Daily Digest – Day 113 to Day 120 (AUSTRIA AND GERMANY)

Day 113 – 24 September 2018
Lamprechtshausen Austria to Immenhof Germany

Transport: 77km , 17km/hour average speed, 766m elevation gain

Winter is coming…: it was hard getting out of bed this morning with the cold front that had Austria in its icy grip. We did get up though as we would be riding again today and needed to clock some kms. We bid farewell with Rosa and Frans who had been some really amazing hosts these last few days (loaning me a car to save time for the hike out and back for the forgotten items In Ingolstädter Haus 😬, cooking us many super delicious Austrian staples and taking time to really engage with us despite their busy schedule to name a few).

Our lovely warm showers host Rosa

When we left we were layered up to the nines thinking we would soon be de layering but the wind was fierce and cold and we actually found ourselves donning our down jackets half way though the ride ❄️. The temp was around 7 degrees but the wind was bringing it a lot lower and we knew that summer had finally breathed its last breath. We pedalled onto for a couple of hours and decided to try finding a place to sleep around 5pm as we didn’t want to be out looking in the dark when the temps would get very low. We were riding up this valley and saw a small house on a big plot of land and knocked to ask the owners if they minded us camping on their lawn. This lovely old lady answered and spoke not one word of English but kindness speaks all languages and soon she had us set up in a spot under the barns veranda. Her son arrived shortly after and to our delight invited us in to use their stove instead of our cook gear so we could prepare our dinner and eat indoors where it was warm. We had some pasta and as we were cleaning up the son then showed us to another room where he had a fire roaring and insisted we sleep indoors instead of our tent for warmth and comfort. We couldn’t believe the hospitality shown by these 2 complete strangers ⛄️. Needless to say we were soon snoozing to the comforts of our very own wood fire 🔥.

This doesn’t look like camping VIDEO

88 year old German lady with the kindest heart

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 114 – 25 September 2018
Immerhof Germany to Innsbruck Austria

Transport: 120.4km , 19.8km/hour average speed

Riding to the world champs: we woke up in with the warmth of the fire place still radiating throughout the living room. We had some breaky and thanked the old German lady by giving a packet of choc wafers as she had been so gracious as to invite us into her home for the night out of the dreary cold.

It was a long spin to Innsbruck (well long for us since we haven’t been riding a tonne lately 😬) but never the less we enjoyed being back to the bike and spinning up the legs.

Road Block take 2 VIDEO

We made it to Innsbruck in the early arvo and made for Federik’s home at the edge of town (a warm showers host). Federik was a champ agreeing to host us last minute and even taking in another couple who were also passing through at he same time. The other couple (Richard and Bonnie) didn’t arrive till later that night so we had a good hour hanging out and prepping a feast with Federik. Once everyone was together the beers were flowing and conversation soon turned to each other’s different experiences whilst bike touring. Federik had a crazy story about being robbed in the States and later finding a drug addict wearing his speedos 😂. Richard and Bonnie regaled us with countless stories of wild camping in some pretty crazy places (for example under a bridge in Barcelona! – well not so much sleep according to richard who was up all night brandishing his utensils at would be thieves 😳). Feeling nourished from the epic dinner (chicken burritos and our special pesto bege pasta) we all went to bed full and contented.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 115 – 117 – 26 to 28 September 2018
Stubai Alps Austria

Transport: bus and our hiking legs

So we went for a hike again 🙄: ok I promise this is definitely…well most probably…ok maybe the last multi day hike we do for a while now. We decided that as the world champs road races weren’t scheduled until the weekend then we had a few days up our sleeve to kill. Being in the Tirol region in Austria begs a hiking holiday or ski holiday depending on the season so who were we to argue with tradition. We decided to walk some of the Stubai High Trail which was a popular hike passing some big bergs in the area.

Day 1 (day 115): we woke and ate breaky (scrambled eggs and oats) and got going around 8am. Federik was a champ and loaned us his backpack he uses for hiking so that I wouldn’t come back from the trip with a bad back (try hiking with a normal backpack with weight for an extended period and you’ll know what I’m talking about!). We went to the central station and were waiting for our 9.30am bus but it never came. We saw a few fellow hikers and decided to follow them as they sought to find about what was going on. Apparently with the cycling events happening all week there were a number of permanent road closures (i.e half the city 😳) which meant the buses had redirected their services to the periphery of the city (you would think they would have put up some signage to indicate this 🤔). Anyways we managed to find the bus stop and arrived at the start of the walk at 12pm. We had about 6 hours of walking ahead of us so we pumped some food and got going. Within 20 minutes we were once again awestruck with jaw dropping scenery.

Stubai High Trail Start VIDEO

Peeing Waterfalls VIDEO

Waterfalls Crossings and Glaciers VIDEO

We made it up to Sulzenauhütte which we used for a brief water refill top up before forging on towards Nürnberger Hütte which was our destination for the night. The walk between the huts was again super impressive with the bluest lake I have personally seen and a number of glaciers.

Jumping for the Blue Lake VIDEO

Emma’s 360 degrees VIDEO

We had to cross a pretty big berg by the name of Mairspitz (around 2800m) and decide to have a nice snack break near the top.

Summiting the Mairspitz Peak Austria VIDEO

Beau climbing further VIDEO

Who’s up there? Summiting not enough for some VIDEO

Once we arrived at the hut it was a no nonsense affair with our standard dinner (same as lunch salami, pesto, bread and cheese) as the temp was dipping rapidly with the approach of a beautiful sunset.

The prospect of a cozy warm bed had us packing it in shortly later.

Day 2 (day 116): today was the easy day scheduled for the whole trip and involved a 5km walk to the Bremer hut which was in the adjacent valley. Despite the short nature of the hike the ascent of the ridge line was still difficult with many cabled sections where you had to use the cable to abseil down some shear faces. Emm the mountain goat was loving it and was showing who was boss on the descents 😜.

Emma summarizes Day 2 Stubai High Trail VIDEO

We had a nice lunch at the top of the ridge line then cruised down to the Bremer Hut arriving at the super early time of 2pm.

Lunch selection with Glacier views VIDEO

We lounged around all afternoon soaking up some UV and just chilling out which is something we surprisingly don’t do a lot of despite ‘not having anywhere to be and not have anything to do’ sort of people. We stood by the tried and tested early dinner and sleep.

Day 3 (day 117) a hitchhikers guide to the galaxy: after a hot breaky of oats and raisins we started our descent out of the hills towards the small valley town of Gschnitz. With the elevation drop of 1000m it meant the descent was somewhat technical at times but very manageable.

When we got to town we knew we still had about 14km to Steinach am Bremer which is the closest major town where you can easily get a train to Innsbruck. The walk would have been a pretty boring 2-3 hour hikes down the road so we decided to try our luck with hitchhiking. We were standing roadside for about 10min when we hit the jackpot (Emm of course had her blonde hair swaying prominently in the breeze 😜 – hey you gotta increase your odds in this game especially with a smelly hiker geezer like me). A young lady by the name of Emilie pulled up kurbside and offered us a lift to Steinach am Bremer as it was on her way to work.

Hitch Hike no. 1 for the day VIDEO

When we arrived in town we decided to try our luck again with hitchhiking as the highway running through town went straight last Innsbruck on its course meaning most drivers would be heading that way anyway. A tip we had discussed with a fellow tourer in the past was to try hitchhiking from petrol stations as you could converse and build rapport with would be drivers (much better odds compared to the old thumb and look of desperation technique). We walked up to a guy named Florian in a BP petrol station who had no problem offering us a lift.

Hitch Hike no. 2 for the day VIDEO

We were pretty stoked to arrive back in Innsbruck at 1:30pm. We had originally thought we would be arriving back in the late afternoon if not for hitchhiking and were able to spectate the U23 World Road Championship Race which was based in Innsbruck today.

We even met the infamous Didi the devil whilst spectating in town.

After the race ended we cruised back to Federiks place and picked up our bikes and gear and then pedalled our way out of town to Gerhard’s place (a Warm Showers host we had contacted a few weeks ago anticipating wanting to be in the area to view the World Championship events). Incidentally Gerhard lives up the main climb which was being used in the various road races so we got to ride the course the riders were all lapping at the end of their racers….bonus 😝.

World Champs unintentional course recon VIDEO

World Champs Course recon continues VIDEO

We eventually summoned the berg and rolled into Gerhard’s apartment and had a super filling meal of creamy mash potato and eggs with a salad as entree. Both meals were simple in nature but very delicious. Eggs and potatoes is definitely a new go to meal for us 👌. We stayed up talking with Gerhard about family life and of course travel. He is very well versed with the surrounding region living here all his life and is passionate about all things outdoors. This guy is another one of those Warm Showers legends you come across who goes out of their way to ensure his guests have a great stay. We called it around 10.30pm and were both pretty spent after another big activity day #standard 33000 steps lol.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 118 – 29 September 2018
Innsbruck Austria

World Champs: we woke up and had a very euro breaky of bread spreads and a boiled egg with Gerhard. We aussiefied it a bit by adding in some oats and raisins and we were thus well fed by the time we stepped out the door.

As mentioned yesterday’s the course was literally just down the road from Gerhard’s place so it was a short walk before we were on course! Our good Slovenian mate Bojan who we stayed with earlier in our trip had contacted us to say he had come down for worlds being a massive fan of pro cycling. So we hiked up to his parkup which was 700m shy of the summit of the berg on a pretty open stretch of road…we couldn’t have asked for a better viewing spot.

By the time the women had rolled past our spot up the berg the field was already being decimated by the relentless pace of the Aussie Lucy Kenedy. I assume her role was to make it a hard climb for the others (ie mainly the Dutch team) and allow Amanda Spratt the opportunity to sit in. The girls had to complete 3 laps and the invigorated crowd really amped the atmosphere. We shouted our support for the whole Aussie team some of whom Emm knows from her briefly from cycling back home (ie Brodie Chapman).

In the end the Dutch played their cards to perfection and 1, 2ed the bunch until Amanda Van der Breggen (Dutch) was able to drop Amanda Spratt (Aussie) and ride solo for the win with Amanda holding on for second. It was a race which really exploded as soon as the pelo hit the climb but was none the less very exisiting to watch.

Go Spratty VIDEO

Women’s Road Cycling World Champion VIDEO

We walked back home afterwards where Gerhard greeted us with a Georgian cheese cake for dinner 😍 (think of a calzone using a loaf of bread instead of pizza dough 😋). We made some salad and veges to round out the dinner and tried to restrain ourselves from inhaling to much of the delicious bread. Gerhard had once again demonstrated why he is #legendstatus in the #warmshowers circle.

We called it later than normal trying to research who would be the ones to watch in the men’s race being held tomorrow.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 119 – 30 September 2018
Innsbruck Austria

World Champs: we got up and had pancakes for breaky 😝. The perfect start to any morning in my opinion. We needed the fuel as the men’s road race pencilled in was a whopper at 258km long with over 4km of #verthurt.

Huge Crowds for Men’s Road Race World Championships VIDEO

We cruised up to our mates Bojan’s camper van which was conveniently parked about 700m from the top of the main berg the pelo was set to circle 7 times. The setup here was perfect for watching the race at a nearby beer tent 😋 and running to the roadside barriers each time the race approached our section.

Men’s Peloton on the attack VIDEO

Sagan Dropped VIDEO

Yates Dropped VIDEO

Men’s Road Race Final Lap VIDEO

Overall, the race as expected was a slow burner but it made for a very climatic finale with one of the ore race favourites Alejandro Valverde cinching the W at the ripe ol age of 38! Very impressive riding.
After the race concluded we said our farewells to Bojan who was due to make his way back to Slovenia and as a parting gift he gave us a habanero chilli plant to pass onto our current warmshowers host Gerhard as a means to connect to hosts who had never met.

The walk home was short and it wasn’t long before we were preparing (more Gerhard really) dinner. Tonight on the cards was a eggplant risotto with a salad entree. To say we have been eating well is a understatement. The risotto was a melt in your mouth type affair owed largely to the liberal amount of olive oil used in prep and once again Gerhard had really hit the mark with a simple yet delicious feed. Gerhard is a very relaxed and easy to get along with and we this found ourselves staying up late conversing on life, travel and of course my fav food 😂.

Melanzane Risotto VIDEO

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 120 – 1 October 2018
Innsbruck Austria

Fare weather cycling 101: so we woke up this morning with all intentions of starting our ride towards Prague now that the road champs were done and dusted. However a strong cold front had come through the valley blanketing the area in rain and snow up high. We talked with Gerhard about departing later in the day with a possibility of it clearing up however this scenario never eventuated as the rain continued to pelt the countryside. Gerhard was more than happy for us to stay an additional night to wait it out so we made plans around lunchtime to do just that. With a day of mopping around up our sleeves we decided to get a solid route planned for our trip to Portugal late in the year. We wanted to head this way as Emms rents are flying over in Jan to meet up with us for part of our trip.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful (short walk…you know the drill 🙄) so I’ll skip straight to the good part…dinner.
As a final farewell (well second farewell that is 😝) dinner Gerhard prepared some Austrian bread dumplings – Tirolian Dumplings (basically steam fried balls consisting of croutons, milk, fried onions, bacon bits and parsley) with a side of sauerkraut. This combo just works and only the prospect of dessert had me holding back from asking for a second batch to be made 😜.

For dessert Gerhard had pulled out all the stops and had ice cream, cream and a warm up raspberry compote pour over. This dessert is aptly naked hot love and is so so good. Seriously I could have this meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Having ice cream and cream together is almost sinful but adding hot raspberries is just blasphemy. I will 100% definitely be attempting to repeat this meal and dessert back home, stay tuned.
We all hit the sack a little earlier tonight as we had to get going early to start our ride tomorrow whilst Gerhard had a early morning appointment. The evening meal and subsequent hangout with Gerhard have definitely been the highlight of our stay with him. Gerhard thanks again for your gracious hospitality. We hope you prove yourself wrong and visit down under in the years to come 👍.

Beau with another knife obsession VIDEO

Tirolean Dumplings VIDEO

Hot Love Dessert Lans Austria VIDEO

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

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