The Go Trek – Week Three
This week was always going to be a mile stone in the journey – I knew by now that I would be fully into the flow of the trip. (see previous blog – The significance of three weeks)
We’d just arrived in Holland the last time I wrote about events on the GoTrek – now well in to Germany Holland feels a long time ago!
Although very wet compared to the glorious weather we had in the UK Holland and more importantly the people we spent time with there made it a wonderful part of the journey. Not forgetting how delightfully flat the country is with an impressive cycle lane network too.
We visited a gym with an altitude training room, something I’ve never experienced before, funny that I should be in there with a picture of Everest behind me during the anniversary week of my summit push on the mountain two years ago!
We also enjoyed a night at Fitland! An impressive set up where you sleep at altitude in rooms with air pressure equivalent to being at 2,500m. The hotel had an aeroplane bar and a ferry spa – click here to see Punkt video for details!!
Arnoud, a lovely Dutch guy who’d joined us from Rotterdam to Amsterdam when we had arrived in Holland, invited us to stay at his hotel. He and his wife had set it up soon after they lost there daughter, Loek, to cancer. It is only open one week out of every month and it was a privilege to be invited there. The hotel is for families with severely ill children. It’s a place that they can go to relax, enjoy lots of activities, good food and have fun. The weeks are run by volunteers and the cost is covered by the Foundation Lucai. We spent time with the families and children, shared meals and soaked up the atmosphere – it was a remarkable atmosphere. It amazed me that after what Arnoud and Karen have been through that they both have such capacity for giving and caring. Amongst the fun and lightness of our journey this was a poignant time.
People are just amazing, you never know what somebody else might be going through or has gone through. It made me, yet again, realise how precious life is and that we can make a difference… and that I can certainly ElliptiGo a huge number of miles… especially knowing that the bigger purpose behind each elliptical rotation is to inspire others, to raise money for Coppafeel and to support the brave and inspirational woman behind Coppafeel, Kris.
We departed Holland in the pouring rain and crossed the boarder into Germany. It was grey and miserable. The change between the two countries was immediate. The cycle paths were not quite what they had been, the road signs were in a different font and different colour – which actually makes a surprisingly huge difference!
We got our heads down and ElliptiGo’ed all day in the rain. With no sign of the rain letting up we decided that our plan to camp should be abandoned and we’d find a cheap place to stay. We looked at a few places and they weren’t that nice so we carried on. Realising our options were running out, it was getting late and we needed to find somewhere, we past a building that looked like a big house but with loads of Canoe’s outside. The door was open and Adolf (Addy) greeted us. We briefly explained our scenario – he told us to take our ElliptiGo’s around the back, said that he would be leaving soon, but the hostel (ordinarily only for organised Canoe groups of 15 people or more) was empty for the night and we could stay! We felt the kitchen, dining room, games room, shower room and huge dorm would be enough for the evening. What a welcome to Germany!
This is a link to the hostels facebook page.
Addy said “I’d like to think that someone would do this for me if I was doing something similar” which is what Joe (the stranger – now friend) who had taken us in on the first night of the Go Trek had said. People are mostly full of goodness… I think maybe we just don’t get a chance to see it when we’re all so busy being independent and not ElliptiGo’ing around Europe!
Unfortunately the rain continued into Dusseldorf. It was good to arrive at our event that evening and meet Stefan (the ElliptiGo man in Germany) who had been riding around on his ElliptiGo with a trailer promoting our arrival!
A few days into Germany despite the miserable weather we’d experienced hospitable, welcoming and kind people. We were on route to Klien- Villip via Cologne and the sun finally appeared as we rode alongside the Rhine. We reached the mountains and passed through stunning woodland – I love Germany!
Dave’s friend Nicola realised that our route passed her parents house and we had a wonderful evening with them and delicious home cooked food. It was a real treat and I wished (as I have so often on this trip) that we could stay longer. But Bad Neuenahr was calling – a beautiful and interesting little German village where we did some ElliptiGo test rides and met the locals.
We met Marc and Machaela Linden, owners of a nearby family run vine yard and boutique hotel. They invited us to a BBQ at theirs that evening. They also invited us to stay.
We accepted their kind offer and yesterday (Day 23) left our trailers in their wine bottling shed and did a century on the ElliptiGo’s!
A friend of theirs told us that just a few days ago the cycle path that runs alongside the River Ahr from the source to the Rhine had just been finished and we calculated that an out and return would make us not only the first ElliptiGoer’s along the route but we’d also be able to hit the 100mile mark!
It was a gorgeous ride… Already totally taken with Germany I am loving it more and more! I’d recommend coming to stay here, Weingut Sonnenberg, and visiting the River Ahr and the region. (It’d be a long shot but Nicola’s parents are worth a visit too – they are lovely, warm and fun people!)
After 769 miles and yesterdays 100 Dave and I are feeling great. Physically we’re strong and both feeling fitter, especially now we’re back into hills. The ElliptiGo is proving to be a remarkable machine. We’re getting fit without compromising condition.
Our efforts to raise money for our £3000.00 target for Coppafeel continue… We’re at 42% of our target with £1,276.01 raised. Thank you to everyone who has donated.
Please support by donating directly to our charity – Click here to donate to Coppafeel.
Or by buying a Go Trek T Shirt – Click here for T-Shirts.