Pedestrian area

Breakfast was excellent and abundant to everyone’s liking. After we all fought our battles with yesterday’s Diavola pizzas we paid our rooms, packed our gear and set off to Murau.
We woke up to a cloudy sky for a change. As they forecasted rain we all dressed accordingly. As the temperature was pretty high (26 degrees) it didn’t take long before we all got enough of our rainsuits (there wasn’t a single drop of rain…). 


We only rode 40 km when we stopped for fuel and we removed the unwanted layer. Our next stop was at lunchtime when we found a restaurant by the side of the road that welcomed bikers. We took the menu of the day: roast beef, French fries and salad topped with apple crumble as dessert which was a welcome change after all the pizza we ate. 

We were about to leave when the skies opened up. In a second everyone disappeared from the terrace except for us. We thought it will pass so we sat sipping the drinks and coffees we have ordered. Within half an hour the rain stopped so we wiped off the bikes and set off. While riding we were constantly monitoring the bikers coming from the other direction to see if they wore rainsuits or if they were wet. Unfortunately we soon ran into a raincloud so we stopped by the side of the road to dress up again. It stopped within 10 minutes so we were again feeling like puddings on our bikes. At the next fuel stop we again took off the covers which made it more comfortable.
We rode on towards Merano where we were again tricked by the GPS. I wanted to take the passo Giovo towards Austria so we needed to turn North at Merano. While we were using all our skills to ride through the noon traffic jam in the city I didn’t check the signs and let myself be led by the unit. I was focused to make sure we fit through the cars and everyone sticks together as traffic lights were coming one after the other. I didn’t realise that we were entering the pedestrian zone. Although Csabi sounded a bit nervous in the intercom as he told me that signs forbid entry in this area. By then I understood his worries. Imagine a 4 meter wide alley full of cafes and related tables full of tourists and locals (and a lot of pedestrians) as six fully loaded bikes try to go though. Some even cam out of the shops and cafes to scream at us that we shouldn’t be here. Everyone from the team thought I am out of my mind but they still followed me. As a result of the nervy atmosphere we turned the bikes around and traced back our steps.

Back to the traffic and the main street. We managed to find the correct way and were heading in the right direction. This road is also fabulous but still far from the Stelvio both in terms of height and beauty but also in difficulty even though there are loops aplenty. 
Once in Austria we rode by the Mastatter See towards Turrach. We planned to go through the Nockalmstrasse. We came here in May this year but needed to turn back from the top as there was 50 cm of snow on the road. unfortunately we weren’t lucky this time either. It was 18.25 by the time we made it there and the road closes at 18.00. What a disappointment. We should have made some research before… As the gates were open Ocsi tries to persuade everyone to go through. We might just bullshit something to the police should we run into them. But no one would tempt the faith and we were satisfied to go through Turracher Hohe as well as it is also a perfect road. We decided to come back tomorrow before leaving home. 
As Ocsi didn’t agree with the rest of us and was pretty pissed off he raced in front. We could hardly catch him. He finally slowed at Turrach. From there on we all pushed it hard – except for John – and were keeping together. Attila and I got stuck behind a car for two turns but that was enough for the others to have such an advantage that we only caught up with them at the end of the road. On the way down we easily did 150-160 km/h with the fully loaded bikes and I found out that your centre stand can leave a mark in the tarmac…
At the end of the section we waited for John then took road no 97 to Murau. Everyone calmed down by then so we rode at normal pace. In Murau we fuelled up the machines and went to the Hotel Alpin. 
As usual the staff was very welcoming and greeted us like friends. They were sitting on the terrace as we arrived. While we parked the bikes they brought us beers and we joined them. We received our keys and took turns went for shower in turns while we also placed the order for dinner. 
Soup, meat and potatoes and ice cream for €9. It felt great after a week of pizzas. 
We spent dinner with other bikers chatting and discussing the various experiences and stories. We then went to the Internet room to check out the pictures a photographs took on the col du Galibier. We asked him where and how we could get the pics and he gave us the address. He made pictures of everyone. Some of us had even more than one pic. 

It is time for a rest now. Tonight we will fall asleep to the quiet rumble of the river Mur. Good night!
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