A Good Start and Our Second Police Encounter

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

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Flag of Germany  , Lower Saxony,
Thursday, June 17, 2010

So we have stopped on the side of the road, literally. We are maybe five meters from the edge of a Bundes-strasse   on a forest track that drops away from the road quite steeply, we would have gone further from the edge of the road but there is a gate, So here we are at about two AM, on the road, about to sleep just with our sleeping bags on our super suits for a few winks of sleep before we carry on again in the early hours of the morning. The sky is perfectly clear and full of bright stars, we are surrounded by sweet smelling wild mint, an owl is hooting, trucks and cars are whizzing past occasionally and it’s not too cold. 

But, back in Kieselbronn... Last night Felix found yet another problem with Nina. A small metal part, a sprung metal C clip that acts as a retaining ring (Felix says it’s the same as the function of a wedding ring) that stops a splined section of the drive shaft separating from a flexible joint that transfers power from the gear box the final drive - thereby making Nina go forward - was too worn down.  When the ring becomes too worn down, half of the flexible joint slips down the drive shaft past the  splined section, stopping power being transferred from the gear box to the wheel. Make sense to anyone not expert in the mechanical field? No? Well thats fine, Felix dictated that paragraph to me because try as I might - and I am learning a lot still and I saw it all happen - but if I read that I wouldn’t get it either. Felix wonders if this paragraph describes some aspects of married life, metaphorically of course...

We woke up at seven thirty to say goodbye and see Philip off to school and Felix set about fixing Nina. Some time around midday Nina was back in one piece, a replacement ring made from a scrap of wire Harald pulled out of the basement in place of the old worn down one. It was not a perfect solution but it would get us going again. We packed up, waved goodbye and were on the road.

It was beautiful riding. ‘Navi’ was navigating rather poorly for most of the ride, getting lost at the most critical times but it turned out for the best most of the time, we took some wrong turns and ‘navi’s’ ‘recalculating route’ lead us down some beautiful, beautiful ways, one in particular was through a nature reserve and then out onto small winding country roads. We also had a few small patches of rain, so on went the super suits but it was still quite warm so the rain was no concern, as soon as it stopped we dried out very quickly.

We stopped for Felix to have a break and for dinner, by a river just out of a little village somewhere northwest of Hannover. We had been riding for around six hours with only a few small stops for fuel and to enjoy the delicious sandwiches Ute made for our trip. Felix retuned Nina because the new accelerator cables were still stretching, making her run a little uneven. I cooked a really good dinner, some pasta and a sauce with the fresh capsicums and tomatoes Ute packed in our lunch, some tomato pesto we still had from the farmers market in Munich, some cabana from Hilde (she forgot to give it to us when we visited so Harald brought it to us this morning) and some paprika for a little spice. I miss cooking regularly and love the chances I get when we’re travelling to come up with something from the odds and ends in Nina’s boot.
When we were about to leave and Felix was doing just a little more tuning, a friendly Russian man and his son who were out fishing, came to see what we were doing, concerned we were having trouble because of all the revving. He seemed to know bikes well and was even familiar with Urals. Felix had a friendly chat with him and he had a look at Nina, before wishing us a good trip and going back to fishing.

As we started riding again the sun was setting and the sky was so beautiful, so many colours and so rich. After dark there was not that much more to see, we passed many things but with the only light a motorbike headlight it all went a little under-appreciated. I was so afraid we would hit a deer and fortunately we didn’t. 

Maybe an hour after dark, it was quite cold so Felix decided he would pull into the next rest stop to put more clothes on. The next rest stop signed was just after a corner so we couldn’t really see it until we had committed to pulling in. As we came around the corner, indicating to turn into the stop, we saw it was very brightly lit by about five big floodlights and about twenty policemen in bullet-proof vests standing around. It seemed Felix had volunteered us for a police control search. Thankfully we weren't hiding anyone in the boot today. As we pulled in they flocked around and Felix tried to ask them if it was still ok for us to stop here as they were using this stop as a control point. We were all very confused for a while, muddled up German the main reason, but soon enough they understood we just wanted to put some warmer clothes on and we understood it was fine to stop here, they were only interested in checking trucks

So as Felix dug around and got into ‘Puff Daddy’ (my down jacket), he chatted with the police - who were all standing around watching - about where we had been and where we were going and all that stuff. Then feeling bold, as they all seemed pretty friendly, Felix joked, ‘I hope your night is not too long... but then, maybe it should be after what Germany did to Australia in the Football World Cup.’ One of the policemen answered ‘Vorsicht’, which means be careful, like your on thin ice, or you have been warned. But he said it with a smile and the others all laughed loudly so I think it was all ok. We drove away chuckling as to what an odd and funny incident it had been, very happy our second encounter with police control points was not at all frightening like the last. So now I am going to go to sleep, before we wake up at about four AM to start riding again.
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Julie on

Such friendly blog-writing! Thanks!!!

Miwa the Wa, sister of Kiwa the Wa on

Well, well, well. Here we are at last, tracking the intrepid adventures of Felix and Floss! And how lovely it is to be reading the stories again!! I'm here with Eddie and Michi, sitting in front of our brand spanking new wood heater, toasty and warm, with one (or two?) bubs growing happily in my tummy (occasionally kicking around!!).

You had us all laughing with the paragraph on the bit that broke in Nina and the analogies to wedding rings and marriage - and even harder when we learnt that Felix had dictated it and Floss, like us, still couldn't make head or tail of the detail! Lovely to hear about your cooking - yes, I miss your cooking too! And very funny about the police. Ok, on to the next one before Edwin gets too tucked into his book while he waits for me to type up this comment!

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