Hoooooorray readers! This will be a quick series to update during the cycling - The restart!
Current Position: Padova in Italy.
Leaving my cozy bathroom accommodation on that somehow gray and foggy morning was not easy; of course not for the comfort of sleeping in there at all , but because outside was outrageously cold and the bathroom had heaters on, which made the whole situation less terrible. Yet, eventually I left and found the way to the supermarket to resupply and carry on with the journey.
At that point I was in Hartberg, a small town south of Vienna, the restarting point of the trip after freaking out with the snow and headwinds on the mighty Euro Velo 13. I was again on the Euro Velo 9 following the many kilometers inside dark forests full of loggers and muddy trails that provided quite a lot of fun when you are riding a tough mountain bike.
The day was still not promising and clouds were covering the sky on the first day of cycling towards Slovenia, just to balance with the good energies coming from the forests; a perfect opposition to the boring farmlands I had been cycling through before.
Mr. Wild Camper and the Holy Tractor
Forests are a great source of positive energy, something good that goes through our body no matter how cold it is, there's that sense of feeling energetic and motivated - do you feel the same? They are also the best wild camping spots you can ever find - protected, away from hassle and with plenty of space to put a tent. The farmlands on the other hand, are generally flat and private, everyone will see your sparky tent, unless you find a bush.
In Austria, finding a forest to wild camp is not difficult, they are everywhere and there are all sorts of side roads and trails used by loggers. It's just a matter of exploring, having a good eye to pick the best spot and having common sense as to where you'll camp, because most of the forests have loggers working all day and some tractors passing by; other, more isolated forests, can have hunters and wild animals.
This is the fun about wild camping, you never know what to expect and finding the perfect spot is just like playing hide and seek without hiding too much, or you'll either be runned over by a tractor or wake up with a big tree falling over your tent. You don't want to be seen though, perhaps just a little bit.
The Holy Tractor
However, while packing on that sunny morning I heard the terrifying sound of a mighty tractor. It was approaching and the uncertainty of not knowing if I'd run into problems was sending shivers through my spinne. I have to act normal, pack and go - I thought. Even though I was somehow protected by trees from all the sides, there was no way that the logger wouldn't see me there. What if he comes here to ask what I'm doing? - I was thinking.
The sound got louder and louder when I finally decided to pretend I had no clue about the rules against wild camping. I grabbed my camera and got out of the bushes to photograph the tractor, which is one of my passions. I couldn't believe, coming out of the woods, there it was - The Holy Tractor, with all the sun rays empowering its magestic glory, one of the rarest and not evil species of tractors. From that moment on I knew the days would be better, The Holy Tractor had brough the happiness back and the sun was out again.
The Sun is Back
The following days after the encounter with the Holy Tractor were bright and sunny, the contours on the hilly landscape provided an outstanding eyesight of the horizon. Following the ups and downs of the road felt great on the pedals and I had something to see, not just endless flat farmlands.
The pace continued strong on the saddle, kilometers flew past as I stopped here and there to photograph and the ultimate goal to reach Slovenia, after one month on the road, now seemed reachable.
Would it be warmer? Colder? Would the even higher mountains stop me? I didn't know, but the enthusiasm of approaching a new country completely gave me a boost to keep on going on those last days in Austria. But let's reserve the story for the upcoming episodes of the saga.
Come with me ladies and gentleman! Are you enjoying?
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~Love ya all,
Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.