The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Mosel Valley

My luggage finally arrived, and I got Odysseus loaded up and ready to go. First thing was to get gas because I had to have the gas tank almost dry to ship the bike across the Atlantic.  I was running on fumes when I got to a gas station, and it cost me almost $35.00 to fill the tank. It is a good thing I get about 75 miles per gallon when I ride.

Then, an immediate problem. My GPS wouldn't charge. So it was back to Stefan's workshop, take off the seat, and find the problem: I had not hooked a relay up correctly. That solved, I was ready to go off exploring.  I had planned to ride into the Alps, but it was snowing up there today, so I decided to head for the United Kingdom instead.  I have to be in England on the 30th for a Horizons Unlimited meeting, so I thought I would just take my time and head toward England now.

I had planned to stay off the Autobahn, but my route put me on it immediately. It wasn't too bad, as long as I was careful getting into the left lane, because it is really true that they drive very fast in that lane.

I am riding along the Mosel River. It is absolutely gorgeous: castles, and narrow roads (perfect for motorcycles, which I saw hundreds of), and thousands of grape orchids.
This is my first camp. It is cold (40 degrees F) but I can handle it as long as it is not raining.
What do you think of this handsome guy? He was there to keep me company as I set up my tent.  He is a male Mandarin duck. I've only seen them in pictures before, so I was honored that this guy wanted to spend a little time with me.
Do you like this castle? There are hundreds like it along the Mosel. This one was well worth the half mile walk I took up to see it. Can you believe it is still owned by a single family?


Here it is again. This is the way wagons and horses came in. Pretty impressive, huh?
Here it is from the courtyard. I couldn't take pictures from the inside, but it was really something to see.
I wanted to show you one of the barges that go up and down this river. They are very small by American standards. I get the impression that each one is owned by a family that live aboard.
As I type this, I am surrounded by Germans who are watching a soccer game on TV. They are really passionate about it: laughing and clamping and making comments.  I wish I could enjoy it, but I can hardly hold my head up, so I am going to head for my tiny zelt (tent).
If I am not up early tomorrow, I will have to wait because they are closing the highway for a big bicycle race.
More later,