Thursday 5th August to Thursday 12th August
Thursday 5th August
Headed further south in Austria, through the countryside stopping in a town called Grein on the Danube river.
We seem to have met this mighty river a few times in our journey through Eastern Europe and here it pops up again! In Grein we headed for the tourist office but found it closed for lunch for two hours! Oh yeah we are back in Western Europe! When it opened we wished we hadn’t bothered to wait, as the person behind the desk was useless! We wanted information and a camping road map of Austria, the Tourist offices were supposed to have. We left with a rubbish leaflet in Austrian on hotels! Anyway we decided we would find another office with hopefully a more intelligent member of staff in another town.
We continued south and by evening ended up in a town called Molin on the edge of some mountains and a national park. There we found a small car park off the road, looking over a meadow and forests with the mountains in the background. We sat and watched three deer popping out the tree’s to eat the grass in the meadow, lovely.
Friday 6th August
Headed into the town and to the tourist office to find some information on the park and places to park and walk. This time the person in the office was very helpful and provided some information, although we have noticed so far they hardly have any info in English! We did find out though apart from the deer, they have some wild bear and some wild Lynx! Anyway map in hand we ventured off into the Kalkapen park and down a small road that turned into a track, before finishing in a car park. It was lovely surrounded on all sides by mountains and thick forest, even the sun was trying to come through the clouds!
We headed off on a walk into the hills and forests and got to a lovely meadow with great views of the mountains, although clouds obscured the tops.
On the way back we encountered some strangely horned black sheep, but no bears!
Then we spotted this strange little creature darting around the plants sucking up the juices! It looked like a tiny humming bird, but was so small we don’t know if it’s the world’s smallest bird or some sort of bug?!?!
Saturday 7th August
Woke up to a wet miserable day! It’s amazing how much the weather affects your mood. I suppose though when living in a vehicle there’s not much to do when it’s raining outside! We had planned to walk up one of the mountains today, but that was now off. Well I suppose perfect weather to get up to date with this blog!
Coming into Austria with our money running low, we started a new plan for budgeting. We worked out with the amount of weeks and money we had left, what we had to live on for a week! This would be food and fuel and anything else. Most of the time the fuel would always be the most expensive cost anyway. So from now on if we got low on fuel, we would just stay around where we were till the next week! This way we would actually be able to stick to our budget. We had already spent this week’s money on food and fuel though, the food being fine as we were now stocked up. The problem was we had used half the fuel to get to where we were now, so we would not be journeying a great distance further!
We probably should have done something like this ages ago really. We had always kept track of money, but it was always so easy to just drive miles and miles especially with the amount of countries we wanted to visit. Fuel had always been the most expensive cost, but now we would just not go anywhere when it was low! Only problem that left was making sure we were somewhere nice to spend a few days when we had a low tank!
Sunday 8th August
The sun was out today, but we needed to make a move because we had run out of water! From our camperstop book we found an aire with water and electric further south, in a town called Vordernberg. It was a long drive and by the time we got there we were very low on fuel! In fact we had to put an extra €10 in the tank, going over our previously planned budget! We had a walk around the pretty town and then settled down in the aire for the night.
Monday 9th August
After a visit to the tourist office, we set off to the ski station just before the town of Vordernberg. We now had a small map and decided as the rain had ceased we would take a walk up the mountain. We parked Hymer at the ski station and set off up the mountain.
It was a good steep walk up to the top, where there was a ridge between a few other peaks. Sitting down next to the cows up there, we took in the views.
After headed back down to the aire, we were set to use the boiler for a shower. But as always seems the case it decided it didn’t want to work! The flame wouldn’t light, so after trying a few times and reading the manual we found it could be one of a few things! Something to sort out another time! Also with the age of this motorhome it could just be down to some accumulated dirt getting into the ignition spark of the boiler! Sometimes these things would sort themselves out over a few bumpy roads, otherwise those same bumpy roads would cause the problem!
Tuesday 10th August
From a map showing places of interest, we decided to head further on, to an Emerald green lake in the mountains near the town of Tragob. When we arrived there we found the car park had no camping signs and was paying! So we couldn’t or wouldn’t be parking there! We drove away up a hill trying to find something else and found a small lay-by next to a stream, around the corner from the village. Off came the bikes and we headed down to the lake to take a look around. The lake was green and in a beautiful setting, nestled at the foot of mountains. Well Austria is full of them!
Wednesday 11th August
Set off again towards the town of Murzsteg, to a beautiful mountain road we had heard about. So far the whole plan of staying in one place wasn’t really working out! When we arrived to start the mountain road, we were dismayed to find a barrier and a payment machine! It was €5 and this for us was too much to spend on a drive. Our money was low and we shouldn’t even be spending it on Petrol all the time, let alone €5 just to drive the road! Disappointed we turned and headed away, stopping by the side of the road for a bite to eat.
Austria is beautiful but we were bored, we couldn’t put our finger on what the problem was but we couldn’t decide on what to do! Our budget was really only allowing us the fact that we really needed to stay around Austria or Germany till we headed up to Amsterdam and back home. I think the weather wasn’t helping us, it was August but cold and the rain just kept coming! We were both wondering did we really want to spend our final couple of months like this? We kept thinking we wanted sun and the sea, but the only real option was Italy. It would cost to get there and back, also Italy wasn’t the cheapest! It was stick it out like this or maybe even head home, the problem was we had already booked the ferry tickets for end of October! Either way we didn’t seem to be enjoying ourselves at present, maybe we needed a break from this travelling lark!
We headed back west into the Naturschutz-Bebiet National park, looking for a place to park for the night. We eventually found a nice lay-by next to a flowing river and settled down. Just in time as the rain came down very heavy, taking us back to our earlier thoughts of sun and sea! We resolved that we would find some internet tomorrow and research free parking spots by the sea in Tuscany and how many miles it would be and cost us!
Thursday 12th August
Spent most of the day sat in an Aldi car park by MacDonald’s, picking up their free wifi and searching the net. We also had the idea of finding some organic farms to stay at in Italy and work. The main scheme is WWOOF, basically you work on an organic farm or some sort of green project, stay there for free and normally get food, but no money. It would suit us perfectly and it would actually be nice to get some work in. After a lot of searching the only problem was that all the websites wanted money! It would be for a year or two years subscription, but we didn’t have it spare to pay out! Maybe we would find something when we were there.
After we decided we would rather have less money in the sun and by the sea, than stay in wet Austria! Austria was supposed to have been a place that was easy to park up in and we could enjoy the summer in the hills. But it had turned out we were constantly driving around trying to find somewhere and the rain would only break for a day then continue, it was depressing us! It is a beautiful country and all you expect it to be with the mountains and houses. I don’t know maybe it was the weather clouding our judgement but we just got very bored here. The place seemed too nice and every town looked the same. At that moment in time I think we were just bored, with the country, with the travelling, with the weather and probably with each other!
For the present we continued on west to a lake by the town of Hallstatt, on arriving we were greeted with no motorhome signs and paid parking! Further on round though we found some parking beside the lake and settled down, just as the heavens opened! That was it, we decided we would head off to Italy tomorrow, hopefully for better weather and some happiness!