Going out west
The first thing to hit me driving out of Hungary into Austria was the cold. After two weeks of unseasonably warm weather spent in Budapest, the rain and cold temperatures of Austria really left me questioning my life choices. With my gear having long since lost its waterproof qualities, I was soon resorted to layering up with clothes, employing plastic bags inside my holey boots and buying a second pair of gloves to avoid wind chill induced frostbite.
From Budapest I rode to to Vienna getting increasingly annoyed by the Toll way biased road signs before entering the mercilessly toll free Germany to Munich.
Once into Germany I also found my way onto the famous Autobahns. As much as I loved my 400cc DRZ, fast it was not and the in-line 750cc twin of the NC750X proved far better suited to the motorway conditions when given free reign on the speed limit.
The reason I was rushing across Austria and Germany was to make it to the Horizons Unlimited Autumn HUBB meeting in Western Germany. A meeting of overland travellers from all over this was a great opportunity to meet like minded travelers and hear presentations from their adventures. I gave a brief talk on my trip so far as well as listening in on many other presentations inspiring ideas for the next journey.
After the HUBB I headed north to Düsseldorf where I caught up with an old uni friend now teaching there. I was introduced to the famous Altbier Breweries of Düsseldorf as well as being brought to school to talk to her grade 9 English class. Evidently I was entertaining enough as apparently it was the most well behaved that class has ever been.
With the weather taking a cooler turn and sick of being saturated in the rain I shot across Holland to Belgium with the intention of crossing the channel and meeting some friends in England.
I headed to Bruges, 6 years after I was there last and I was glad I made the stop again. Within 5 minutes of being there I’d been offered secure parking by a local builder, had a beer bought for me and a free ferry ticket lined up for me by a well connected Belgian.
With my ferry arranged for me I took off for Calais and after clearing UK Immigration with surprisingly few issues was on board. After nine months of constant travel I was setting sail for the finish line.