21st June 2017


Today had been hard. Sometimes it all just works out nicely, and sometimes it doesn’t. I was rudely awoken by a cracking thunderstorm at around one in the morning, this went on for about two hours and was all but impossible to sleep through. On top of that choosing a camp site right next to both a runway and a railway line was, in hindsight, not the brightest idea. So, to conclude, I had bugger all sleep and wasn’t feeling too bright but by 6:30 the planes and trains meant any chance of more sleep was long gone. I packed up and left.

On the bright side though, the morning was stunning with the overnight storm and the heat of the morning combining to produce a low mist which gave the world a wonderful but eerie feel. Before I left I’d checked my list of places to ride through and worked out how to get there. I couldn’t remember why I’d chosen the places I’d chosen and was too tired to check. As I rode from place to place one question kept presenting itself; what am I doing? And I found it very difficult to answer. My normal style when doing these bike trips is to just ride through these places and absorb the sites, I enjoy that, but now I was questioning it. As I rode on my mind tried continuously to answer the question. What was the point of it? Was it enough to just see these places, or was is necessary to stop and absorb myself in them? Should I be talking to more people? Should I eat in some of these places, or would a coffee be enough? My conclusion was that just blatting through each country without stopping, eating, or experiencing them seemed wrong. As I came to my conclusion I spotted a sign for Salzburg. Okay, I was going to Salzburg.

I’d read all about the beautiful buildings and super streets in Salzburg, and after seeing The Sound of Music <grin> I had high expectations; however, my first impression was one of complete chaos. The road leading in was being worked on and there was an incredibly slow traffic light system in place. A few people had decided not to wait which buggered it all up completely. The workmen tried their best to sort it out by directing people all over the place but then a lorry decided to do it on his own and got stuck. After sitting there baking in the sun for forty minutes I jumped off the road and onto the adjacent field. Twenty minutes later I was stuck in stationery traffic in the heart of the city.

When I saw a nice looking restaurant I pulled over and popped in. I asked if there was somewhere close to park my bike but it was about 300 meters away! I tried another restaurant but they also had no parking. Then, as I was just about to give up, I saw a restaurant with a big wide pavement outside. I rode the bike right up the the window and stopped. Excellent.

I secured everything as best as I could but left it all on the bike. I was about to enter the restaurant when a police car pulled up and told me I couldn’t park there. I asked him where I could park but the place he pointed to was not close at all. This would mean lugging my heavy tank bag, my crash helmet and my leather jacket all the way to the restaurant in the 34 degree afternoon heat. I decided against that and instead opted to continue riding around Salzburg to look for the wonderful buildings I’d read about.

After a further hour of going from one traffic jam to another, not being able to find a single place to eat that I could park close to and not having found a single nice looking building I decided to revert to my original style of just seeing the country side and eating the odd banana when I felt I needed some food. I got the hell out of Salzburg.

When I finally got out of Salzburg I stopped and had a coffee from my thermos. I decided to have a look at my route so far. I set my GPS to record the track so I would know the exact route I took from beginning to end. Unfortunately I found that it was only recording the last few hours. When your sense of direction and memory are both absolutely atrocious you do tend to rely on technology. Now the technology I’m going to rely on is the ball point pen. Here is a list of the places I rode through today.

Volders, Wattons, Kolsass, Pill, Buch, Zell am Ziller, Brixlegg, Kundl, Worbl, Walserberg, Salzburg, Puch, Oberalm, Kuchl, Golling, Tenneck, Mandling, Poham, Huittau, Espang, Liezen, Hall, Sankt Gallen and finally Landl.

Im now sitting in a nice little camp site by a place called Landl. The chap is currently making me a pizza as that’s the menu. Lovely. Tomorrow I should get into Slovakia which I’m really looking forward to.

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  • Hope your Pizza was better than your day! I appreciate you need to stop for food, but you also need to remember a little belated birthday gift from your travels for your lovely little sister …… I will allow you to wait until you get to Greece if its easier 😉 Safe Riding Rich x

  • “The hills are alive with” the put put sound of a Honda struggling for breath!
    Shame the bike is struggling with lack of power etc, are you able to get an octane booster (additive) when you fill up. Might be worth trying when you know you have a high altitude section. Just a thought.

    • From what I’ve read on t’internet an octane booster or higher octane fuel actually makes it worse. What’s your view? Rich x

      • Always use it in the Mini, it appears to make a difference. The other thing you could try is buying super unleaded or whatever the Croatians call it, as that has a higher octane rating.

  • Ahhh! Salzburg! The birthplace of Mozart! It’s a fantastic city in the mountains and has a big square with horse drawn carts and the Danube flows through it from memory…
    Never mind next time we will go for a weekend break !
    Slovakia eh? Never been there. Looking forward to more photos

By Richard