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A meander through the Mosel at Reil


Bill Davies

With three Treffens under our belts, Tom Rae and myself set out for Germany, our plans changed as the day drew nearer, first an invite to camp at Paul Williams and then an offer of dinner and a bed…yes a winner. Our outward journey was trouble free meeting up in the Borders at Innerleithen for a light lunch … OK I had a bigger plate than Tom, and then a steady run down to Newcastle for the ferry. Plenty of time so not a charge. On route Tom decided that his sat nav was not healthy, so I took the lead. At the port the booking in was straight forward and the trikes travelled as Motorbikes. (DFDS).

Dinner at the Smash and Grab restaurant a few gins and off to bed, morning arrived in quick order and after the buffet we disembarked and went to the garage to fill up the tanks. Then Tom decided that the sat nav was OK but after a tour around the towns streets the decision was to use mine. We set off for Leverkusen close to Aachen and found Paul's house with only a little wander off route. Here were two stalwart members of the Triking fraternity one on his hands and knees fixing the car. Job done we retired to the house to have a beer then diner and a sampling of German wines…thanks Paul.

Another quick night and we set off for Axel Schoten's factory to see his toys. The visit started with breakfast at the local "work's canteen" I wish we had a canteen like that, it was more of a restaurant at canteen prices…good call Axel. After breakfast one of the Trikings had an oil change while we looked at the toys, very nice collection.

Then we were off to the Mosel valley, Axel led the tour through the Eifel mountains by a succession of twists and turns on roads with very light traffic. Hairpins up and down on very good surfaced roads, we finally arrived at the Base Hotel for the event and found some 40 cars already parked up in the hotel foreground. Once we had said hello and entered the event we left and crossed the Mosel to the campsite and set up our tents. Then washed and hair combed we walked to the hotel to join in a wine tasting, we had to sample some 11 white wines then a red, well someone has to! Dinner was a self-help Buffet…very good. The forecast rain did not appear until after dinner and we had returned to camp.

Next day we rose had breakfast and returned to the hotel for the start, by now there were other cars arriving and the event had some 45 in attendance, and good representation from the UK (but the Pembleton presence was down to three) one triking from France and the rest from either Holland 5 and Germany. There was a good selection of trikes…Triking, Pembleton, JZR, DKR, Crozier, Razor, Lomax, trikes with both front and rear wheel drive. Power being supplied by 2CV, Renault, Moto-Guzzi, Suzuki Hyabusa, Honda Pan- European.

The run started with the entire group setting off on a quick tour around the Mosel and it's adjacent valleys to arrive at a castle, well it was up a path at the top of a rock outcrop, the lure of a coffee encouraged the folk to climb steadily to the top. After the rest we split into two groups, ours went to find the longest span wire rope bridge in Germany, built in 2015 it was paid for by EU money and is from nowhere to nowhere!!! Some of the more adventurish went for a preamble across the gorge. After a regroup we headed off for lunch, well I had left my instructions in the tent and the tail marker had gone!!! Together with another trike we set off in search of lunch eventually finding the remainder stuffing their faces on schnitzel and veg. Lunch finished we set off again just before the rain started, and did it rain, I was marking the third turn and parked on the pavement and got out the umbrella and sat while the German people just looked at the mad Scot. On the return route some got misplaced and suddenly rejoined the group from a completely different direction, three of the Trikings did complete spins when they encountered oil under the deluge of water. Only one car suffered damage as on the way round it struck the roadside banking, not too bad but it will cost some.

The evening was spent fixing some minor problems on the cars and chatting etc, another excellent buffet and some beer.

Sunday was a lovely day as forecast and we set of as a group reduced by those who have to work on Monday going home. The reduced party set off on a short run (½ mile) to the bottom of the town to await a ferry to give us a sail up the Mosel to the next barrier (lock gate). Two of our party who had set off for petrol went on down to Cochem to await the ferry…silly boys we were going UP stream…no names, you know who you are. Lol. After the ferry we grouped and went up stream to a large restaurant for lunch, well most ate, me I got a coke and no food as the kitchen screwed up…German efficiency?, I waited 1.5 hours!!! We then went on a tour to a lake for cake and drinks before returning to the hotel for dinner etc.

Monday morning Tom and I went to the hotel to say good bye to all the people and then we set off to visit and old work friend of T's, he wasn't in so I fixed my rocker box gasket (a leak detected on Sunday, I asked a passing MG motorcyclist if there was an agency around the area and he said no but an hour later returned with the said item at no charge…a true Gent) We went for lunch and returned to the friends before returning to camp. After dinner at a local restaurant we spent the evening pitching and re-pitching our extension Tarps to achieve the best set-up…Sad gits.

Tuesday arrived dry and we took down the tents and packed ready for the off, a tour through Germany, Belgium and Holland by A class roads led by me and my trusty sat nav. Well Tom does not think it was too direct, we even ran the "Road To Hell" a concrete abomination with more holes and bumps than could be imagined. The road sign was a properly made item …the Belgians are a proud nation…not.

We located a campsite just over the Dutch border and after ringing the bell were told they were shut but would allow us to camp but that we should go and eat first, we did but the restaurant that she recommended was closed so we found another and also passed a farm campsite so we stopped there…a good choice, clean and hot showers included.

Wednesday started as forecast, with gale force wind, and our shelter lying on the ground. Packed up we decided to go down the Motorway to Amsterdam as we could be pushed for time if the wind got aggressive. A quick charge down the Motorway found us at Ijmuiden with plenty of time, I noticed a lack of ferry so we set off to investigate, to receive an email telling of the late arrival of the ferry. Due at 16.00hrs and to sail at 20.00hrs, so we parked in the queue and set off to find a coffee bar for lunch. The incoming ferry had spent 23 hours at sea dodging the weather before unloading the green people. Now Ijmuiden is a fishing port and at the dockside there are restaurants selling the catch of the day, Tom settled for Fish and chips, and I got Wok mussels and shrimps…proper job.

We eventually boarded and set sail at 21.00hrs with the remnants of Hurricane Imra still giving it laldie. Did I pull my handbrake on tight enough??? We exchanged our smash and grab tickets and had two courses in the table service restaurant then off to bed to be bounced about for the first part of the crossing.

Reaching Newcastle is only part of the trip…you have to clear Customs and it was 1.5 hours before I was able to accelerate down the road. Tom set off for Edinburgh and I set off in the direction of Galloway to visit my brother. All was going well until I was half way between Dumfries and Newton Stewart, when the engine lost power, ease off and then back on the power…nothing. Stop and look unhappy, try again get another few yards down the road and stop to investigate. Bang a few things and mutter, engine appears ok set off…no it is not ok, will need to stop again or maybe phone the RAC.

Get the bonnet up and start a complete check, wiring ok nothing amiss, then me spots a problem, the lock nut on one of the choke set-ups has undone and the adjuster is out with the wire flapping around. Re connect and tighten all the bits and check engine…running like a dream. The engine had gone onto half choke. Set off again now 30mins down on time ( I know that the side light have failed, must push on to my brothers) Well I only intended to stay for half an hour but after one and a half (a lot of news etc to catch up on) I set off for Ayr and got home just as the street lamps came on out-side the house. Neat timing.

All in all a very successful trip, Thanks to Tom for being my travelling companion, and demonstrating all the various ways that a Tarp can be pitched, did we miss one…wait and see. My journey took in some 1080 miles of motorway, A class roads and everything else.

Now I need to sort out the car for the next trip, and dry out the tent etc.

Just a wee advert… next year the Treffen will be hosted by Tom and myself on either the first or second weekend in September, the location still to be agreed but likely to be Pertshire. For those of you who need permission from the management get your booking in now. We intend to beat the Inverary event both in style and content…watch events for details.

Crozier3 aka Bill D

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