Yup, highly egocentric this post, for today I am 22, the first “uncool” birthday! Next stop 30!
My attempts to repair my bike myself have been utterly thwarted.
A full charge and even a jump start were insufficient to get it moving, though a bump start worked no problem.
A few days ago I had an amazing stroke of luck.
Quite out of the blue a chap called Guido messaged me on CouchSurfing.com and offered me a place to stay if I was in the area, and where should his area be but 15 miles down the road!
I jumped at the chance, and despite my crippled bike, I pushed it painfully slowly up a hill and bump started it down, hastily packed my gear onto it and set off for Salo, praying it wouldn’t stall.
Stall? No, it belched black smoke and died.
I was left to walk the 8km on foot in 30 degree sun and full leathers to the nearest bus station to complete my journey.
Given time to mull my situation over, I decided I’d had enough.
My bike has been held together with bootlaces, luck and duct tape for too long, it’s time to get my issues sorted once and for all.
So I’m getting BMW to sort out everything, fork seals, black smoke, all the little niggles that have been bugging me and then some.
Unfortunately after ringing up the nearest BMW Motorrad (which was pleasingly close by) it turns out that all my local BMWs are booked up years in advance.
So where shall I take it?
I’ve pre booked a rental van and I’m taking it to Munich on Tuesday.
In return I’m getting a courtesy bike which I’m going to ride around with great pleasure (it’ll be nice not to have to worry about my bike falling apart for a change!)
The above solution represents a days work, head bashing, bad translation and frustration that I won’t bore you with, so back to last night!
Once I’d arrived at the bus station I discovered the next bus wasn’t until 2 hours after I’d agreed to meet my host for the evening.
A quick email to warn him and hope he didn’t mind and I sat down to wait.
After the picturesque bus ride down the west side of the lake I turned up in Salo and headed for Guido’s house.
Amazingly it was pretty easy to find, I’d been geared up for wandering the streets of Salo for hours and forlornly ringing him at 10pm asking how to find him!
I rang on the door, waited… Rang a second time… No answer.
As I hung about the gate not really knowing what to do a lady and her son approached the gate.
“You… are waiting for Guido?” (not goddo)
“Si!… Err.. Dove?”
“I don’t know, but would you like to wait in my house?”
“That would be great, thank you so much!”
I didn’t stay long in her house, just enough time for a shower in fact (which I was in very obvious need of and was offered as soon as I stepped over the threshold), before Guido turned up with his other guests.
“Sam! Hello! We have been waiting for you at the bus stop!”
“Really? I’m so sorry, I must have missed you!”
“No matter, let’s go to mine and eat!”
Some time, some carbonora and some red wine later we went strolling along the sea front under the light of a full yellow moon and an artfully lit boardwalk over the crystal clear waters of the lake, beneath which you could see salmon flitting in shoals of untold magnitude.
Guido gave me and the couple staying with him the historical background of Salo and treated us to ice cream from the much touted local gelato joint.
And the next day? Well, although it’s been my birthday, not much of note has happened, so… Though I should like to leave you with some photos, I decided not to lug my DSLR from my bike, so I shall have to merely bid you Arrivederci for the moment!