Now that´s snow!

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 02, 2011

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Flag of Austria  , Styria,
Monday, March 15, 2010

This morning we woke up in a Ural warehouse. We had set an alarm because we were worried in such a quite, warm, comfortable place we would sleep and sleep to catch up on the last few nights of little sleep. One of the staff arrived and seemed surprisingly unfazed at finding two strangers camped in the building. Harry arrived not long after and after some breakfast he gave Felix complete freedom in the workshop. He left Felix to take a part off one of his brand new Urals that was for sale to test it on Nina to find the problem. It was so strange and amazing the way he just trusted us, he just let us use the workshop, touch the new bikes and walk through the office as we pleased.

So this all began at about eight AM. By eleven thirty the plan was to buy a new alternator, wait for the mechanic to arrive at twelve so he could help fit it, buy some extra spare parts and be on the road again. The mechanic arrived and he and Felix looked like they were having fun fixing Nina together and working around speaking different languages, meanwhile I was knitting socks like a Nanna possessed. By about three thirty we finally left.

Michi and Ernstl, two people who's opinions are very trust worthy, had recommended we stay away from the mountains in winter, but Harry thought it would be fine to go that way and very beautiful. So we decided to skip Vienna and go straight to Graz over the mountains. It was very beautiful; it was probably the most enjoyable sitting-in-a-sidecar I've done so far. A lot of the way we were travelling along the Enns river as it twisted through the tortuously steep valleys. I love when you drive through mountains -- from one angle it looks like the only way out is straight up and over but then as you move into another position, you are led into new valley to follow. We climbed higher and higher and it got colder and started to snow a little. We went higher still and there started to be thick fresh snow on the ground and coating the trees.

We were already quite high, almost at the top and by now it was dark when we came upon the thickest snow we have seen yet. We tried to power on up through the snow but we started spinning the wheel and only moving a metre a minute. Then we stopped going forward and started going backwards. Hum... sliding backwards down an icy, snowy mountain road is not so good. Felix managed to turn us around and tried to steer us into a little road to camp down, but we slid past it. He steered us into another spot but we got stuck as soon as the back wheel went into the snow, it was just too deep and icy underneath. Felix pushed us out and we slid back down into the town. It was a little scary sliding around but Felix went very slowly and carefully. We drove around in the snow looking for a place to sleep. We found a car park that seemed quiet. There was already thirty centimetres of snow on the ground. We rode into a back corner and with a hedge around two sides of us we set up a tarp. Within ten minutes the tarp was completely covered with a layer of snow, I couldn't believe how fast it was falling.

Again I was starting to feel grumpy and disappointed we would not be making it to our planned destination. I was thinking how stupid it was to be stuck again in the cold and snow; Felix thought it was great fun. We walked around a bit and played in the snow, then started to cook dinner. I started to see the lighter side of being where we were, I was like 'hang on, this is like playing explorers and building cubbies and there is real snow and mountains'. I cooked a very good hot potato salad for dinner. I boiled chopped potatoes, then mixed in some mustard sauce, some dill and chives, some thick milk, some butter and some sliced salami. I still totally surprise myself when I make something that tastes good when camping, even when I have cooked plenty of good things before -- I expect it to turn out bad for some reason. Now it was fun again. We cleaned the dishes and got into bed and fell asleep snug as a bug in a rug with church bells chiming through the mountains and snow still falling thickly around us.

Ah, how nice...
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