camping gear
 Search

This is the new Blog site for Cath and Tony Ryders Adventures

product testers page

 

 

Cath 2 Oct 2016
St Paul du Vence
2 comments
Cath 2 Oct 2016
Cannes
Leaving Annecy we headed south east, to some French passes. Staring withVal-d'Isere and over Col de I'Iseran, then over Col du Mt Cenis, only one thing to say about this road, WOW! Truly one of the most beautiful passes we've been over,these are roads that are used for Tour de France, hopefully the photos do it justice. The temperature went down to 7 deg, but hey no problems in the car. The last pass dropped down into Italy and the town of Susa where we stayed for the night. Oh to be back in bella Italia, of course we ate out for 15 euro for the both of us, gotta love Italy. The next day was just a transit day, on to Arona on Laga Magiore, our last stop. Accommodation was sensational, thanks Kaylene. The view of the lake from the hotel absolutely spectacular. We went for a quick ride the next morning, Monday as the bikes were being picked up at 12 midday, I forgot to say Brett arrived a few hours after us, then borrowed the car on Monday and drove back to Wolfach to pick up Di. Big day 5 hours each way, good to see Di though. Good to get all bikes safely back to Matej's boys without a scratch. I went up to watch the loading of the bikes, looking in the car I couldn't see our luggage ( which was supposed to be there), when asked his response was what luggage...........!!! Anyway a long story short after a few phone calls, the luggage was dispatched from Ljublana with another driver, another 5 hour drive, but seriously not our problem! It was very nice to see them finally arrive a little after 6. As Shane and Cate and Donna and Dave were leaving the next morning early, they had a mad scramble to pack and get organised. The next couple of days in Arona were relax full and enjoyable, a little melancholy as the group was dispersing, very sad but all good and bad things come to an end so now on we go alone.
Be the first to comment
Cath 2 Oct 2016
Saint Carlos
Be the first to comment
Cath 2 Oct 2016
Leaving Annecy we headed south east, to some French passes. Staring withVal-d'Isere and over Col de I'Iseran, then over Col du Mt Cenis, only one thing to say about this road, WOW! Truly one of the most beautiful passes we've been over,these are roads that are used for Tour de France, hopefully the photos do it justice. The temperature went down to 7 deg, but hey no problems in the car. The last pass dropped down into Italy and the town of Susa where we stayed for the night. Oh to be back in bella Italia, of course we ate out for 15 euro for the both of us, gotta love Italy. The next day was just a transit day, on to Arona on Laga Magiore, our last stop. Accommodation was sensational, thanks Kaylene. The view of the lake from the hotel absolutely spectacular. We went for a quick ride the next morning, Monday as the bikes were being picked up at 12 midday, I forgot to say Brett arrived a few hours after us, then borrowed the car on Monday and drove back to Wolfach to pick up Di. Big day 5 hours each way, good to see Di though. Good to get all bikes safely back to Matej's boys without a scratch. I went up to watch the loading of the bikes, looking in the car I couldn't see our luggage ( which was supposed to be there), when asked his response was what luggage...........!!! Anyway a long story short after a few phone calls, the luggage was dispatched from Ljublana with another driver, another 5 hour drive, but seriously not our problem! It was very nice to see them finally arrive a little after 6. As Shane and Cate and Donna and Dave were leaving the next morning early, they had a mad scramble to pack and get organised. Did I mention Arona has the 2nd largest statue that you can climb up next to the Statue of Liberty, and did I also mention good old Saint Carlos was right outside our bedroom window? I always felt like he was watching me. The next couple of days in Arona were relax full and enjoyable, a little melancholy as the group was dispersing, very sad but all good and bad things come to an end so now on we go alone.
Be the first to comment
Cath 24 Sep 2016
Schenkenzell to Annecy
We left Schenkenzell with mixed emotions,Dianna was not well and had gone to the local hospital in Wolfach the night before. A good move, you can't go that long sick without help. So we said goodbye to Brett, hoping they would catch up soon, the idea was to catch up in France. That day we had breakfast in Germany smoko in France lunch in Switzerland and then dinner back in France, pretty cool. We spent one night in transit at Vuillecin. Then the next day onto Annecy. How fortunate we have been to have stayed in these stunning towns. Annecy is quite large it sits on lake Annecy( there's a surprise!) the days the last couple of days has been really really low cloud, does that make sense? Riding most of the day in fog. Which has made for interesting riding. As the plan was to go to Chamonix and go up Mont Blanc, it was important that the cloud lifted. First day in Annecy there was snow on top of Mont Blanc so it was put off the the next day. The forecast was fine, about a 2 hour trip to Chamonix then the cable car up to the top. 3842 m, the view was spectacular talking about being on top of the world. As soon as we arrived at the top we saw the first base jumper out the window, couldn't believe it seeing so one fling past the window with only a winged suit on, looks crazy to me. The view from top station was amazing we could see the Matterhorn. We could have stayed there all day just watching, there was climbers, walkers, more base jumpers, paragliders, truly so much entertainment, I can only imagine how it must be in winter, with all the crazy thrill seeking skiers. We were standing on the lower level of the top station when a base jumper jumped from above, unbelievable, as we watched, and photographed another 2 jumped, the noise they made as they flew passed us was incredible. OMG! They are CRAZY! We watched a few more till we had to go, we were told that so far this year 90 people have died on Mont Blanc. What a great experience for us though. Tomorrow Elspeth leaves us to go home to The south of France. So I'm in the drivers seat, tomorrow night Sousa in Italy.
Be the first to comment
Cath 24 Sep 2016
The Black Forest
It's been a while since Fluelen. Diana came down with a stomach bug, which we now know is salmonella poisoning, so she rode in the car, for the last day in Fluelen and the trip to the Black Forest. Elspeth drove up the highway to get there as fast as possible. The weather finally started to turn grey wasn't too wet just enough to be a pain. We arrived at Schenkenzell a lovely little village in the Black Forest, we stayed at the Waldblick hotel, one of the nicest places we've stayed. The people were really friendly, so of course we made ourselves at home. First day was wet. They had the same deal as Garmish where you get free public transport whilst there, what a great idea image if we did this for tourists in Australia, imagine if the Gold Coast did it, people would be flossing to the area. The boys rode to the head office of Tourateck and us girls went on the train to a little town called Freudenstadt. There was undercover shops there. Later that afternoon Elspeth went to a pharmacy museum in the next village, Schillach. Oh my what an absolutely gorgeous little village, if I was in England I would say the houses were Tudor style some dating back to 1400. This village will be my favourite town so far. The 2nd day we went for a ride, first to Konigsfeld, there was artisan markets which are only held in this town once a year. The weather held out mostly, saw some great crafts, very different from what we see in Australia, Elspeth bought a pair of earrings made from used coffee pods.....I kid you not! The last day was wet again so we went on the train toGrengenbach a town that was recommended to us as being a beautiful town, and believe it or not we arrived to find they were having a wine festival, how lucky can a person be? They had a big brass band big German sausages cooking pigs on spits, just one of those lucky moments. We then Vought the train and bus to Triberg, the cuckoo clock capital of the Black Forest , by this time the weather was pretty wet, lucky for the trains I say. Our time in the Black Forest was seriously a highlight, love Germany, love Germans, I am surprised, of all the countries we have visited so far Germany is possibly my favourite, at least till I get back to Italy.
Be the first to comment
16 Sep 2016
Chur to Fluelin
We left Oetz And headed towards Liechtenstein we drove through Leichenstein through the capital Vaduz. then the Klausen pass , oh my what an amazing piece of road, what can I say these Europeans are master road builders. When we stopped for lunch, all you could hear is the tinkle of cow bells, every cow has its own bell, it's an absolute treat to be out in the back country and all you can hear is cow bells. The cows are really tame they're not fazed by all the bikes or people, they just plod along. When we dropped down into the valley we thought we'd arrived at the bottom of the mountain, only to find that we were only partway way there. The pass was over 2000 meters.we arrived at Fluelen on a beautiful lake, the accommodation an loser hotel has the most amazing views accords the lake. Today we had a lay day Shane, Cate, Elspeth and us went in the car across the lake to Brennen, to the Swiss army Knife museum. The boys wanted to make there own knife, but they were booked out till 4.30 in the afternoon, so you know what that meant, we had to comeback. We then drove to Lucerne and had a look around, what a beautiful town again on the lake, I wonder how the Swiss find enough land for a city, what with lakes and mountains there's not much room for anything else, but such a beautiful country. Now today, which is the next day .......how confusing. We did a ride, to Wassen then up the Susten Pass the stopped and walked the Aare gorge. Then on to the up and over the Grimsel pass and then over the Furka Pass. What an amazing day. I have never seen so many bikes or sports cars in my life! I'd hate to try this on a weekend it would be crazy. We had an amazing day the weather is still holding out thought tomorrow is supposed to be wet, we'll see! Last night tonight in Fluelen, last night in Switzerland used up all my Francs ready for Germany tomorrow. Bring it on.
2 comments
16 Sep 2016
Garmish to Oetz
Left Garmish and headed to Innsbruck. We spent around 4 hours looking around the old town. A truly beautiful town centre . All the beautiful old building nestled into the base of the mountains, just spectacular. Elspeth left her phone at Garmish, so we drove back to get it as it was only 49kms and met the others at Oetz. Lucky it was only a small day driving that day. The bikes went around a longer way through the mountains, so we all arrived pretty much the same time. The accommodation that night was an iconic old Gasthof , part of the building dates back to the 1100s, and was an old monastery, it has had bits added to it over the centuries. One room is as it was in the 1600s. They served traditional local meals including a stew of heart and lung, those that had it said it was great. I wasn't so adventurous I had a local spinach gnocchi sort of thing. It's great when you can have a real local flavour for your meal, seems to add to the experience. We left Oetz, and headed up a beautiful valley towards Silveretta-Hochalpen Strasse, a high alpine road, all these roads are dotted with ski lifts and gondolas. One of the small towns along the way had had a mud slide the night before, they had people everywhere firemen hosing, and further up there was a couple of trucks buried in the mud. We have tried to find out more about what happened but can't find anything. All we know is they had a hell of a mess and they were expecting to find bodies as there was body bags out ready, I suppose when you live in such steep little valleys you must expect this sort of disaster.. The Silveretta pass was beautiful, I just don't get sick of the beauty of this place, not sure if I could pick a favourite spot. That night we made our way to Chur, in Switzerland and oh my! What a place we stayed, it was banjo territory up a little winding road, thought we were lost, but sure enough we found the hotel. BUT there was no one at home, well at least we thought there was no one there. Turns out old mate was upstairs cleaning rooms. So long story short we had to wait a while for the rooms to be finished........not long about 3 and a half hours! Some days are just like that. The rooms were amazing and the local restaurant was only 100 meters away.......100 meters straight down. So we opted to have Pizza delivered, the poor delivery girl nearly had a fit when she drove up the windy driveway.
Be the first to comment
Cath 10 Sep 2016
Reisbach to Garmish- Partenkirchen
Left Reisbach and headed south, so now we're heading for the alps again. Went through some seriously beautiful alpine areas. We ended the day at Garmish-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, the home of the 1936 winter games. Also the place where Eddie the Eagle trained before he went to the Calgary games. Just a bit of trivia for you. We are staying at the adoring Sporthotel.which would be pumping in the winter months all the buildings are connected by a series of tunnels, which would be essential during the winter months. First morning went rode to Schloss Neuschwanstein, or in lay men's terms, the castle that inspired Walt Disney, the castle built by the mad King Ludwig. Such a beautiful day the weather was hot and clear which was perfect. The castle is amazing, he must have spent a large fortune on building it, it took 17 years to build, and then was stopped unfinished, and is today as it was.( does that make sense?) I believe it is one of the most visited castles in Europe, at least that's what I was told. On the way home went through the beautiful town of Oberammergau, this. town has beautiful panted houses Today we spent the day just wandering around Garmish- Partenkirchen, we went out to the Olympic Stadium and just Gerald kicked around town, some went up a chair lift to one of the mountains. Tomorrow we are off to Otez via Innsbruck.
1 comments
Cath 10 Sep 2016
Reisbach to Garmish- Partenkirchen
Left Reisbach and headed south, so now we're heading for the alps again. Went through some seriously beautiful alpine areas. We ended the day at Garmish-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, the home of the 1936 winter games. Also the place where Eddie the Eagle trained before he went to the Calgary games. Just a bit of trivia for you. We are staying at the adoring Sporthotel.which would be pumping in the winter months all the buildings are connected by a series of tunnels, which would be essential during the winter months. First morning went rode to Schloss Neuschwanstein, or in lay men's terms, the castle that inspired Walt Disney, the castle built by the mad King Ludwig. Such a beautiful day the weather was hot and clear which was perfect. The castle is amazing, he must have spent a large fortune on building it, it took 17 years to build, and then was stopped unfinished, and is today as it was.( does that make sense?) I believe it is one of the most visited castles in Europe, at least that's what I was told. On the way home went through the beautiful town of Oberammergau, this. town has beautiful panted houses Today we spent the day just wandering around Garmish- Partenkirchen, we went out to the Olympic Stadium and just Gerald kicked around town, some went up a chair lift to one of the mountains. Tomorrow we are off to Otez via Innsbruck.
Be the first to comment
Cath 10 Sep 2016
Reisbah
Be the first to comment
Cath 10 Sep 2016
Karlovy Vary
Be the first to comment
Cath 10 Sep 2016
Prague to Reisbach
So last couple of days in Chech. Hotel Stein near Cheb was a great place to stay, just out of town and believe it or not they had 3 emus. Totally left of centre! We rode to Kalovy Vary a beautiful old Spa town, now a tourist town. The buildings were sensational ( yes I've got to start finding more descriptive words, can't keep using the same ones). The day was a bit showery so bike jackets were the order of the day, I was more than happy to have mine on. Honestly if you are ever thinking of going to Chech, do, everything is just so cheep. 2 nights meals and drinks was about $25. Aus dollars, oh and a massage. Pretty good! I drove the next day, we weren't far from the German border, so crossed over early. Germany is so beautiful, green, neat and well kept. The farm lands we went through showed so much love. Every house was beautifully presented ,well cared for and mostly with flowers in window boxes. The farms were so neat and tidy no fences, mown grass right up to the road. They grow a lot of corn, we're assuming for cows, but not sure where the cows are. Maybe they spend their whole life in barns, most houses have a barn attached. That night we spent in Reisbach, another quaint little village, seriously they just go on and on, one amazing little village after another. We are so lucky to be able to see all these beautiful small towns, most people never get the chance. For dinner that night I had a Oktoberfest special, pork knuckle sour kraut and a litre of beer for 9.99 euro, about $14 au. Oh my what a feast, couldn't drink all the beer but there was plenty of boys to help me. So that will do for now will write another one and post it tomorrow. Chin chin
Be the first to comment
Cath 10 Sep 2016
Prague to Reisbach
So last couple of days in Chech. Hotel Stein near Cheb was a great place to stay, just out of town and believe it or not they had 3 emus. Totally left of centre! We rode to Kalovy Vary a beautiful old Spa town, now a tourist town. The buildings were sensational ( yes I've got to start finding more descriptive words, can't keep using the same ones). The day was a bit showery so bike jackets were the order of the day, I was more than happy to have mine on. Honestly if you are ever thinking of going to Chech, do, everything is just so cheep. 2 nights meals and drinks was about $25. Aus dollars, oh and a massage. Pretty good! I drove the next day, we weren't far from the German border, so crossed over early. Germany is so beautiful, green, neat and well kept. The farm lands we went through showed so much love. Every house was beautifully presented ,well cared for and mostly with flowers in window boxes. The farms were so neat and tidy no fences, mown grass right up to the road. They grow a lot of corn, we're assuming for cows, but not sure where the cows are. Maybe they spend their whole life in barns, most houses have a barn attached. That night we spent in Reisbach, another quaint little village, seriously they just go on and on, one amazing little village after another. We are so lucky to be able to see all these beautiful small towns, most people never get the chance. For dinner that night I had a Oktoberfest special, pork knuckle sour kraut and a litre of beer for 9.99 euro, about $14 au. Oh my what a feast, couldn't drink all the beer but there was plenty of boys to help me. So that will do for now will write another one and post it tomorrow. Chin chin
Be the first to comment
Cath 5 Sep 2016
Prague
First night in Prague we ate at our accommodation, we stayed at U Medvidku, in the old town, an old brewery dated from 1466. Apparently one of the top 10 things to do whilst in Prague is to have a meal and a beer here they have beers up to 13.5 per cent alcohol, it is now a micro brewery. Truly an amazing place to stat so quirky and interesting, a veritable rabbit warren of rooms. Now I need to regress, one of the beers of Chech is Budweiser, I kid you not, originally made at Ceske budejovice near Cesky Krumlov, since 1245. Apparently in 1876 a couple of Americans visited and copied this Bohemian beer and you guessed it even pinched the name, bubvar being the German name for budejovice. So there has been a legal battle over the rights to the name. Apparently Chech has some of the best beer in the world, we even rode past Pilsen. So back to Prague, first day went went exploring, walked a million miles, went to Wendslaslas square as in good King Wedslaslas. He died fairly young but apparently he was good, lol. We walked through the old town square did the markets over then along the river, a pretty big day. The next day we went up to the castle and went through it that took till about 1pm, so much to see such incredible history. That night we went on a riverboat cruise up the river, there was a jazz band they were fabulous. Today we left Prague and travelled to Cheb of course we went the long way, through little villages, had trouble finding somewhere for lunch as it was Sunday, we found a little corner store and bought 20 bread rolls cheese and ham for 15 people for about 12 euro, less than $20 Australian , seriously we are being ripped off in Australia. We arrived at Hotel Stein Skalka at about 1/4 to 5 this afternoon , we're here for 2 nights, tomorrow will go to Karlov Vary for a day trip. Most of us have run out of Chech coin so hopefully we can survive with card till we reach Germany. Oh and did I mention I'm over pig , pork ribs, wild boar, pork of all kinds and will be happy not to eat Goulash again for a while not to mention dumplings. All sounds pretty good at first but after a few days, it just doesn't seem to vary much! Time for bed
Be the first to comment
Cath 4 Sep 2016
Gossau to Prague
We left Gossau it started out a foggy morning but by the time we left the day had turned clear and beautiful. Today was a day of missing some places and finding others, the plan was to go through Bad Aussee, I mean seriously how could we ride past a town with that name, but one way or another we missed it. We decided to not back track, and one we went every GPS was wanting to go in a different direction. The long and short of it is we took about 3/4 hour to go about 5kms we went up back alleys and down lanes through the most beautiful little villages, it was an absolute treat. Unfortunately this wasn't getting us to Chech, so we took curvy roads off the GPS and off we went on a straighter road. We had a greAt lunch outside a supermarket, using a trolley for a table, caused a few second glances, let me tell you. That done we head north,we were not sure people what to expect at the border, it was. Non event no gate no yards no nothing. Admittedly we weren't on a main Road. We arrived at hotel relax aft Horni Plana, a great hotel on the Lake. The lake is th dammed Vltauva river. It become the largest skating rink in Eastern Europe in the winter. We left Horni Plana I drove to Cesky Krumlov, where we stopped foyer after hours, what an amazing world heritage town. So beautiful and well kept. The. Vlatava river runs through it as well, it's like a mini Prague. From there it was straight up the the auto Bahn to Prague, and wow Prague is spectacular. Lunch at Cesky Krumlov
1 comments
Cath 31 Aug 2016
Ljubljana to Gossu
So much has happened in the last few days, we arrived in Ljubljana about about 4.30, felt like coming home. Great to come back to the Kmecki Hram, Ales was very welcoming hardly seemed 3 years since we have been here. Went straight to the old town, such a beautiful old town, and such friendly accommodating, people the Slovenes. The weather has been so hot the last couple of days and Ljubljana is no different. The next morning we headed back to town till the others turned up, we found little backstreets we didn't know existed this time and as luck would have it the Ljubljana festival was on so there was a lot of people and market stalls, the place was pumping. The others arrived at lunch time Sunday went to pick up the bikes, had a bit of a stuff up so had to go back at 6.00, put us back a bit but all sorted quickly, Speths car was delivered at 8.30 , so by this time all the others were pretty tired. Left at 8.30 the next morning, had an adventure today Speth and I took an alternate route, the bikes took the road to the south of the Julienne Alps we took the road to the north.......happy days!! We met up with the others at lunch the day just kept getting hotter. We had a bit of an Istanbul moment when we all were separated , we arrived in Spittal in 3 groups over an hour. About an hour before our destination the heavens opened up , it absolutely poured , quite a storm! There certainly is an advantage to being in a car. This morning we left early again it was a beautiful morning, the prediction for the day was not good wet and max. 8 deg. But other than some low cloud the day was perfect. The Grossglockner Pass was great I'm pretty sure a great day was had by all, the road condition was really good, spectacular scenery and best of all no one got lost. I would love to know how many photos have been talked today by our crew. So tonight we are in a little village called Gossau, still in Austria, tomorrow we head into Chech Republic. Let the good times roll.
2 comments
Cathy 27 Aug 2016
Brisbane to Vienna
Our flight didn't start well, Elspeth forgot her backpack and had to go back home to get it. Not the best way to start the trip. Luckily she was back with a little time to spare. Then at Dubai, at security they made me take my watch off to go through the X-ray. Somehow I missed it in the tray. Didn't notice it missing till we were in another terminal, oh joy! The good news is the staff in security were really helpful and took Tony back to pick the watch up, and as with Speth he was back with a little time to spare. So from there on everything has gone very smoothly. The accommodation is great and Vienna is amazing. What a beautiful city! The first night we walked to the old town and had a look around. An early dinner and home for an early night. The next morning we walked down to the Naschmarkt for breakfast, seriously YUM! I didn't think I'd ever eat again, that was until we went to a hot dog stand! And of course couldn't miss out on that, my goodness they have big sausages, Tony was in seventh heaven! We visited the Albertina museum, they had a Monet to Picasso exhibition, that was pretty awesome. Let me tell you we are all over this public transport in Vienna.....at least Speth is, we went on trams buses and the underground, not bad a couple of rookies I say. We went back into town for a Mozart and Strauss concert in the opera house, truly an amazing building , the show was of course was a show for the tourists, the musicians were all dressed in period costumes, who would have thought there was a market for white wigs and brocade fabric, they must buy them by the hundreds. it was a great concert, we all had a great time and surprisingly no one fell asleep, a bit of a concern when we were all so tired. Oh and I forgot to mention dinner, we found a quaint little Peruvian cafe where we had a shared plate of three different things , I don't remember what the other dishes were but One was beef heart skewers, and I kid you not they were delightful, who would have thought it! Today, we tubed it out to Schonbrunn palace, no expenses were spared there. Truly an amazing Rococo building, with lovely gardens. So tomorrow we leave beautiful Vienna and on to Ljubljana all the others are just about to leave Aus in the morning and arrive on Sunday, so let the party begin
Be the first to comment

Archives

  2019
  2018
  2017
  2016
  2015
  2014
  2013