I wanted to turn back at this point. Unfortunately, I hadn’t even started.
This is a video of me failing to get onto my bike. The first official 5 minutes of my trip. In case you were wondering, this isn’t how you should get on a motorbike. Or how you should pack it. Or what size clothing you should be wearing. Or the heat you should be in.
▣ Highly recommend ▣ Boring but safe ▣ Shit. Boring, strenuous & dangerous ▣ Incomplete
What I thought would happen
I’d jump on my bike, ride off into the sunset and wild camp somewhere close to the Danish border.
What actually happened
I got lost, sunburnt and made it one hour away from Berlin where I paid 15€ to fail miserably at camping.
I’m off. In the wrong direction.
I’m finally on the move. I’ve got Google maps in my ears and the wind cooling my dripping torso. I actually yelled WOOHOO into my helmet at this point. And then, I took a wrong turn.
Don’t EVER mistake ‘Autobahn’ (highway) for ‘Hoftbahnoff’ (central train station). I can tell you now from experience that this mistake is actually so stressful that you will sweat your way to the other side. That is to say, if you’re already sweating cats and dogs because its fucking 30 degrees outside and you’re literally wearing an entire cow on your body, then making an error such as this will actually allow you to stress out so much that you stop sweating. It’s possible. It happened to me. Liberating feeling of yelling woohoo immediately replaced with a frustrated FUCKKKKK.
So, around and around I go until I manage to find the direction that Google maps wants me to go. You see, when you use Gmaps offline it can’t re-route you. And when you’re wearing leather gloves you can’t use a touch screen. And when you’re on a highway going the wrong way you can’t pull over. Argh…
On the Autobahn
So I finally get on the autobahn in the right direction. The cars are flying past me at ridiculous speeds. I have this perpetual fear that my luggage is slipping off. I regret having such a deadline to get up north. Taking the autobahn is NOT a good idea. Firstly, it is really dangerous. Secondly it is really boring. Thirdly, it wastes a lot of petrol. Repeat: do not take the autobahn.
Taking a pit stop
I pulled over to check my bags at a servo. But undoing them was a bad idea. I couldn’t redo it so had to take everything apart. I finally managed to put them in one bag. Go me.
5 minutes later…out of gas
An Hour later
Took a wrong turn — but for the better. I pulled over to get directions and realised that my backpack was wide open. Like a gaping mouth. It’s incredible nothing fell out.
On Google’s orders…
I eventually turned off the autobahn. Unfortunately I had wildly typed in the town name within the general vicinity of where I wanted to go, rather than specific directions, so I arrived outside an old lady’s house. To put it in perspective, I envisioned myself enjoying a nice break at a national park full of lakes. Catastrophically different.
You know that feeling when somebody’s watching you but you can’t see them? I had that feeling. I know that old lady was creeping on me for at least 5 minutes straight behind her curtains, wondering what the fuck had rolled up next to her lovely rose garden before she cranked open the window to help.
I’m not exactly sure if she did offer help, but I yelled back “everything is gut! Klein problem!” Yet what I meant to say was KEIN problem. The difference between the two? I was actually saying to her I have a little (klein) problem, instead of there is no (kein) problem. That must have been very confusing for her because I said it in such a sing-song cheery voice. *facepalm. I only found this out later in Sweden.