Twistringen - September 10, 2015

Sorry for the long time since the last dispatch. Just means that I was in zombie mode at Mari's. Had a great, relaxing time. Could have always use more sleep however. But on one of the days, Ants, Mari and Ant's son Urmas took me for a circle tours from Turi. Quite interesting actually. We went to a spot out in the woods where the Estonian Partisans had a camp... at first fighting the Germans in WWII, then the Russians who didn't go home. If I remember correctly, Ants said that the Russians didn't capture the last of them until well into the 70's. The forests are so thick, you can literally disappear yourself if you want. So also had lots of meals at both Mari's and Ants's. Lots of meals. And then some after that. Think that was the beginning of my regain my weight phase. Meals are interesting. They seem to consist of whatever you had last meal, with something new to replace whatever you finished. I like the economy. Hardly anything goes to waste. But it does make for some interesting breakfast fare. I tried some smoked but otherwise raw herring. Mari has it every morning. Interesting to try.... once. But I hated to leave. Very nice folks.

So I got soaked through and through going from Mari's back to Tallinn for the ferry. I was booked into a 4-man dorm cabin, but fortunately no one showed and I had it all to myself. Good thing as I took all the hangers and all the hanging space to try to dry out by morning. Pretty successful. Better weather in Sweden and nice campsite to boot. Had bike problems once in Sweden, so I spent the morning in camp pulling the carbs and drying electrical connectors. After dragging it out in the morning, I still wound up at the ferry 4-hours early. So I was bushed just from the waiting. Then had a night in a chair... or rather sprawled over one in the restaurant. Bad sleep.

But Twistringen is cute. Not as cute as some of the places I was today though. Wow. I took the Autobahn out of Rostock this morning, but that was totally boring. So I told the GPS to avoid highways and it recalculated. What a great drive! All through small towns... some just spectacular... canals, old Dutch-style windmills, old farms, and my favorite, tree-lined roads with the trees so thick, they reach out over the road and shake hands. Some were just single-lane roads. Just awesome riding. Anyone who likes to ride would have loved the ride today. And nice weather to boot!

So off to Hook of Holland tomorrow (avoiding highways of course) for another overnight ferry to just north of London. I have a spare day, so found a campsite about 45 minutes from the ferry. The town's reason for being is that it is an antique center. And it will be Saturday, so quite busy I expect. Also, it has a small antique motorcycle museum. That should be fun. I'll blow the day there, and still don't have to be in London until 4PM the next day (anther 45 mnutes away), when I can check in to my old guesthouse. So I see lots of dead time ahead.

Lots of emails and phone calls have gone into the bike logistics lately. I'm particularly concerned that the duffel and sidecases can go full with the bike. This will be the bike's fifth time across the Atlantic and it has always gone loaded. Anyway, they were making some noises about the fact that it is not in the contract and so no duffel, and sidecases empty. This is a major hassle. But I talked to the agent in London today and he had an interesting perspective. He said that when it comes down to it, the shipping contract is not really for a motorcycle but for 295 kgs of "stuff". The fact that some of the stuff is a motorcycle mean that it needs to be handled as dangerous goods, but that the shipper really doesn't give a crap what else is there as long as it doesn't go over 295 kgs... and I can't add dangerous goods as there is no paperwork for that... just the motorcycle has DG papers. So this is how it always has been. He said don't sweat it. I'll still have to have a plan B in case the shipper is having a "let's be a jerk" day.

So I lost a large section of my trans-Russia route off of the website today. My mistake. Today's route didn't append properly, although it looked like it did, and wiped over the old stuff. I revived part of it, but can only really do it from a website restore, which will have to wait until i get onto my big machine at home. So it looks funny... so how did he get from Omsk to Kazan???

Off to be early. Like right about now. At least I can lie out straight tonight. Woohoo!

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