My handle is TreLost for a reason. I spend most of my life lost. At home or in far away lands I find myself standing at the intersection of “I don’t know that street” and “that sounds vaguely familiar road” more often them most. I have no internal homing beacon and a sense of direction that sends me west when I want to go east. Those who know me best, know never to take directions from me*.
SO, the fact that I’m the navigator on this journey is hilarious. Trying to navigate from the back seat of a motorcycle going between 120 and 140km/h using an iPod with our route cached**, instead of a working GPS***, is a challenge in the best of conditions. But our conditions have not been the best. Trying to balance my weight evenly on the bike while craning my heck to see signs, pulling my right hand out of its protective glove to operate the iPod and find us on the map, and negotiating the holes in “The All Powerful Google’s” directions is a heroic effort. Add to that the rain, snow, and freezing cross winds we’ve been facing lately, the fact that we have only had a few minor hiccups in our travels is amazing and something I’m proud of.
We woke up this morning to sunny skies in Hiedelberg. We both looked out the window and smiled, thinking perhaps this jump to Luxembourg would not leave us wondering, “Why on earth we decided to buy a motorcycle and travel Europe in the spring that forgot to stop being winter.” as the last three or four jumps have. The route was relatively simple and the estimated time on the bike was just 3 hours.
About 20 min in to our delightful sunny ride, Google failed us and we missed a turn that took us 115km North instead of 115km West.
There was no clear path, cached on our map, that would take us across the hypotenuse of this little triangle we had made.
“I guess we’ll have to find WiFi in Frankfurter”
40 clicks back down the A5 we pulled off the road into industrial Frankfurter where no open WiFi could be found. Finally a friendly hotel clerk let us use their extremely slow, IE running, computer.
“There is a route, but we have to load it on the iPod. It’s too complicated, we’ll get lost.”
To the internet cafe …. that had no WiFi. Then into the train station, where we wandered aimlessly checking for WiFi and confusing for clerks with our questions until finally we spotted it. A Starbucks!! On principle we don’t go to Starbucks at home, but, for the traveler, their relivable WiFi access is a godsends.
Huddled outside the Starbucks, I remapped our route; 3 hours and 15 min. We just took a 2+ hour detour. FANTASTIC!
Back on the bike.
2 and a half hours later, Luxembourg greeted us with mustard fields under sunny skies.**** We wound our way through back roads, and roads that didn’t look like roads, finally arriving at our completely deserted hostel.
Almost 7 hours after we left out hotel this morning, we are safely in the tiniest town of Hollenfels surrounded by forest.
We may not be wondering why we are riding in “winter” but we are wondering why we are riding without a real GPS.
*Although, Annetta forgets all too often until we are three turns into an adventure of getting TreLost.
**A big thanks to Doug who taught me how to do this.
*** Note to would be vehicle travelers: if you buy a GPS make sure it has maps in it.
**** Immediately followed by hellacious traffic.