Sunday, August 08, 2004

7/8/04 Klix and Far Beyond

After this we were packing up to go and Benno, who had his ASH25 (D-KHOL) at Klix for the last few days offered to take me along (to where ever he was going) to help with trailers and stuff. Sounds like an adventure to me, in I get. Everyone else was to finish up and meet us tonight where we land. So off we went, leaving the ground at about 14:00. After a flight of 3:44 and 430 km we come to a stop and both of us climb out. Fliegerheim Ummern looks a bit deserted. Benno rings Helge to find that they haven't even left Klix yet due to Sabine being stung by a wasp and needing to go to the hospital. So, we decide to go and get Benno’s trailer, car and caravan without the others. They equipment is at Lusse, about 160km as the crow flies, back where we came from. There doesn't appear to be anyone at the clubhouse. Benno wanders off to the other end of the airfield to see who he can find while I wait by the glider.
The world is a small place(2). While I wait a younger lady with two small children pulls up. Me being the consummate communicator, point to my tee shirt (which has kangaroos on it) and proudly announce “ich bin Australianer”. To which she replies, “hello, my name’s Molly and I’m from Perth”. Very deflating. It turns out she is married to an Italian friend of Bennos who is down at the other end of the field. We go to their caravan where Benno gets some coffee or similar. I tend not to drink hot drinks so I don’t have any. Eventually Benno manages to borrow his friend’s car and we head off back to Lusse. It is an Audi Quattro and we manage to get to 250 (!!) kph on the autobahn. At Lusse we have to clean up Benno’s camp site and rearrange the trailer and caravan loading. Benno gets the Audi and the glider trailer, I get Benno’s Volkswagen and his caravan. After taking our farewells we head off the airfield, me following Benno, but before we have gone a few km, Benno pulls over to a pension he knows where we get tea. I don’t argue as it’s been a long day and I haven’t had anything substantial yet. As we sit in the courtyard and have a pleasant three course meal the sun goes down. 22:00 and another 160km to get back to Ummern. Before we head off Benno comments about us towing the trailers so we will use less fuel. The statement seems illogical to an Australian driver. When you tow something the fuel consumption always goes up, however, Benno is right from his German perspective. With trailers on we can’t exceed 100 kph which means we use less fuel as we are forced to go slow. This is just as well as the Volksy is a bit low on petrol and the fuel light comes on while I am out on the Autobahn. Eventually after a missed stop I get to a convenient fuel station and we are able to top it up. A new and crazy experience driving alone, late at night through Germany, no real idea where I am and my only clue is Benno’s trailer. Sometimes in front in the little country roads, sometimes behind on the Autobahn. Benno only has one tape in his car, which is a badly done copy of gliding songs. Humourous the first time but after listening to it three times over I have had enough. Trying to get radio stations to listen to on the radio I am amazed at just how like they are to Australian stations, even to the same promo slogans in English. Long, long past midnight we get back to Ummern. No crew here either. I find an old ragged blanket, kick my shoes off and curl up on a mattress in my clothes.
A long day that one.

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