My equipment:

My bike originally was an e-bike (Elektrobiker, Vienna), a strong and fast one with good quality components, so it was designed to be stable, and it was.

On the way, I changed (better: I let change the chain every 3-4000km and after the most mountainous parts in Georgia, Armenia and Iran, I also bought a new cogset.
I was a bit nervous about my Tektro disc brakes, because in case of a problem I thought it is more complicated to repair or service (=bleed) it by myself, but I only needed new pads after those mountains, and then could go on for many 1000km without any problem.

I had bought a Luxos U light with USB charger. The light was good and whenever it didn’t work it was because the cable had become lose. But until the end I never could rely on the charger. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not and I could not tell if it was the problem of the charger, the USB-cable or those devices that I wanted to charge, because all this electronic stuff is not reliable enough….

On the bike, I had many bags: 😊
Two small bags, under my saddle for first aid stuff and one (called basil) on the top tube of the frame for my phone (photo above). Both needed mending after a while so as not to fall apart.
And then I had six Ortlieb bags, the four in the “classic” position left+right (front + back), one at the handlebar for camera, sunglasses, money, passport etc and a big top bag in the rear for tent stuff.
These are reliable bags as many people know anyway.

My clothes were nearly exclusively from Löffler, an Austrian company and one of the few companies for (sports)wear that still produces in Europe, mostly even in Austria. I had too much to wear, because for example, I took with me 3 bike shirts but used only one all the time, just washing it at night and in the end only the colours were bleached by the sun.
The most obvious example for the quality of those products were my gloves. I was always wearing gloves, partly as a shock prevention for my hands but mostly, because in any accidents, small or severe, the hands are affected and even a small cut by a small stone can make unnecessary troubles that could have been prevented by gloves. Unfortunately, I lost one of them in Iran and bought new ones there. Unfortunately, I lost them in China and bought new ones in China. Unfortunately, one of them hurt me with a seam, but luckily it was the left one and I still had my original one. So you can see how the Kaiwei gloves originally looked and how the used one looked at the end of the trip. And you can compare with the Löffler glove.

For rain, I had a poncho, but I am still not sure what is the best option. It protected me from very heavy rain, at least from above, but of course the shoes and legs get wet indirectly from the water on the street. There are advantages and disadvantages of every rain protection. I might do the same again, but I am not convinced enough to say this is the best option. I only had one shirt with long sleeves, but I had extra arms and leggings.

One kind was designed as sun protection instead of sunscreen and I used it mainly in Iran, but I didn’t feel very comfortable, because you have less wind chill. The other set was to warm up and I was glad to have it in Vietnam in January with wind and rain, but most of the wearing time was in cold nights as a kind of pajama.
All that “functional wear” has the big advantage of being light weight and of drying fast and the disadvantage of being better under hot conditions and not that good when it is cold. Sometimes I was wearing literally everything I had and still felt cold although it was beyond 0°.

Maybe here I could say something about my tent equipment:
My tent was an MSR, I took the version for two persons, because the difference in weight is not that big and you have enough space. It did a good job and I liked that you also can start with the flysheet when it is raining, but I didn’t like the zippers that tended to eat the surrounding cloth. I bought an more expensive inflating mat from exped, but after only 30-40 nights during this year (I only did camping form Hungary to Iran and again in Australia and Europe), it first became leaky to the outside (you can fix this in a way) and then leaky between the different sections of the mat (then it is destroyed). The sleeping bag, again from exped, was too hot or too cold many times, maybe the comfort zone was between 10-20°C.  I additionally had a silk sleeping bag and I needed it often, sometime to replace and sometimes to supplement the normal sleeping bag.

I had 3 pairs of shoes:
bike shoes: good for biking but uncomfortable until the last day. I think I had 3 accidents by falling in very slow tempo, because I could not get out of the clips fast enough.
normal shoes: I took very light ones, so biking with them was not perfect, running hurt after a few 100m and walking after 10km. In Taiwan the shoe sole had come off from both shoes at the same time, so I guess the temperatures and humidity was too much for them after 8 months of travelling. But I let them repair and then they endured until Vienna.
And slippers.

My helmet (Abus) had a windshield and when I started, I used it quite often. It should protect me from insects or other things coming into my eyes and sometimes this was very useful. But it was not so comfortable (less ventilation) and I got the impression that dogs even hate me more with it, so, after a while, I only used it when the wind was strong or when I was going more than 30km/h. As I where glasses it was good to have the windshield, because when the rain stopped, I opened the windshield and had dry glasses.

The helmet also has a back light but I didn’t need it too much, because I was going mainly at day time. But in some countries I used it in tunnels to boost my visibility (besides other lights and reflecting materials) because the daylight was very strong and the tunnels where poorly or even not lightened and when there was not much space, I preferred to do a bit more for my safety.

Ok, back to the lights:
I had additional lights that I fixed on my back bags and I used them in the flashing mode to show how wide me and my bike are. I also had another strong front light that I mainly used as a torch in my tent, but 2-3 times I was glad to have it when I was on a difficult gravel road in a dark morning. I even had more lights to fix on my helmet for example and for flashing in the front in addition to the normal light and as a backup, but the main function of all these lights was to add up to the weight of my luggage.

That brings me to another chapter of electronics, power banks. I had a solar power bank, it worked sometimes (sometimes when the sun was shining). I had a big one with two sets of batteries, but there always were problems charging them and I had a small power bank with a crank that I could also use as a charger for batteries by USB. You can guess – it didn’t always work.  For charging, I had very short cables and 2m long ones and a charger with 5 USB sockets, I think this was a good choice. The main idea of the long cables was to connect the solar power bank lying on the back top-bag with my phone or my GPS tracker (also there) with the dynamo USB charger on my front wheel. Whenever one of these options worked, I was grateful. Most of the time I was disappointed, because it didn’t. But there were only few situations when I ran out of battery. The GPS tracker (SPOT) in the end mainly made the beautiful track on the world map, but the other function would be to find me in case of emergency.

I stopped using it permanently to profit from that service, because this tracker has the big disadvantage that you cannot charge it. If the batteries are empty you must replace them or if they are rechargeable, you must take them out and use an extra charger! I adapted the charger with the crank (fit for AA batteries) with springs to AAA batteries but as said before charging was hard work. So, I used the tracker only 3x/Day (morning, noon evening) and then the batteries lasted ~ 2 weeks.

I had a sony action cam until Australia where it got stolen and then one from Panasonic. They were meant for photo and video and I would have preferred to continue with the Sony camera, because it was smaller, and less photos and videos were blurred. I cannot tell 100% if you can avoid the blurry videos of the Panasonic if you find any better settings, but alone that you film something and it changed from focussed to blurry to and fro without any other parameters changing, was frustrating. I liked the 30x Zoom but maybe I used it too often?
My other camera was a gopro and I had made a construction on my handlebar for road movies  and to make filming possible easily without stopping. In the end I can say that it helped me to remember many parts of the roads I was traveling. Quite often, I forgot to press the stop bottom and then I had some long roads moving in bike tempo and it was hard to select a few seconds out of 30-50min, but it also happened that something interesting or funny happened to be on the videos. I also had a small tripod and the equipment to fix the camera on a stick or on my helmet but most of the time I was too lazy to change and/or decided that it is not worth to change.
I don’t want to write much here about my Garmin GPS device, my whole blog is full with that. I cannot call it a love-hate relationship, because there was not enough love from my side, but in the end I know I would again try to cope and cooperate with Mr.G on a bike trip….

For me, it was essential to have a computer, because I nearly can do nothing on my phone. Most of the time I tried to avoid even writing messages on my phone, because I am much faster on the keyboard of my computer. For  route planning, research, booking, for writing my diary, for cutting photos and especially editing videos, I was grateful to have this. It was a surface pro with 16GB RAM and 512GB space and compared to my PC I had used at home for videos, editing was much faster. And it was quite reliable, only showing a black screen from time to time and then needing a re-start but not too much data loss. For data loss prevention, I was quite strict with saving my stuff on an external drive, doing that nearly every evening. For a while, I even saved my data on two different drives, but if you get used to it, you don’t feel save anymore if you store them only on the PC or on PC+ one drive and in fact during a bike trip the second drive is not much more security than the first one, because in best case it is just in another bag, but on the same bike. Partly, I saved things by uploading them to my blog and to youtube, I even bought 1TB space on dropbox, but I don’t like the energy aspect of cloud saving, because it is not really a cloud, it is a lot of hard discs in big places using a lot of current for running the systems and a lot of extra energy to cool them.
Now it is time to talk about my telephone(s). Yes, I had two of them. The brand is “fairphone” and I like the idea of a phone that is produced under fair conditions, starting with fair wages for the miners of all those materials that normally are linked to slave- and child labour. I also like the idea of a mobile phone where you can change spare parts on your own. What I don’t like, is the fact that I had to do that before and although it is not difficult to change parts, that doesn’t mean that everything is better after that. I thought about parts that could be damaged on the trip and ended up with a complete 2nd phone as a backup. On this trip, I bought SIM-cards in 10 different countries, in China even 3 cards, until one worked in one fairphone. That means that sometimes I had to change my Austrian SIM-card to the other phone and as fairphones have 2 slots you can try up to 12 combinations where to put which SIM card until at least the local one works. There is no logic behind and sometimes one phone (or SIM card?) decided not to cooperate with that particular SIM card (or phone?). One fairphone sometimes showed a colourful but useless screen in some countries and continuously in others, depending on the SIM card inside. And so on.
Did I say it was essential for me to have my PC? Now you know more why. Did I say, I like the idea of fairphone? Now you know why I emphasized “idea”…

For most countries, I had an old school paper map and I also had a paper with listed names of cities and villages on my way, including kilometer indication. On the road, I seldom needed them for orientation but it was meant as a backup and got another unexpected purpose, because I could explain people where I came from and where I wanted to go by pointing on that list or sometimes opening the map and we didn’t need to speak the same language. I always had the actual map and that list in my bag on the handlebar. To complete the enumeration for this bag, I must mention my glasses. One pair normally was on my nose, during cycling, these normally were round, small ones, to fit under the wind shield of my helmet and optically adapted to cycling (better for distance, not that good for reading etc. The opposite applies to the other glasses, they were mainly for working and for daily life. And I had optical sunglasses, I could have worn them more often, but even for those few days (mainly in Iran and Australia) I was glad that I had them.

When I said something about money in that bag, it was only a few 1-dollar bills and local currency up to 50€, the rest of Dollars and Euros was in different places in different bags. And normally, I had not my passport in that bag but only my ID-card. And I had two passports, not only one. The reason was not my mania for symmetry or for backup solutions, it was mainly because of VISA. I tried to have all visas in advance to save time and make boarder crossing easier. But it was impossible to get the China visa earlier, so I applied for a second passport and left it in Vienna. In Bangkok, I got this passport with all visas for Cambodia, Vietnam and China. The only difficult situation was at the Thai-Cambodian border when I had the Thai stamp in on passport and the Cambodian visa in the other. The officers made a growing crowd around my passports but in the end didnt know a good reason to refuse the entrance stamp.

Let’s got down to the bags again! So, the passports normally where in two different bags and so were other documents, copies of them and passport photos. I would have applied for a travel insurance anyway, but it was necessary to have it for the cargo ships. And so was the vaccination certificate. I had two different prepaid credit cards, N26 and revolut, two normal ones and my bank card. Sometimes I needed 3 of them to withdraw money, so I wouldn’t say I should have reduced the weight of my luggage here. One idea was that in case of theft, maybe even a thief would not expect to find more than 2 credit cards (and I even had to additional dummy cards in my purse!), so I would not have to wait for a new one to continue if one is lost.

What else?
In one front bag, (most of the time the left one, because I was going to East, so it had a bit less direct sun) I had my food. I had no cooker, because I don’t need coffee and I can survive without warm food, too. (And you get warm food easily & cheap in South East Asia). I had some boxes with a mixture of chocolate, dried fruits and nuts, all chopped very small. It took me more than four months to finish that, first because I had much and second because I regarded it as a reserve and wanted to enjoy mainly local food. But after a while one box after the other changed to contain only nuts and seeds. Besides that, I always had empty containers and plastic bags  for buying and storing this local food. It was always interesting to see the reaction of people when I refused a plastic bag or cup or box and showed them mine. And I had a swiss knife and a “spork” (spoon&fork, German “Göffel”=Gabel&Löffel) and kept chopsticks, so I could avoid some one-way cutlery. In that bag, I also had a water filter bottle (Life Straw from WaterNlife), so I could drink tap water. But you can only drink directly, you cannot fill it to other bottles and it was not completely dense and it didn’t fit into my bottle hold, so I still needed to get water, either by cooking (in many Asian countries you have water cookers in hotel rooms) or using bottled water.

Besides the above-mentioned things, I had insect repellent, sunscreen in the right front bag. I only need very little protection against insects, there were very little on my way. And I should have used more sun protection at least on my nose, again a matter of laziness vs discipline… I was quite good for a while, because I had a schedule of cycling until 10:00 and then ate + greased my chain + greased my nose.

In the back bags, under the big top bag, I had things that I hopefully wouldn’t need during the day, like spare parts and tools, including a leatherman, glue, permanent markers and cable ties. This was my left bag, that also kept my electronic equipment, so it was heavier and should orientate the bike to the bike stand.

The right back bag was for clothes that I would not need during the day and for toiletries, medicine (except first aid) and sewing kit.

The most special part might have been my bike cover. It is made of three big flags, of EU and of UN and on it were small flags of the countries I visited. It had some eyelets for locks. One purpose was to cover the bike when I was going away from the otherwise unprotected bike + luggage. If someone would have like to get something out of a bag (s)he first would have had to cut the cover, and this might not be attractive on crowded places. But most of the time I just locked the bike, sometimes even just leaving it and keeping an eye on it when I was in a shop for example. The other purpose was a statement of global citizenship and an introduction for communication when people looked at their own flag and tried to reconstruct my tour by the other flags.
And when I mentioned locks, I finally should tell about them, too. I had a massive one, including an alarm function. Just for fun I tried the alarm function once, but it was so sensitive that it started to sound when I touched the bike and then I was so nervous that it took me some time to stop it. I had lost the first key on day 1, in my house or in front of it, and the second on e in Tabriz. So, I bought a new lock there and asked Doron to get a new key and send it to Malaysia. And I had to simple locks looking like massive cable ties with keys, to fix the bike cover on the wheels, to prevent access to the bags by just lifting the cover. I think, I used it two times and only the second time I was feeling better, because I left my fully packed bike in front of the port office in Xiamen to get a ticket for the ferry.

I always had some little presents and tried to find something in one country for the friends in the country after next or later, hoping they would not know it. And my present normally were food, so my friends could get rid of it easily and hopefully even enjoy that.

All in all, my luggage was about 30kg (5kg or so just the empty bags) and the easiest way to reduce weight would have been to carry less food). I am not superstitious or even a believer, but by chance things happen more likely when you are not prepared than when you are over-prepared. I maybe was over-prepared, at least nothing serious happened!

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364 nach Wien – to Vienna 19.7.2019

It was a special night, because the camping site was closely packed with tents and some people confused tent cloth with massive walls and were very noisy. I can fall asleep when there is noise on a steady level, but their communication was irregular, sometimes low and then nearly shouting. The second problem was my mat that lost more air than last time (and also last time there was not enough left for a complete night, so there was no big variation how to lie without touching the hard ground. And finally, it didn’t get dark, so at 3a.m., I made a first trial to finish the night, but this was too early, and I made some other turns on my flattening mat until 6.
In the evening, I had been talking to a Canadian cycling couple and they were nice and on their way from the Netherlands to the Black Sea via Vienna. So I had the idea to invite them for the night, although or maybe even because it will be my first night at home. But they had arranged a meeting with a friend in  another part of the town.
They left an hour earlier than I had calculated for me to be in Korneuburg on time to meet Doron who would come from Vienna, so I sat down to read in my Uganda book. But this camping site seemed to be special, not only the Canadian couple had other good-byes besides me to do before they went off, also I had talked to a Polish guy, a Czech woman with a baby and a Dutch man, all cycling to or from Vienna. We exchanged tips for tours or cycling-related websites and so the hour until I wanted to leave was over fast.
I went faster than necessary but I thought it is better to be earlier and spend my time reading or writing than to have any problem. Normally, if there is any problem, a second comes additionally to make things more complicated. My favorite is the phone that loves to stop working when it becomes essential. And today it was near to that. Yesterday, charging on the ride worked well and today not only it didn’t work it was discharging! When I connected it to my dynamo charger it was 65% full. An hour later, 20% where left. Now, with 30kg luggage there should be a solution at hand, or two. I have a power-bank that might even charge and be charged at the same time. I have the dynamo-power-bank, where I can charge by turning (but it is not always reliable) and I have the second phone with a full battery. Without extra problems every solution could solve the problem, if I would have been late, I am sure that at least one solution would have been an additional problem. That’s the way things work…

I was fast, and whenever I saw someone in front of me, I tried to catch him, her or them. There was a couple on touring bikes that was so fast that I needed 10min to catch up but then I took a photo of the safest atomic power plant of the world, in Zwentendorf. And they were again in front of me. Another exhausting hunt started. And then, Mr.G told me to leave the route of the Eurovelo 6, because he knew something better. I risked it and this time it was not his fault, it was  a detour because of construction work. When I was back on the main track, I could see that couple again. Not exactly in front of me, they stayed on the  right side of th Danube, Mr.G told me to cross it. Meanwhile it was 45km and I was hungry and sat down to eat. Then I made the following 30km to Korneuburg and there the fast couple sat in the grass! I was one hour too early for the meeting with Doron and on my way looked for a bench in the shadow. But exactly on this part of the way there was no bench, not even in the sun. So, this time I sat down in the grass, a few minutes that couple passed by, we greeted each other for the most probably last time for this day and I waited for my phone to charge. At 48%, it stopped, but that should be enough until I would meet Doron. The power bank was not reliable, too. I connected the phone to the PC to get a bit more battery, because better to have it in the phone that I would probably need than in the PC that I only used for writing this here.
Doron and I met without phone, power bank etc, just like we had arranged it. And it was so natural as if I had not been away. This was good, because I feel better with less stirring emotions and it was a bit comprehensible, because not only we had met in Australia which bridged the year long separation, email and other digital communication had continued in a way like we had it before, too.
We bought some organic Indian food and went to my house where Marvin waited.
We spent some hours together and by the way I could adapt to these unusual surroundings. That was not only necessary because of my long absence, a friend had been living here and some changes  made my apartment even stranger to me.
And in the same way as Marvin and Doron’s presence gave me time to adapt to my new situation while we talked to each other it will be also in the next days, because I have a long to do list and while I work on it, things will become normal for me again.

The trip is over.

The diary is nearly finished – I would like to make some things better, but I guess that other things will grow more important fast and so it can happen that this is the last text I write here…

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363 to Krems 18.7.2019

My evening was not too long and so it was no surprise that I woke up at 5:30, even without being nervous and of course without any good reason else. I can use that additional time as always, with “working” on my PC. There are 12 videos left to cut (the videos of today and tomorrow included) and tomorrow, with day 364, my diary will be finished. There are some other trip-related tasks I want to finish and maybe I will prepare a presentation, but the next project, Uganda 2025, grows bigger in my head every day and needs structures, procedures and most important: fellows, supporters and cooperating companies. I guess that after the first days after returning home and resuming my daily life and meeting my friends and relatives, I will try to concentrate on this utopia.
At the hotel AsiaWok, I got breakfast at 8:30 and it was partly very typical Austrian with rolls, butter and jam, but I also got sliced apple and banana because there was no cheese or vegetarian alternatives to sliced sausage.
On this trip, I had used booking platforms more often than most people within a year, but just at my last booking I made a mistake. In another case in Vietnam, I had supposed that my booking was paid by credit card, but I should have paid cash and this time, the host wanted to get paid cash but only later I saw that I had done the already by card. Between those two bookings, I managed to check in advance and always made a note on paper with booking number, address, telephone number and the way of payment.
It was no big deal, I got back my money and for me it is no big surprise that that happened to me, I always have moments of inattention (in fact daily life is a row of such moments) and so things MUST happen and every day is a good day when those things are not (too) bad.
It is interesting, if I must go 120km, 60km feels just like what it is, half of the complete tour and not worth mentioning. But if 60km is the goal, it becomes bigger! Let’s call that Cycology.
Cycling more than 100km on so many days last year hadn’t made me much stronger or more enduring, I only know that it is possible and then I do it. One year ago, I thought  it is possible and did it. The result is the same, you are tired and a bit proud or satisfied and appreciate a shower.
On the way there was an impressive border between the sunny side where I came from and a thunderstorm in front of me. You could see curtains of rain under black clouds and the sun shone a bit into that scenery. It felt a bit silly to look for protection while the sun was shining on me, but it was clear that heavy rain would come soon. I went on and luckily there was a shelter 3m besides me when it started. And 3m was short enough to get into the dry. I could enjoy that natural spectacle and after 10min go on as a dry Martin(i). I was a bit shy to take photos of lower Austria, just 100km from home and was not sure if it is indeed equally nice as so many other places in this world or if it is a matter of prejudices. It is high season of the Wachau apricots and at least here I can say that a ripe apricot in Austria is simply delicious.

When I reached the campground, – my last night in a tent before reaching home, that is good dramaturgy – it was about to rain again and only a few minutes after setting up the tent and protecting everything, it rained, not like before but enough.

I bought some food in a nearby supermarket and read in the lonely planet for Uganda and when the rain stopped, I made a little tour through Krems.

And then I had my last evening before ending the trip with business as usual, but a slightly different feelings – excitement is the clearest of them.

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362 to Ybbs 17.7.2019

This night, i was not feeling cold like often in the tent. I was prepared for that but didn’t need anything additional. But I had muscle cramps, the first time since long and for many hours I needed to control my movements to avoid the and this is easier if you don’t sleep too tight. There was no need for an extra early start for today’s 72km, but I finished this uncomfortable night early

and was on the road before 7:00 and arrived in Ybbs at 11:30. I was going fast, partly just because it was flat, partly to do some training. Not to be prepared for a big cycling trip, I think this could have been the first and last one! I am very glad that I did it and about all those great experiences and my good luck but still I am no big traveller and I have new ideas in my mind.

The hotel Ybbshof now is named AsiaWok and the room reminded me on some South East Asian rooms I had been staying in, a little bit dirty , a little bit ruined by time and by careless travellers and lack of proper maintenance. The owner spoke Austrian dialect with Chinese accent and when I looked out of the window the Danube was flowing directly in my view, both compensate for the before mentioned handicaps.
In the afternoon, Alfred, the uncle of Marvin and Doron, came down from the Waldviertel-district to meet me. We talked and ate for two hours and would have continued, but he has to leave very early in the next morning, so we postponed talking to another meeting.

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361 to Ausee near Enns 16.7.2019

The hotel was more a house for boarding school students but near to empty at that time of the year. When I took breakfast at 6:45, there was only one guy from Spain and he told me that he and 9 others from different countries were there as trainees for five weeks. Later I saw more of them, some apparently staying in other places.

I was on the street before 8:00 and the first 40km were pleasant, along the river Inn, but then my route went uphill towards Ried and crossing the Hausruck mountains, so the middle part was again exhausting like the first part yesterday and then came the highlight, the cycle path along Traun. It was flat again and most of the time the wind helped me. I could not reach the Danube, because of construction work there was a big detour but at least I reached the camping ground and still earlier as expected even without detour. I had an early dinner or very late lunch, in any case I ate a lot and enjoyed the reflections of the sun in the Ausee.

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360 to Braunau 15.7.2019

I left Doro not much after 8:00, because both of us had a hard day ahead of us. Soon after Munich, strong wind from the east slowed me down and weakened me. Then the windy parts changed with hills and the combination was exhausting but after 75km it became better, nearly no height meter and less wind. But at that time I would gradually become tired anyway…
Slowly it became more and more obvious that I was getting near to Austria, not only street signs but for example the form of farm houses was familiar for me, I am not sure if quatrangle farm is a good translation, but something like that.
Then I crossed the river Inn for the decisive last time of that day, because it was the border to Austria, when I crossed the bridge I came to Braunau as my first Austrian ground since 22nd of July 2018. I had planned the route so, that I would pass that house where Adolf Hitler was born and where Nazis came to celebrate one of the biggest criminals of history. The old Nazis now are dead enough to stop it and maybe the Neo-Nazis don’t do it every day, in any case I saw no Nazis and don’t know which house was the “right” one and I am a bit glad that I came there without seeing it. Then I went to the hotel that I had seen and chosen yesterday but not booked. This was a mistake, because today they had been fully booked before I arrived. I found something else and there I planned the stays for the next days.
I want to do camping tomorrow, then I booked a hotel in Ybbs where I want to meet Alfred and originally, I wanted to go home the last 145km on Thursday, but Doron and Marvin cannot come on that day, so I have a good excuse to make that tour in two parts and will do camping in Krems as my last stop before reaching home!

now all photos in one, I am too tired to sort them!

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359 to Munich 14.7.2019

At the inn, we had another big breakfast and started our tour in sunlight. We both could feel that we had done a lot of km in the last days, but today it was easier for me to follow Madeleine most of the time. In a small village, I saw my first “Maibaum” and later, we were blocked again by a cycling race, to be more exact a triathlon were they had finished the swimming part (500m), most of the people now were cycling 20km but the first group changed to running at that time. So, the area was blocked, and we had to do a detour.

In another small village I took the photo of the billboard with two young guys kissing and hugging.

The message was about taking condoms and it was the first advertisement like this I saw so far, that showed two guys in such a way, in now this was here in conservative Christian Bavaria, in a village. I am grateful about such progress in society, maybe sexual orientation will not be a big deal in a few years. Somewhere between Augsburg and Munich, we again came to a place where Anton and I had been on our way from Brühl to Munich, a big wheel standing in a field and of course we tried to find a way to set that wheel into scene.

Madeleine saw the first sign to an Austrian town, Salzburg. And then we came near to Munich and to make the joy of finishing the tour even bigger, it started raining. We didn’t stop to take our rain covers and it was a bit fresh, but when we reached Madeleine’s hotel, the rain had stopped again, and we could warm up. We changed cloths and went to a Japanese restaurant that my cousin Doro had recommended. Then we took a last selfie before Madeleine took the metro to go to downtown and I went to Doro.

My plan was to go to Braunau, Linz, Ybbs and Vienna in 4 days and Madeleine also wanted to go to Vienna, but via Salzburg and St Gilden, staying with friends for 1-2 days, so our common tour was finished now.

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358 to Röfingen near Günzburg 13.7.2019

We had another great breakfast, which is a matter of good balance at the edge of much but not too much, it should be possible to ride a bike afterwards.
We had some rain in the morning, not the heavy one, but still making the rain covers necessary.

In Göppingen, the city of Märklin, the rain was over. In Eislingen, we saw a group of musicians and dancer from Latin America entertaining the locals and teaching them their dances. I remembered some parts from my trip with Anton, the constructor of the Bambuk tandem, from Bühl to Munich. (At that time, I wanted to make this big trip to Asia and Australia with that tandem but soon realized that it is impossible. Now, near to the end of the trip I know how right I was). One street sign I remembered was from the village “Kuchen” (=cake), btw near “Süßen” (= sweeten).

We came to Amstetten, a small town here in Germany but with a “sister” with the same name in Austria. People guided us to a festivity where we sat down to eat something, hearing dreadful German Schlagermusik and seeing the opening of a beer barrel by the mayor. The next mark showing our progress to Austria was the name of the cycle route, “Donau Radweg”, which is exactly the same as the big route a long the Danube in Austria. And then we crossed the original river Danube at the village Leipheim!

The rest of the tour was not too hard, in fact it would have been easy, but it was the rest of the tour and that means 90km before the last 25km. But we finished everything bravely and successfully landed in our inn.

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357 to Stuttgart 12.7.2019

When we wanted to leave the train station hotel after a nice breakfast, it rained or still rained or rained again. But when we were ready to go, the rain stopped and for many hours it was better than yesterday

The way was again through woods and meadows and again nice. Sometimes we had longer (not: long) climbs and these were situations where I was not in a hurry to catch up with Madeleine, but climbing is not recreation, too. But sometimes, we could go side by side when the cycle path was wide enough and empty. Then we talked a bit and the tempo was moderate.

The last way to Stuttgart seemed infinite. When I looked at Mr.G, he said something like 82km and when I looked again “much later” it was only 86km, as if we wouldn’t move. But finally, we reached Stuttgart and I bought something for dinner in a supermarket (Madeleine wanted to eat dinner in a restaurant, and I wanted to safe time by eating during working on my PC), when heavy rain started. So, we waited for a while before going the last 15km to the hotel.

We were later because of the harder ride and the waiting time, so it again became late until we could fall in our beds and again, I had not finished writing. But I still wake up before 6, so I can complete me diary in the mornings.

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356 Rohrbach near Landau 11.7.2019

We started our 2nd part of the trip with a little rain that in the next hours accompanied us, sometimes becoming heavier sometimes pausing a bit. In late noon, we made a stop at a supermarket and eating a kind of lunch. The rain got less and less, and we slowly warmed up on the next kilometres.

The way was more in forests today but still mostly flat or only smaller hills. At a pond, Madeleine saw something moving around and we tried to catch a look and a photo of that animal but soon were surprised when not only one, but four muskrats came to us. They were not at all shy and obviously hoping for or begging or even demanding food.

The last part of cycling was through vineyards, the sun was shining, and everything was nice, except that we were tired.

So, we were happy when we finally reached the old train station that was our hotel and restaurant for today. They had a set Vegetarian menu focused on potatoes because this was the topic of a kind of competition between different restaurants in the region. Partly it was just ok, partly great but in any case, it was a nice idea and looked nice. We needed to plan our tour to and our stay in Munich. I would stay with my cousin and before meet friends of Arash (see the Shiraz days, 080-086) and Madeleine would stay with old friends or in a hotel. We didn’t finish planning completely and I couldn’t write my blog, because at 23:00, we were too tired to continue.

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