May 14, 2009 GMT
Europe in the rain

It's been a few days since I set off. My plan is to write blog entries in my own time, and then simply type them up when I find an internet cafe. So this is being written on a campsite in the German Alps, near Berchtesgarden. It's not the best campsite I've ever stayed on, seeing as it's right next to a main road, and basically sited on rock - great for campervans, not so good for tents!

Last night however, was much better. There I pitched my tent on soft earth, overlooking a lake on one side, and with the beginnings of the Alps soaring overhead on the other. The lake was half dried up, leaving expanses of earthy beach, perfect for a wander after a long day's ride.

And they have been long days. Partly because France, Germany and Austria were always going to be about just riding through, via scenic routes but without much stopping. And partly because it keeps raining - I haven't had a dry day yet, and relaxing lunch stops keep getting cut short by the need to swathe myself in waterproofs as the drops start falling. The first day was the worst: four and a half hours of solid rain! I nearly decided to return to the dry parental home and try again the next day - only the (well-founded!) suspicion that the next day might not be any better made me ignore that option. My boots are only just dry now, after four days and twenty minutes under a campsite hairdryer - and that's with a night in a youth hostel to dry out! Still, it has got slightly better, and at least I haven't yet had to pitch a tent in the rain!

Weather nonsense aside, I have so far ridden through some stunning scenery on very twisty roads. Germans seem to close some of their roads to bikers, with little warning, no alternative directions, and nowhere else to go. So far Iīve ridden two of them, as the first one was signed at the start of a series of hairpins, and the second one at the entrance to a tunnel, neither of which makes stopping or turning round an option! But the only consequence was to be shouted at by a cyclist, and followed by a securitas car, which may have had nothing to do with me, but if it did probably decided that a foreigner was likely to be actually going somewhere, not just out for a jolly, and they soon turned off again.

Iīm now in Austria, in Melk. Iīve visited the abbey, which is very impressive but a little baroquely excessive for my tastes. I tried to visit Hitlerīs retreat in Berchtesgarten, but annoyingly it didnīt open for another two days - though the ride up to it on a 24% hill was quite exciting for first thing in the morning! Today I carry on through Austria to Neusiedlersee, then itīs off into the great unknown of Slovakia tomorrow!

Posted by Laura Bennitt at May 14, 2009 09:47 AM GMT
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!