Well, as I said earlier I did cycle all night.
In fact, midnight found me searching for (GCK6WQ) as I spent a whole hour there. At 00:53 I was signing the log. The stupid thing is that the cache was exactly where I searched the first time… but I just didn’t go “deep” enough 😛

If you want to cycle all night, then this part of Germany is the best place to do it! They have the bike lanes at about 2 or 3 meters away from the main road, so it’s more than safe 😀

The road was pretty straight forward after the cache… that is until I got to Rendsburg.

I think I spent an hour going through the city, trying to find the way out to road 77, along which I came here. The problem was that crossing the canal on the route 77 was restricted to bikes so trying to find the bike way to cross was a bit of a problem.
Desperate to find a way, I got to the junction that looked promising… although it was only for cars, I was going to follow it, thinking that eventually there had to be a bike lane next to the road. But right when I wanted to cross the intersection, the police car honked me.
I turned around and went towards them. Without leaving room for them to ask me anything, and of course starting with: “Good morning, do you speak English?” (they did… surprisingly and fortunately!) I asked if they knew how can I get to Hamburg. The guy said ” not through there, cause it’s a highway ” while the woman (driver), extremely surprised, asked: “You wanna go to Hamburg, by bike

Yes, by bike! 

They were nice enough to give some sort of explanations although my question really came to them as a surprise and they had no answer right away… they had to think a while and still did not came with a clear set of directions…
I turned back and went the way I was told and found a nice old man who was walking his dog ( he also witness the whole thing). Kinda strange hour for dog walking, no? Although his English was not that good, we managed to understand each other and he explained that there is a lift that I have to take… to cross the canal. I really was not sure what he meant but I left in the search of anything that looked like an elevator. And there it was… of course I had passed it before, while trying to find my way, but not in a million years I wouldn’t have thought of a elevator since I was searching for a bridge 🙂

Yes, I should have studied more about my itinerary and the caches but since everything was planned so fast, I didn’t really had the time…

Anyway I was lucky to find the guy that works there and he helped me. And so I learned something new this night… crossing a water canal by going under it in a tunnel… in which you descend by elevator… with the bike and trailer…. Nice!

 

03:20 – At the exit from the tunnel (exit from the elevator) I found another cache from my list.

03:33 – finally back on the right road

The day before (although for me it seamed the same day because I hadn’t sleep), when I was leaving Flensburg I found a mp3 player. The music on it gave me the energy for the night and  reminded me of the wonderful years I spent in Iași. Also on it were songs from ABBA and Adele, which went perfect during the night. Finding it was a blessing, it was like a sign, to remind me of some things that were are dear to me… If you lost an mp3 player in Flensburg and you are reading this, don’t hesitate to contact me.

08:30 – finding GC1YHBB – mp3 battery dead after running all night. Thank you for being there!

09:10 – found GC2VNBF and found berries:

I kept wondering why people kept answering my hellos with “Guten Morgen”… But then I realized that it was in fact morning!  It’s so easy to loose track of time when you cycle for a whole night and the sun comes up so early.

13:12 – finding GC21J6K

13:28 – going stealth for a banana… had to give a FAVORITE for this cache! Well done!

Ah, it has been a great day so far. I managed to make good time due to my ‘all night cycling’ and I was getting close to Hamburg.

at 14:30 when I was close to hamburg (just 12 km until the first cache I had on my list in the city) my cycle-computer went wild… start showing me speeds of 90 km/h while standing still. I think he does not appreciate going so long without a stop… it was now almost 24 h since I started.

15:00  – Here I was in Hamburg, trying to find the caches from my list. I forgot to tell you that I had no static maps for my caches so I was kinda going blind trying to find them.

As you might recall from my previous post, while I was in Flensburg I managed to send two couchsurfing requests but didn’t knew if anyone answered. The plan was to find the city center and some shops or shopping malls where I could get some WiFi and check for answers. If I had an answer I figured it was still very early so I had enough time to get to the his/hers address and also do some caches…
But now I was lost in Hamburg. Without a map of the city, with a GPS that does not know the bike ways, with streets that are forbidden for bicycles… and with me tired and dizzy. I was lost and desperate after going around following confusing road signs, dead tired and with a aching pain in my left knee (sideways.. I think the tendons or something like that…) … so I just stopped on a bench somewhere…. somewhere.

I gave up hoping to find some WiFi and because I was desperate to get some rest and to end this long day, I paid money to get some mobile data to check for any answer from couchsurfing. Out of the two requests, only one response. Gunar was very nice in his reply and was welcoming me at his place.  (Thank you again for that) Unfortunately he was living in Quickborn a city almost 30 km away from Hamburg… A city through which I just passed about two hours ago… at 13:49.

Going back was not an option, because I spent so much time and energy to get here. Since the other host didn’t answer in any way and since Gunar didn’t know any other host close to me or on my way, the only option available for me was to keep going on, although I was exhausted.
I had to get out of the city and find a camping place.

Well, it’s easier said than done…

My GPS app was not of help since it does not know bike paths, I had no maps on the geocaching app because of the lack of internet and the road signs were showing everything but what I was looking for so I just wondered around the city, trying to find the bike way out of it. I even tried to use Google maps, since it was his fault for being there. I paid money for roaming mobile data to get a map towards the road that I was looking for and the path indicated looked very promising. I followed it with full confidence until I ended up in a park with only one entrance. Google Maps was showing a road straight ahead… but there was none there! So yeah… big help! NOT!
At some point I passed beneath a canal (the same way as in Rendsburg the night before, so this time I wasn’t that surprised )

 

After getting out of the elevator from the canal I ended up in some kind of suburb of Hamburg and I felt more lost than ever. I even ended up in an area similar to Vollsmose in Odense (for who knows what I’m talking about) so a bit of panic came into my mind. That is not a place I would like to get stuck in the night… Although I really was tired and in pain from the knee, I had to keep going and just get out of this place.

In the end, it was the GPS app that got me out of the city and although I was in a very low state mentally and physically, I managed to find a cache from my list… which actually was the only one in Hamburg: GC1M32C

On the road shown now by the GPS I found a Shell Station…. Thank God the guy there spoke a bit of English. He was nice enough to refill my water bottles and also allow me to recharge my phone a bit.  (As I was entering the gas station I saw some power outlets near the door so I asked for permission to charge my phone).

 Although I needed to recharge both my phone and the power bank, I did not spend to much time there because it was getting dark and I did not feel safe at all… I needed to be somewhere else when the night falls. The battery was at 30% when I left. That had to be enough for now because I really needed to find a camping place before getting dark

Getting back on the road; at about 22:20 I was happily passing by the sign showing the exit from Hamburg. You have no idea how relieved I felt.  On the same road there was a Hotel/Restaurant. I was thinking about getting a room and solve my problems, calm down, charge my batteries… all my batteries… I got in and the guy there did not speak English! That really pissed me off so I just left! Seriously? At a hotel in/near such a big and well-known city the staff does not speak English? Shame!!

 I got back on the road until I reached a crossroads. On the right side of the road  there was a forest. The left side was just a field. Forward there was some kind of agricultural thing… I really was not in the mood to take either left or right because I was afraid to not take a wrong road. There was still some light outside so I could have searched for a better place, but what if there wasn’t one? I did not want to take that chance so I decided to camp there, in that small forest. Maybe not the best place ever, but I did not care at this point!

And so, I spent nearly 7 hours going like crazy through Hamburg… I had lost all the time I had won by going all night or maybe even more….

Time to get some rest!

Why stay at home when the road is so beautiful?