donderdag 5 september 2013

GR2013 Final days: Back to Rotterdam

As I woke up in Friedberg, I knew that the last few days were basically one big liaison, going back home. I could've gone to Dachau, the Nürburgring or Hockenheim... but after 4 weeks of riding, being this close to the Netherlands was by far the most important thing to me.

I chose to take it easy these last few days, do the miles, and arrive home Sunday the 18th of August, exactly the day I'd originally estimated to be back. Time to complete the third, and final leg... and bring the Beast and me home safely.

Time to find the way to the Autobahn...

...and get on going.

Left and right there were lots more heading back home.

But the roadworks were endless. At least half of all the Autobahn in Southern Germany must be worked upon in some way - it was just insane. Roadworks, 2 miles of freedom, roadworks, freedom, ad inifinitum. 

Greece in the mean time made sure I wasn't to forget about her. Seeing this freezer made me smile from ear to ear.

Mind you, this wall in a random petrol station had the same effect. 

Welcome in Germany, I suppose.

After some more miles of hopping between roadworks and doing 130kph on some of the last unlimited stretches of Autobahn...

I spent the night at Viernheim, where the collection atop my panniers had been nullified somewhat by the still-missing Bosnia sticker.

Distressing it was, yes.

The next day amazingly brought some nice scenery into the mix...

...but sadly the recipe was spoiled by bucketloads of tasteless roadworks.

And campers.

I must say that it felt good seeing the first Dutch place names on the road signs. Some familiarity at this point was welcome.

And after asking directions to the closest accommodation...

I spent the last night in a hotel, in Heinsberg.

Tomorrow, the final day awaited.

I knew it wouldn't be a particularly interesting day...

I mean, even the weather was just letting up. Getting closer to the border, the first drops of rain started pestering me.

I put on some appropriate clothing. My rain coat to be precise, as I knew I was in for a fitting welcome!

Bye, Germany.

Hello, Netherlands.

How I have missed your lovely weather!

The weather eventually got so lovely, I put on some appropriate pants as well.

That pleased the weather gods, as the weather immediately cleared up.

Murphy was, apparently, still riding pillion.

And after checking whether my camera was still there...

...Rotterdam was not that far away anymore. 

Back where I started, 30 days earlier... was time to come full circle at the place the project started 33 months earlier. 

At last...The Beast was home, and so was I.

8182 km, 13 countries and 30 days went by in a flash.

It was crazy though how quickly I 'recovered' from this trip though. Only 10 days after, I was already meeting with a few other people about planning the next trip, in 2014. Yes, I'm going to continue traveling by motorbike - this may be the end of this ride report, but as far's I'm concerned it certainly won't be the end of all my ride reports.

Last but not least there's the trip compilation. I made it using the best bits from all the 70 gigs worth of footage I shot during the entire trip (incl the full disembarkment into Greece)... and as usual, it's all accompanied by an awesome soundtrack.

There's also an epilogue up on the next page, since there's still plenty of stuff I haven't told you about...

Anyways, enjoy!