Monte Carlo and Nice – relaxing

 December 2. 2013

Km today: +- 45

I sleep well and long. When I wake up I feel comfortable and all the tension of the last weeks vanishes more and more. I do a little Yoga, take one of these amazing hot showers here and slowly start the day. I really need to clean the bike as there is still all the salt on it so I first go to the next petrol station which is between casino curve and the infamous tunnel. For quickly washing it down with water they want to charge 20 euro… All their garage is full with Ferraris, Porsches, Rolls Royce and cars like this. I leave and go direction Nice. A little out of town I ask again at the first petrol station. I directly ask the guy who is just cleaning a fancy black Ferrari. He asks 5 Euro which is perfectly ok for me. I get two redbull to get change, invite him for one of them and tell him about the 20 euro offer in town. We agree about the craziness of this price!

To dry the bike I go a little further direction Nice which is an amazing road. Unfortunately there is police and speed control nearly at every corner but still some of the curves are interesting within the speed limit. And the view is just amazing! No gloves, not fully dressed I enjoy the 20km to Nice where I do a little shopping and drink a coffee close to the beach. Riding down the hills to Nice I see the snow covered Mountains in the north – to close to stay around here any longer…

I come back well before sunset and decide to stay at home that evening. I still have some bread and cheese from Austria, I have to pack my stuff and want to go to bed early. Tomorrow I will go to Marseille which is less than 300km on the highway and more than 500 along the coast – guess which one I will take!

Monte Carlo

 December 1. 2013

Kilometer today: 0

In the morning it is really cold as I didn’t figure out how to switch on the heating. But I am happy about it because otherwise I wouldn’t have seen an amazing sunrise while drinking coffee on the balcony. Really cold? Well not that bad in fact I just woke up because I went to bed after an amzing shower with only little dress…. Outside morning temperature here is 11° already and climbing together with the sun! I decide to take a walk and find the harbor. So I take my guitar and walk down to the sea, then right and along the coast. After a walk of maybe 10 minutes I arrive at the harbor. There is a coffee with a lot of tables but only 3 people sitting there spread all over the place.

I decide to drink another coffee and take a table in the very corner of the place. After enjoying the sun and drinking some coffee I take out the guitar and start to sing. First the waiter looks a little irritated but 10 minutes later two tables right next to me are occupied too and he smiles at me. The place starts to fill up around me and even though only one of the approaching guests makes eye contact it is obvious that all of them like my music – the far end of the place is still empty. Motivated by this feedback I increase the volume until I really rock the place – I don’t even recognize how loud I sing until the waiter asks me to turn volume down a little. I make a break until he comes back and tells me I am very welcome to play but I guess police will come if there is a concert happening here. I am fine with this play a few more things and go back to the apartement.

In the afternoon I sleep a little more and in the evening I get a Pizza. I slowly start to realize that I am on the road again. I am free again just to enjoy and this is what I will do. I found out about a friend of a friend (Russian girl whom I met in india and hosted in Austria) who lives in Marseille and who is ready to let me stay at his place for a night or two. So the next target is clear, and at Barcelona I already got a place to stay too. Shanti life! And as I am in no hurry (and found out how to turn on the heating in the evening) I will stay one more day in Monte Carlo. I will make a ride with the bike tomorrow and check out the coast around.  

Innsbruck – Monte Carlo

 November 30. 2013

Km today: +-700

N43˚44’31” E007˚25’33”

Today I wake up early even though it was late yesterday – I promise myself to properly sleep for the first time in a week in Monte Carlo. A friend of mine lives there with her boyfriend and I ve been planning to visit them for a long time. Unfortunately they went to make honeymoon surprisingly. Ursi was very kind to leave their key for me at a neighbor so I am now in their apartment only 4 minutes walk from the place Ayrton Senna died so dramatically… Well, but how did I get here?

Weather is bad today and there is snowing heavily. I try to find somebody who can help me with the computer problems because it will be easier to solve with german speaking people. All the small companies who offer help are closed on Sunday and the only guy I reach sound so ill on the phone that I feel bad for even calling him… With very little hope I call Ditech, a company who sells cheap and good quality hardware mostly by internet. They have a retail shop in Innsbruck and as I explain my problem and what I am doing they tell me to come.

Quickly I pack my stuff, give a hug and say good bye to Noemi, her flat mate Ilka who is busy moving out and the other guys who help her and bring my stuff down. Fortunately snow had stopped falling so I clean it of my bike, fix my luggage and go. At Ditech they test the wifi which is actually working…. Awesome! For the big SD cards they try several cardreaders and finally find one that works! 5 euro and all problems are done. The day before a guy at Hartlauer, who should have good service at the shops sold me a cardreader for 15 euro that does not work… Never mind, all is well and I leave Innsbruck heading south well before lunchtime!

On Brenner Pass I see the sun several times and when I ride down to Italy (nice gopro movie btw) the surrounding turns from white to green again. I am freezing again as the view makes me feel like it should be warmer. It’s around 700km for today so I have to keep going! Stopping only when I need petrol having quick cappuccinos then my ass and my hands start hurting. The grips are really hot (they are heated) but it is comfortable because otherwise I would probably freeze.

After the first stop it starts raining again until sunset. Fortunately it stops when I make the second petrol stop because at this time all turns white again. A little after dark the flat turns into mountains again as I approach the sea. Riding down the hills near Terrarossa it becomes warmer but a very strong and sudden wind makes riding dangerous! At the last petrol stop I change the sd card of the gps to get the French map and find out it does not find the address ursi gave to me. No problem, it’s around 7 pm and I will find it before it is too late – only 50km to go to Monte Carlo and I can’t wait to get a real hot shower there! The view at San Remo at night from above is amazing and soon I arrive in Monaco.

The first people I ask for the way, speak French only so I hand them the cell phone with the message in which I got it. The first guy is very friendly and sends me the right way, second one is tourist in a very fancy car and sends me to a local on the next corner. The guy is a little drunk, takes my phone, deletes the message and tells me he only speaks French…. Fuck you, that was my only note of the address! I exhale and decide to stay calm. I said the name of the street a few times already so I just have to keep repeating – first find the street then we will see. 1 minute later I am there. It’s a very small boulevard, Ursi first said she will leave the key at a pharmacy, which I am glad she did not because it is Saturday night now! Ursi said there is a motorbike park just in front of the house and I remember the first name of Ursis neighbor….  That should do it. I find a motorbike park right next to a pharmacy and stop the bike. I go to the door in between and read the doorbells… HARIOM! First I see the name of my friend and then, not the first name of her neighbor but I immediately recognize her family name. It’s an old, French speaking lady and she is a little confused because I am so late – she expected me days ago!

YES! For a moment I was really afraid to be stuck at one of the most expensive places in the world (at least it looks like) after a ride of 700km in the freezing cold and no place to go…. I quickly put my stuff in the apartment and then go out to find some food. It’s a really crazy place, people here are very rich, very styled and all look like from the cover of a fashion magazine. And in between me! Dressed like a Nepali…. Food is pretty expensive in the most places but somewhere between the famous Casino curve and the tunnel where Ayrton Senna died I meet a rich Indian guy and ask him in hindi for a place to get food. He smiles and shows me the way to a fast food place – not what I wanted but it’s one of the cheaper ones here which does definitely not mean “cheap” by western standards! I recognize that all the people I asked for the way were extremely friendly even though I rather look like from the cover of the rolling stone…. I really appreciate this. I like Monte Carlo – it’s this crazy glitter and glamour world, nothing seems to be real but everybody very important, and very nice!