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2020 - Last Opportunity Roadtrip


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The weather window is closing...

I see the weather in Switzerland (eg St Moritz) in 10 days time looks like low single digit temps, freezing overnight before returning to the teens.  But still largely fine and clear.

I am off on 14 Sept, destination unknown, but eurotunnel will be booked today and first night in Germany.  I will see where the road takes me.  I have plenty of routes and roads in the satnav.

I am going to travel like a hermit and mitigate my risks, so please don't lecture.  My "girls" in Austria tell me its very normal in the Alps and September will be quiet with just the "grey" walking crowd from Germany in residence.  I will quarantine on return if needed.  Will post pics once I am on the road.

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In all it’s glory.    So what was the driving like?  The B 500 south of Baden Baden is unique. It’s so smooth and wide and perfect. I had a couple of sharpish overtakes to get clear raid

So.    Off I went at o dark 30 this morning. Feels weird to be on the road and not in a Porsche. But, the CSL at 4000rpm cruise sounds exactly like Daisy from inside. Who knew. Not at other rpm

Foscagno is good: Fluela is better IMO. What is it with you and border crossings? Must be the accent or summink? Last time I did Livigno into Switzerland the guard looked in the 911 and said “no 

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I’m jealous Richard. Kind of wished we hadn’t cancelled our planned few days away. A few days behind the wheel sounds just so good! Have a great trip and look forward to your updates 👍

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I think I am leaving home around 0500 to cross on the 0750 IIRC.

I have found it impossible to leave the planning alone and just wing it.  I now have the whole route mapped out to the last km and all hotels booked.  Just fingers crossed that no travel policies change dramatically.  Quarantine is no problem - I will do it, though I hear that many returning are not even bothering to complete the forms, let alone do the time.  I just need Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Italy to keep road borders as they are.  

Weather even looks ok with sun and high temps beginning of the week and chance of thunder storms and rain at the end, but with temps still high.  I have the best wet tyres that Michelin produce, so hey ho.  This weather pattern seems to have been typical for the Alps during much of this summer.

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So. 
 

Off I went at o dark 30 this morning. Feels weird to be on the road and not in a Porsche. But, the CSL at 4000rpm cruise sounds exactly like Daisy from inside. Who knew. Not at other rpm or other throttle position, just that one spot. And it’s quieter. 
 

For reasons that will become clear, this Is a special trip. Probably my last for some time. Hence the desperation to actually get it done before the weather turns and hence the desire to do it 100% my way. And hence a solo mission. 
 

So what happened today?  The eurotunnel, efficient as always. French autoroute as efficient as always. My garmin seems to have no French roads but is fine in Germany. Is that a sign?  My afternoon map didn’t load and I followed an old version and got 60 mins lost. But it’s in the Black Forest with amazing roads, so who cares. My back is killing me courtesy of CSL seats. But a swim and nurofen seem to have stopped the headache in its tracks. And German beer tastes as good as ever. 
 

if anyone needs a Covid safe holiday, trust me you want to come to Germany. They are so all over it and not scared to tell you exactly what to do. The Germans just do it better. 
 

It’s my ancestral home here - in Bavaria. Famed for being the dumbest Germans. Suits me just fine. They recognise my name here. I like it. 
 

More when I have eaten - pork and spetzle. 

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In all it’s glory. 
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So what was the driving like?  The B 500 south of Baden Baden is unique. It’s so smooth and wide and perfect. I had a couple of sharpish overtakes to get clear raid and on about corner 6 coming towards me is the full knee down, giving it the whole moto gp style dude on something fast. There is a massive dichotomy on the B500. Some are going full attack but most are tourists. And it has a 70kmh speed limit. So it’s awesome, but you have to be committed to overtake on parts and cruise on other parts. I know this section well enough to know when to go for it in order to get clear road. 
 

But the real joy of the Black Forest are the secondary roads. As I got kind of lost today, I just followed some roads. It was that or swim in a lake I had on the route I didn’t follow. When I realised I was 60 mins past my hotel, I had the misfortune to backtrack up a steep, tight 9km bit of road stuck behind a car and van. But one mans problem is another’s opportunity. Van pulls off and I find I am following g a local in a current GTDgolf.   A man on a mission. There followed one of the fastest 7kms of my adult life. Can’t beat local knowledge. Even with a car to follow, I bottled a couple of bits relying on the CSL hp to catch up rather than push too hard. We had the tyres squeeling, so it was a good pace. 
 

But forget all that. It’s just a damn nice place to be driving. You don’t have to drive like your hair is on fire every last km. but you get a few good corners and it’s life affirming. 
 

Yes, I was actually there. 
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and this is typical Black Forest views looking west (ish) back to France  

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And finish with some serenity in the half horse town I am staying in (it’s cheap, and only 30 mins from Baden Baden even if it took me 2 hours to get there). 
 

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27 minutes ago, Richard Bernau said:

and this is typical Black Forest views looking west (ish) back to France  

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I think this might be the same spot that I stopped on the B500 last year (difference in light as my photo was taken at 09:01 in the morning having over-nighted as cheaply as one can in Baden-Baden and I think I 2x'd the zoom on the iPhone): 

IMG_5628.thumb.jpg.8cafb15faaab95779e367d2a7adc8443.jpg

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EJH911, how tall are you 😨

RB sounds like a great road trip, wouldn't expect anything less from you, it's great when you follow a local on roads they know, happened to me many times in my 930

A well driven Fiat Panda can hustle up Italian mountain roads quicker than you would think possible so a German in a Golf must have been really fast

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Sounds and looks fab RB. Just a wee bit jealous.

I chased a local in a Peugeot 2008 (or 208 or something) on Sunday for about 15 or 20 miles on the welsh roads coming back from the track day. He was really going for it. Nice workout for me and Daisy post track day. We overtook, we gave it the beans etc all together. No point overtaking him. He knew the bends better than I did on those roads. Was brill fun. He waved as he sadly turned off. 

Have fun. Looking forward to the next instalment. 

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re the CSL seats .. I fitted one of the sparco inflatable bladders behind the lower back cushion as an adjustable lumber & for me that made a massive difference.  I also took mine to Germany , found t was surprisingly good at those long motorway stretches

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5 hours ago, hot66 said:

re the CSL seats .. I fitted one of the sparco inflatable bladders behind the lower back cushion as an adjustable lumber & for me that made a massive difference.  I also took mine to Germany , found t was surprisingly good at those long motorway stretches

Now you tell me!  It’s better today with the lumber cushion up higher and my body getting back in synch with bucket seats. It always takes me a day to get comfy. Same in the pole positions in Daisy. Bit less in the Corbeaus in the 987. 
 

This post is a bit backwards but it’s hard to resist starting with the view from my room. 
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I am at MyTirol in Biberwier looking at the Zugspitze.  This is one of my top 5 hotels in the world.  it’s awesome and ticks every box.  Please add it to your road trip list.  When my beer is done, I am going for a swim and then just enjoy the view before dinner.  
 

This is life affirming stuff.  Right here.  With a will, this is a days drive from the U.K. If you haven’t taken a car trip to this part of the world, please promise to do it next year.  It’s so easy and it’s a world away from little England.  You owe it to yourself to get your IB (or other) out here.  Don’t wait, you will only be a year older when you do get here.

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Hopefully your trip reasons are not bad news but wishing you a great time - you are definitely on a bucket list run and the car looks great. Kudos amigo x

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No bad news, it’s just one of those less well kept secrets that we are moving back to NZ.  I am not exactly shouting about it, but we have been planning since Jan (ie., pre Covid). It’s the right time for lots of reasons. 
 

Today was a 6/10s day. Not too much mileage and Southern Germany is always busy. The roads are beyond belief good, but you have to roll with the traffic. One of the beauties of being by myself is that I could today, go cruise for most of the day and turn it up when I wanted. And nobody to judge. 
 

The weather has been spectacular beyond belief. And my back is much better - I think I am relaxing into it - so I am enjoying it more. Photos to below, but it was one of those days where you think the scenery is 10 out of 10 and then 5 mins later you have to recalibrate as it’s just gone another level. Need to swap phones to get the rest of the photos, but here we go. 
 

The queen stage today was the Oberjoch. I got the bottom half traffic free then I got stuck. It’s too tight to overtake unlike say Grossglockner. But the views at the top!  This is my Coca Zero view. 
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then the other way

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and again, Germany does it better

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bookmark this area, the Allgau often gets forgotten on the way to the Alps, but it’s worth a little look. The road surfaces are often better than a racetrack. When you get clear road, you can let it rip and know that it’s 95% likely to stick. 
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3 hours ago, Richard Bernau said:

This is life affirming stuff.  Right here.  With a will, this is a days drive from the U.K. If you haven’t taken a car trip to this part of the world, please promise to do it next year.  It’s so easy and it’s a world away from little England.  You owe it to yourself to get your IB (or other) out here.  Don’t wait, you will only be a year older when you do get here.

The words and passion that RB and others have for these trips struck a chord over the years; I had a "plan," which sat on a spreadsheet for years.  Finding myself at a loose end (coming out of a bit of a burn-out tunnel, leaving one job and with some time before I started the next), this was refined with this forum's guidance and less than a week later I was away. 

The "plan," was utter madness.  Long days but great days.  Mountains and dubious musical choices are great for pressing the reset button...and you think you have seen scenery until the next corner.

RB is entirely correct - it's life affirming wonderful stuff...and whilst Stelvio may be crap and thoroughly overrated, overtaking bikers in the boulevardier 911 was excellent fun, the western side is agonisingly pretty and the pizza with an alpine view in Livigno shortly afterwards was a simple and perfect pleasure.

I'm planning another run next year and can't wait.

 

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Yes, well. Stelvio is in itinerary. Kind of just because and I haven’t done it before. Like Oberjoch today, I expect Traffic will be the order of the day. 
 

Getting slightly in order. The day started at 0830 departure and headed south and a bit west before turning east and heading for Austria. Overnight was Raumunzach and I headed down into the Schwarzwald before starting across following the Curves routes taking in the Deutsche Alpine Route and traversing the Allgau region above Lake Konstanz. All good fun. 
 

The roads thru the Black Forest and the Allgau start all foresty and then get more and more open and Sound of Music-ey. Photos may not do it justice. But you get the idea. 
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Tomorrow is Gerlos and a couple of other treats.  can’t yet decide if it’s early start, meaning early arrival at one of my other favourite hotels or a sleep in.  This weather can’t last forever, so maybe crack on and get started early.  I am fuelled and vignetted up and ready to go.

 

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sorry to hear you are off to NZ Richard, but all the very best naturally. What a shame our group road trip never happened for a great send off tour and happy memories. But looks like you are having a great time soaking up the scenery and roads. :cool: 

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Bit light on photos today. This Was a route I had largely done before. Which is good. 
 

From Biberwier you have to head over the Fernpaßstraße which is a main arterial route from Northern Italy via Austria into Germany- so its busy. Then onto objective one - the Gerlos pass. I love this place. It’s a tenner in tolls but it’s great value. Coming from the west, I think the run up to the toll gate is the best part. Bikers agree - I saw them doing u-turns to run up and down this section.  This is my 3rd time running over here, so forgive if I digress. 
 

First time was following John Styles in his 993 and it was an epic drive at a natural pace that was the kind I would pick with my longest and best driving buddy - NZ Hamish. And then my 3.2 (Daisy) broke down due to the altitude sensor issue. Strangely, on that trip, it was wet on the past the toll gate side. The steep downhill side. And not a drop of rain for the rest of the week IIRC. Second time was with Felix and Gordon last year and I remember it quite differently. Funny how the mind plays tricks. 
 

Anyhow, I stuck the GoPro on headcam for most of this, so let’s see if that’s a disaster or not. Battery ran out at the toll gate more or less. 
 

This is the view down to the Krimml waterfall and down the valley, which is where you head. Again, it’s a beautiful part of the world. If you need reminding. 
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I parked at the first viewing area. Here -

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the road is again like a race track. 
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I failed to follow my own guidance which was to turn around and do it uphill. I had already done 2 u turns on the other side trying to get something like clear road. 
 

The next bit was the Stubachtal valley. Mixed review. It reminded me of an NZ country road.  It was pretty wild with a bit of mixed surface and bumpy stuff thrown in. It was empty though. Just a fraction narrow and bumpy to really go for it. I bailed out 3km from the turnaround point as it was big road works and some gravel. 
 

anyhoo, it looked like this 

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From there I could have gone up to Kitzbuhel for a coffee and then on via Maria Alm to Mühlbach. Instead, I choose the direct route. 
 

More shortly, main course has arrived

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