Days 505 & 506 Lodz – Berlin (Germany) / motorbike GS Dakar RTW overland adventure traveller

  • Left – 10.45am
  • 22nd & 23rd August 2015
  • Miles rode – 291 (466km)

Motorways all day!

Dull, dull, boring, boring, tolls, fast cars. I had the option not to go on the motorways but I wanted to get to Berlin without an early start. Yes, my fault.

At 4pm I crossed into Germany, there couldn’t be any mistaking I had arrived in ‘The engine room of Europe’ with 50 of the biggest wind turbines just over the border. 100km to Berlin.

When I was in Australian some people warned me about the dangers of overtaking the ‘roadtrains’, lorries which can be over 50metres long. Riding past these is a ‘piece of cake’ compared to overtaking a lorry 1/3rd of the size in Germany. I check my mirror and I see a speck in the distance which I assume is a car, I then indicate and just before I pull out I check my mirror again and there is a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW or Porsche metres away, how could they have covered that distance in such little time? Because they are reckless and go a zillion KM/hour! These super cars hunt in packs, for a few minutes I’m alone and then 3, 4, 5 or 6 of them zoom past practically bumper to bumper. I need to be careful I thought.

I arrived in Berlin and stayed for the weekend, rest and a night out was required. Micha & Annika let me stay at their place and as is always the case they were wonderful and so hospitable, they allowed a stranger into their home, trusted me and when I left gave me food and drink. People are wonderful.

It’s all about the people.

Over the past 4 days I travelled 1,260 miles (2,000km) which was tiring but also gave me valuable time to reflect upon the last year & half and consider what life at home may feel like. I am really looking forward to seeing my son Olly, family & friends and then… and then I wasn’t sure, I found it hard to imagine how I would feel without an income, without a home, without new countries, people & experiences. There would be no need to apply for visas, find currency exchange, look for somewhere to sleep, eat, ask for directions. No travel planning, blogging, uploading photos & videos. Life would be different.

Life will be good because I’m a planner and will do what’s required to ensure this new chapter in my life will give me the feelings I want. The good news is I know all of the ingredients, Beth & Olly, family, friends, community, Jess (my lovely dog), home, further travel, a modest income, good food & drink. Not complicated, not unrealistic, roll on…

I am aware though that whilst the outlook is sunny there will be some gloomy times ahead. If you get a text at 10am on a cold Monday morning from me saying “hi” I’m probably feeling ‘gloomy’, if you’re not working and want a coffee that would be perfect.

I’m a believer in good clear communication, so here we go – I want to hear from you. Text, message, mail or phone me, I want to drink coffee, beer & wine with you, eat food with you and most of all talk to you. I may need you more than you realise in the coming months.

Continuing with the ‘no lonely planet’ and avoiding tourist places I stayed in the ‘Prenzlauer Berg’ district of Berlin all weekend, another cool area just off the centre of the city.


10 Responses

  1. It will hit you. Maybe not immediately, perhaps even a month or two later, and it will probably come in increasing waves, but once you are home and the journey is over an intense emotional sensation will rear its head. Perhaps it’s just reality hitting home, and a strange sense of loss of the freedom of being on the road.

    When it’s gone there remains a part of you that will always want to be travelling.

    Good luck with it. I’m still dealing with mine

  2. Thanks Greg, wise words. I’ve travelled before but never on a motorbike, the freedom is so different to all other kinds of travel. I’m sure my travelling days aren’t over.

  3. You know you’re always welcome to call at my house, For food, Drink and a place to put your head down Dan.

    Last time I saw you your dream was to retire in five years and travel the world, Well you have done that and as I have followed you on your adventure all the way through I have become prouder and prouder of you.

    You have grown from a youthful fire cracker (get the facts) when you joined me at Nilfisk into a “King of the Road” a man that now understands that all things are get able if you really put your mind to it and plan as much as you can, You are the envy of a lot of people that maybe just maybe thinking I can follow that example and realize my dreams and aspiration’s, And with your superb example and achievement that will give them the driving force that’s needed to be a Dan Skeates mark two or three or even more.

    I can not say much more than I’m so proud of you Dan, And thank you for carrying a little of me on your long journey.


  4. Dan be safe and you look like you are missing everyone from your home and community, I can feel this because I’ve also been away from my community and family for some time that sometimes hurt and sometimes made me sad.
    Best of luck for your new life (what you are planning about).I met you for just a few moments but still you live in my mind, I still have your sticker I keep it as a sovenier from you. You are a very nice man.Have a safe journey and Say hello to everyone your kids and friends
    Take care