But sadly no internet.