Company in Bertha

After another week of wandering in the Black Forest, and strangely, lunch in a palace gardens with an ex-colleague, it was time to head east to Munich to collect Dan for a week. Planning that week was tricky – I don’t usually try to pack as much as possible into 7 days but for Dan’s first trip to Germany, and in an area I’ve not been to before it was too tempting not to. But there was also the tricky part of sharing Bertha properly for the first time, which meant I needed to find campsites rather than the campervan parkups I tend to use when I’m away. Not wanting to be packing up and moving every day I managed to find 3 different campsites which would give us a couple of days in each place to explore from. It went surprisingly well, Dan is very patient 😉 The only time we both got grumpy was trying to put up the wet awning, in the wind and snow on rocky ground that the pegs had no chance of going in to. After about 15 minutes and numb hands we stuffed the awning back in its bag and decided to deal with it a couple of days later. But it did show that we could cope without it if needed, which was nice to know. It is much harder keeping the van tidy with 2 people – especially as I built it just for me, even having another set of wet waterproofs and shoes to deal with without getting the van soaked inside is troublesome. I think some sorting out of my underbed storage is going to be necessary for future trips!

We filled our time together with a visit to Dachau – a WW2 concentration camp, a day out in Munich, a trip to Legoland, visiting Neuschwanstein Castle and an unexpected gorge walk after a lunch stop in the Austrian Alps. Our week also involved me refusing to go on any cable cars that Dan spotted (yes, I know the views will be good but I hate them!)

And now onto Lake Constance, which was the other area I’d earmarked for this trip. Lots of things have closed for winter now, but the scenery is still stunning and there are very few people about – perfect!

A few photos from the week…

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The fat mice of Freudenstadt

The place I was heading for to start with was the Black Forest as I don’t think you can beat a forest in autumn. And 10 or so days on I’m still here. I’ve drifted around, finding different walks to do in each place and making the most of the blue skies and sunshine. My zip offs have been zipped off and the suncream has also had to make an appearance. There’s not too much to say that a few pictures won’t say for me so this blog is mainly photos.

Two hiccups to report so far.

1: My bed broke. A screw that holds the spring mechanism to the frame snapped so it was stuck down in the bed position. I found a hardware store, bought some screws and have temporarily fixed it – will be a winter job to sort it out properly.

2: I covered a petrol station forecourt with granola. I opened my sliding door to get my purse out and a wave of granola came out as the lid had come off it’s box. My language skills don’t stretch to “I’m sorry, I’ve covered your forecourt in granola” and as it’s not highly flammable, after paying I just left. When I got to the parkup for the night I brushed it all out of the doorstep and then heard some squeaking and rustling in the leaves, definitely not birds. Anyway, by the morning it had all gone, so problem solved. Apart from the crunching every time I slide the door, I’ll sort that at some point too, or leave it open and hope for some more rodent visitors.

Bertha’s Travels

Last year’s big trip was brilliant but even with 3 months it felt like I had to keep to some sort of schedule. After I got back I decided that the next year’s wouldn’t be a touring one but more of a potter round one area, maybe one that I’d passed through before.

Now of course, being employed, it’s not entirely in my control. Although I have a feeling that my boss thinks that this is the worst deal he’s ever signed up to, he tries to remain cheery and through the winter the taboo subject was mentioned a few times. It was looking like we’d be busy during the summer, and as I’d signed up to do my little bike ride in September we agreed (‘agreed’) that the autumn would be the best time for me to disappear for a while.

Autumn – a tricky time of year. My obvious choice would be to head north but by the time I’d get away in my van after my ride it would be late September, the end of Scandinavia’s autumn. Before long autumn would be over and it would just be cold and wet before the snow arrived. Not great. I could head south for some sun – Spain, Portugal, southern Italy, Greece maybe? But I’m not a sun worshipper and don’t want to spend all my time off driving. How about the country that really surprised me 2 years ago in October. The autumn skies and leaves, the people, the towns and the campervan friendliness. So this year I’m off to Germany, for plenty of outdoors time and not too much driving.

I set off from Dover yesterday and had aimed to get the driving over and done with in 2 days but the place I stopped overnight was so nice that I decided to stay another night and make the most of the sun and walking trails. A very good start to a slow paced trip!

The off!

Well I finally finished packing and planning and made it to the Project 71 lunch to be waved off by some of our veterans today. Well I finally finished packing and planning and made it to the monthly Project 71 lunch to be waved off by some of our veterans today.

I’ll be posting blogs a day behind my ride so the next one will be on Wednesday evening from somewhere in France 🇫🇷

Thank you to everyone who has supported or sponsored me so far, that will keep me going up the Normandy hills over the next few days.

Sarah Www.500milestovictory.com

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