Different departure atmosphere, not the same sense of the unknown as last year (the first of our grand plan to GlobalTrek the continents). 2014 sees us heading to Scandinavia via the Baltic states, then on to Iceland, before heading into South Western Europe. After two false starts due to health issues, we eagerly flew out on GirlRob's birthday. At the Malaysian stopover walked out into a humid 27 degrees - orange robed monks, squat toilets - we're back!!!!! We held up well for our 34 hrs of planes and airports, stepping out into a not-too-cold 12 degrees in Munich, looking for a bed before catching a morning train to Passau. Hah - didn't know there was a Trade Convention and all the hotels for 70 kms were booked out! Raced to buy tickets for the midnight train to Passau (making sure we booked a hotel once underway). Finally de-trained, stumbled along cobblestones struggling with luggage, and fell exhausted into bed after a marathon 45hrs on the go.
Woke to picturesque views, slow river-cruise boats and quaint houses growing up hill into forest, with customary castle on hill. Refreshed and breakfasted, were picked up and driven across border into Raab in Austria. Countryside and woods so pretty with flowers - saw long-eared long-legged hare run across road into field of bright yellow rape. Spring weather very pleasant, warm in sun. Erich was a champion and had our wonderful camper truck out in workshop fitting the replacement number plate to the replacement back box. Ozzie had survived the winter storage very well, nothing frozen, split or shattered. Stayed in nearby village of Andorf whilst final repairs and replacements carried out by mechanic Rudi and BoyRob, including putting together of new tucker box, vulcanised patch on tyre (thanks Mongolia!), flushing through water storage tanks, replacing plugs, seals, oil etc.
Odo starting at 47,230.
Met up with our travelling companions the Maxwells in their camper - very jealous of their (cold!) two months start. Dined at hotel on carrot/ginger soup, and dumplings with saukraut first night, then the next night on steak, semmel buns and Austrian plum cake parked side by side with the Boomer in a field (now that's more like it!). Spent the long twilight downing Black Demon (yes our "Bulls Blood" seemed to have survived cold storage quite well) whilst telling stories and watching a hot-air balloon rising over the village.
|Maypole, no dancers....|
"No trading weekends" is taken very seriously - GirlRob had to stand before a hole-in-the-wall at the apotheke in the rain and cold, for drugs to counter her worsening cough and sore throat. Andorf is busy with all the families travelling to be together to sup and pray on Mothers Day. The angelus has been ringing faithfully since our arrival, so peeked into the 1760 Pfarrkirche - the confronting outdoor crucifix (see last blog 2013 below) and elaborate altar pillar designed to be everlastingly memorable by Prof Franz Xaver Wirth (who obviously had a "thing" with large hands and feet).
Tomorrow we head to Passau for repairs to our hot water/hot air system, and to shop for supplies for the journey ahead. Frustratingly we will have to delay our departure until we can sort out customs on a box we had sent from Australia a month ago. It includes vehicle spare parts, mounts for electronics and press studs for new awning. "...and so it begins...."