Travel.P #50 – Hey Fam, it’s been a while!

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

Jane Austen

I was flying with Emirates. I really like flying with the A380. It is so big that there is room behind the rows to do some stretching and the food is actually quite tasty. The service is the best I had and the comfort is simply unrealistic good for a plane. I managed to sleep a lot during my flight. Once I changed to the finale plane flying to Germany, I was getting more and more exited to see everyone again.

Arriving in Dusseldorf, I took a train home, luckily no one checked my ticket, the prices for tickets were after all way to high for something called public transport. From the last station I walked home the last 2 km to arrive towards home. It was a weird feeling to walk this way again, the way with so many memories. It seemed like coming home, coming back to a normal life. Once I arrived at home, I knocked at the door and went in. Papa was talking to a friend and had to stop, because he couldn’t believe his eyes, he gave me a hug and mum was coming to see me as well. Tears were flowing and we were all very happy to see each other again. Than I was waiting for my little brother to come home. When he saw my backpack he was confused, but understood fast that I am back. It was so great to see my brothers again. Man, I am so unbelievable thankful for both of them. My life is so much nicer through a set of great brothers, they are always there for me when I need them, and the other way around.

The next days I didn’t tell anyone I was home. Slowly I started meeting friends and invited everyone around for a big dinner. It was amazing to see everyone again. From then I was just chilling and appreciating home. When I left 2 years ago I was sick of it, sick of the place, sick of the majority of people living in this town, sick of the short minded people whose horizon is going from train-station to train-station. But now I can understand them a bit. Home is just a place that is giving you a feeling like no other place. Maybe one day I will have a place I can call my own home. Where I can invite all my friends for dinner, to give them sleep and food, to make them feel home, to have a refuge for my mind and get old. But so far I like the ‘slow’ way of travelling the most.Fast enough to see a few places but slow enough that I get the vibes and cultures of a country.

I think one of the first things I did when I was home was showering under warm water. The next one probably was checking the fridge, haha. I was shocked to see all the unhealthy things that we were always eating. I would say 90% processed food, not great cheese, bread, jams, margarine, etc. The first moment when I realized how much my nutritional knowledge grew after listening hundreds of podcasts and reading about it. Now the perfect fridge would probably be 80 percent vegetables, maybe hummus, fish, bacon from the butcher, butter, avocados, olives, good cheese and a few different types of raw oil. Apart from that I’d like to store nuts and seeds of all kind, a few fruits, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, beans, chickpeas, I don’t think I would give up oats, so probably oats, cocoa, coffee, green teas, spices and probably a few supplements. I would not store sweets or crisps, only black chocolate with minuscule amounts of sugar. Maybe some flour to make pizza on rare occasions or cake, I am not saying I want to stop eating sweets. My rule is as long as it is made with love I’ll have a slice and considering my mood and the taste another slice, hehe.

A few weeks home and I left again to work on the boat in France. I am a partial owner of the boat and had a lots of great times with Flo and Cedric in New Zealand, so I decided to stop my visa in Australia and work instead in the boat. The boat was on land and we had to move it from there into the river to bring it to the sea over the Rhone. After a few days working and analyzing the boat we managed a crane and a transport. The boat was already in the air, but the transport was late. And than when it finally showed up, we saw that it wasn’t made to transport the boat. The Trucker made a huge deal and wanted us to sign the papers, telling us it is our fault, but we told them it is a sailing boat with one keel, so they must have tried to scam us. Yes there are still a lot of assholes on this planet. Well after a huge drama the guy left, the boat was put back on the ground, where we have been all very scared that the keel is gonna break, but it went good. The next two days it said that we need a lawyer for the transport business, to pay for all the costs we are paying, and we wanted a new transport. That one was a month away, and I couldn’t work properly on the boat so I booked a bus home again. Well after two days, they found a transport and went down the Rhone. I was in England at that moment and missed that amazing trip. But England was great as well. Lorna and me went hiking and we explored the area where she came from. The area is very wonderful, a lot of nature and the mountains, even the highest one of England is still not high, so quite easy to climb, which is actually quite cool for a few days hiking trip. It is raining a lot tho, but we stayed mostly dry. The mountain tops are quite flat, which is perfect for camping and it was allowed to camp everywhere you wanted. After a few weeks in England we both came home to Germany, to see my family. We stayed there for a wile, but I felt that I have to go south to see and help the boys with the boat. By that time they descended the Rhone and found a place to work on the boat in Marseille.

My project while I was home was building a pizza oven. I really wanted to build one. We got hay from the donkeys behind our property and dug a massive hole for clay, sand from our neighbours and started building and cobbing the OVEN. Jan Oberlaender added a good part to it as well, while we were stamping the masses of earth clay, water, sand, donkey poo, and hey into a strong mix and started stacking it up. Everyday a little more.

The weather was awesome and my friends and friends of my bro helped building it. Gianni was so keen on the project, not surprised since he is Italian, haha. We dug deeper and deeper, and the project came along very good. After a descent amount we mad a layer of insulation of glass bottles and just when we started laying the oven bowl we reached proper grey clay, perfect for holding the heat. We mixed the oven bowl with more sand on all 3 layers, but added hey to the second on third one to insulate the bowl.

The inside was shaped like an egg, we stuffed all kind of stuff in it and shaped the shape of the bowl with sand. On top we layed wet newspaper and on that we stacked the clay. After waiting another two weeks, we emptied the bowl, a magic moment with a few problems of putting a box into it that turned out to be way to big to get it out again. The top of the Oven was made into a crocodile head so that the steam is going through the nose and coming out of the eyes, we were really happy with what we archived. Everything is holding together and we spend 120 Euros on proper oven stones, thats all we had to spend, to get our own wood fired pizza oven. Because it was nice and hot we only made a little fire to properly slow dry the bowl completly and finally inviting friends over to have the first pizza party, with pizza coming baked out of our 550 Degrees Celsius Oven, So cool, haha.

After another few weeks past I made my decision. I wanted to cycle to south France, up the Rhein to its source, through the alpes to the Rhone and descent her until I would arrive in Marseille. The most amazing part was, that my little bro cancelled his graduation party, packed his bag and we went together on a cycle trip through our country, exploring the river we lived so close to all these years.

Our aunti new two older doctors that got two old touring bikes. They were super retro but worked perfectly fine and because no one used them anymore, we got them for free. My uncle gave me a trailer that we dad and me reconstructed so it is gonna be strong and to endure our journey. We got some bike bags each one two, added the trailer to its professional construction on my bike, had cycling pants, caps for the sun and sunglasses. With 200$ in our pockets that we earned the days before, digging a huge hole for our uncle, aunti and cousine we made a little road plan and left towards cologne. The weather was great and the wind not against us. The moment when we left the first time a track into an unknown track was kind of magic. The adventure began.

More about our adventure will you read in my next blog. The whole adventure was amazing. We met amazing people, had beautiful days, horrible days, saw landscapes that we didn’t know exist in Germany and went further and further up the Rhine, so far that you can’t tell it is gonna be the Rhine. All with two bikes, and a kind of waterproof cover to find shelter under.

For today I’d like you to really get comfortable, think. Get a warm drink and just stop for a while.

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