One month already…

Day 32, Salzburg, 2.857 km

Yes, it’s been a month since Bob joined us. A month of pure happiness, learning how to live with a little Dino, interrupted nights, special moments, changed diapers and prepared baby bottles… It’s also been a month since we left Hamburg. Jay took some scratches. Bob neither put on weight nor grew, despite the fact that we were feeding him properly (this must be the normal growth of a plastic Dino, if there are any experts among you, any advice is welcome …). For myself, I would like to start a contest among readers. Below you can find a photo taken on the day of departure from Hamburg. Now I’ll ask you to try to draw me (or Bob, or Jay, it’s up to you), a month later. A few clues: the volume of the lower part of my body has doubled, that of the upper part has been halved. My beard growing speed is about 0.02 cm per kilometer I ride. That of my hair of 0.003 cm per hour of pedaling. I have an even tan from the wrists to mid-arm and from the top of the ankles to the mid-thighs, and a completely white skin otherwise (I’ll let you guess for the face). An expert jury made up of Jay, Bob and I will determine the winner, to whom I will have the honor of offering a sandwich. The results of the competition will be published in a week!

Departure from Hamburg

Otherwise, what do you do after a month on the road? You look back, calmly, remembering every moment, thinking of the previous stages as if we had left 50 years ago … (Any resemblance to a text that has existed is totally fortuitous, it is Jay who inspired me for this text. Side note: it is inspired from a French song called “Le Bilan” from Nèg’ Marrons). And for lovers of statistics, here are some figures to summarize this first month of travel:

  • 32 days in total, 27 days of cycling, 5 of rest
  • 6 nights of wild camping, 11 in a campsite, 11 in a hostel and 4 with friends
  • 2,857 kilometers traveled
  • 18,734 meters of elevation gain
  • A maximum altitude reached of 1.225 meters
  • 156 hours and 42 minutes of pedaling (a little over 6.5 days)
  • An average of 106 kilometers, 5 hours and 40 minutes of pedaling per day
  • An average speed of 18.23 km/h
  • A peak at 75.5 km/h
  • Longest stage: Graz – Aigen im Ennstal: 180 kilometers (for those who would call me a liar, I admit I cheated: the last 60 kilometers were downhill with a strong backwind)
  • Shortest stage: Frohnleiten – Graz: 27 kilometers
  • 427 photos (i.e. one photo every 22 minutes of pedaling, a much better ratio than Lewandowski’s in the Champions League)
  • 10 posts, counting this one, or one post every 3.2 days (for those who were worried about how often I would keep you updated, I hope you are satisfied)
  • 61 comments, or an average of 6.78 comments per post, thank you for your support!!
  • 12,317 mosquitoes of 327 different species exterminated (for Olivier, I carefully collected a representative of each species so that we could carry out a detailed analysis)
  • 4 countries (and their respective capitals) visited
  • 99 pages of my little travel diary blackened with illegible handwriting, or an average of 3.1 pages per day (you have to keep busy in the evening in the tent)
  • 1,081 pages read (2.1 books), or 33.8 pages per day (you have to keep busy in the evening in the tent after writing … Thank you Rémy!)
  • 0 flat tires
  • 1 fall (but at a standstill, not serious)
  • 2 refreshing swims in a lake

But above all, a lot of memories, good times (and not so good ones as well, but they make the good times even better), people met in the blink of an eye on the road, or a little longer in the evening at the campsite or at the hotel, messages of support, phone calls or emails that make me smile when I turn my phone back on, sun, sunburn, wind and rain, and above all a great adventure that I do not regret to have started…

For a change, I’ll put the maps right now before telling you the best moments of each stage:

Graz – Aigen im Ennstal
Aigen im Ennstal – Sankt Gilgen
Sankt Gilgen – Salzburg

Stage 1: Graz – Aigen im Ennstal

  • I have to go back the same route as the two previous days for about 50 kilometers: I go to the other side of the Mur (=Wall in French) (no, the Austrians in the West did not build a wall to separate themselves from the Austrians in the East, we are neither in the right country nor at the right time, the Mur is the river that passes through Graz).
  • Since the weather is cloudy, I do not use sunscreen. Fatal error, I find myself at 2 pm with the worst sunburn I have had since Corsica in 1997. I take out the long sleeves to stop the massacre.
  • I found a campsite for the evening, but when I arrive on the spot I realize that my campsite is in fact a camping car seller … I thought that putting a campsite in the middle of an industrial zone was a bit too much.
I always wondered what people were doing on the bridges over the highway… I took a picture

Campsite near the water

Stage 2 : Aigen im Ennstal – Sankt Gilgen

  • Saltzkammergut / Hallstäter See: The people who created Austria must have cheated. It’s really beautiful (poor Czechs, hard to keep up with…). As Will Ferrell would say: « It’s like fishing with dynamite ».
  • On the other hand, Austrians are doing way too much to exploit their competitive advantage: 18 € for a funicular ride… Even if there is a platform 600 meters high with a view of the lake, I can feel some sort of abuse there… So I bought myself a Twix from the snack machine. Still overpriced but at least I had some energy for the next kilometers.
  • When the last 5 campsites that you have seen are full, you start to wonder if you are not going to sleep on the side of the departmental road… Fortunately, Google is there to save your day… How did people use to travel before??
Entering the Saltzkammergut
An old salt mine
The town of Hallstatt
The Hallstätter See

Stage 3 : Sankt Gilgen – Salzburg

  • Rain. Rain. Rain. Head wind. And rain. But not too wet so everything is fine
  • Salzburg = Mozart on every street corner. Even sugar is called Mozart…
  • I couldn’t resist, I took the funicular to visit the castle. I still need to rest to prepare for the Alps!
Under the rain…
… but still pretty!
Salzburg = Mozart
The Kapitelplatz
Salzburg from the heights

Now direction Innsbruck, with a few stages through very high mountains and arrival expected Saturday or Sunday! See you soon!

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