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German National Rally 2000


Continued on from Anita & Peter and the Dutch Rally:-

The English convoy; Anita & Pete’s van, our Winnebago and trailer, Robin & Anita’s Indians, Pete’s TAG (twist and go) and my Suzuki all strapped down.  Off we go to the German rally at Ronneburg.  Only took one wrong turning on the journey, which we think was very good. 

Arrived on the Wednesday, the castle and the views from the top of the hill were breathtaking.  The castle, which was the site of the rally, was at the top of a big hill, with a narrow and windy road up to it.  We parked up on a flat area just short of the castle.  The remainder of the way to the castle was up a very steep drive.  There was a large flat area under the castle walls, which was to be the site of the Marquee.  Being early on site we had lots of room to spread out before the Germans came and put their towels down.

We had an added bonus of Para gliders taking off on the hilltop next to us.  One did it all wrong, caught out by the wind, and went over a barbed wire fence and could not stop running when his feet touched the ground.  It was so funny, when he did manage to stop and we stopped laughing we went over to him to see if he was OK, which he was.

Uwe (Uva to us, or Hoover when we’re drunk) was very busy putting up the Marquee and organising where this huge oven/BBQ was to be sited, and bringing water hoses and electric cables down from the castle.  First Anita, Pete, Robin and the loudest German on site (who we nicknamed Crazy Horse because he was crazy, funny & strong) had to move an old tractor, which was difficult because the brakes were stuck on.  That evening we all sat around the campfire, drinking and talking.  Claude & Roly had arrived by then as well as Hans & Lia.  Roly’s boys made sure the campfire was kept alight day and night.

Crazy Horse has a mate we nicknamed Cheers as Anita taught him one English word and he caught on quickly.  Cheers was changing the gearing on his chief, Robin lent him a special socket he had made up, when he had finished it was dark.  He then went and road tested his bike and from our vantage point from the castle we could see his Indian “candle” headlight disappearing in the dark distance.

Woke up to lovely warm sunshine, got geared up, got the bikes out and we four headed off to explore.  We rode on a very smooth and windy road to Budingen.  We came across a Harley Davidson shop called Boot Hill; the owner of the shop was really interested in the Indians.  Carried on riding, came to a town (don’t know where) found an ice cream parlour as the warm morning turned to a hot afternoon.  Great ice cream, about a foot tall and very welcome.  Back to camp on that lovely road, marquee up now complete with boarded floor and more people have arrived now.

Friday, people arriving all the time, we have neighbours now, close neighbours.  Us four, Claude, Roly, Hans & Lia go to Budingen for a ride, this time we find the old town of Budingen which was very interesting but we lost Hans & Lia after the first set of traffic lights.  Pete shot off on his TAG to find them, he was gone so long we thought we had lost Pete, but Pete is like a homing pigeon he always comes back, but alone, Hans & Lia had gone off into the unknown.  Had a great day nosing around.  Back to camp, had a good meal of sourcroute (English spelling) and dumplings and a good Indian evening, lots of bikes, mostly chiefs and all good looking (Pete will polish Anita’s Indian again, he loves polishing and we call him TAG-WITH-A-RAG).

Saturday.  After a German breakfast of eggs and bacon we start preparing for the ride out, which takes a few trips up the hill to the castle to find Uva.  Pete’s TAG was so useful to go up the hill and down again, with messages like “is the shower working?  Yes, but Uva has the key!” and “what time is the ride out?”  First was the swap meet, browsing around Tony Leenes’ stand, then Hans’, Claude’s, Jurgen’s and some more we did not know.  We then had lunch.  Now at least one hundred Indians, we four are the only English, there were quite a few Swiss and Andrew Blake the Australian Frenchman with his son. 

About 3.00 o’clock off we go.  I went on the back of Pete on TAG so I could do some videoing.  It was a very fast rally; we got split up into 3 parties.  Our party went down the mother of all hills only to discover we had to return up the mother of all hills to get back on track.  It was a good job Wolfgang found us, he knew the area so we just followed.  It was a very good, enjoyable ride out and we all met up again at the fuel station in Budingen on the way back to Ronneburg and bought all the ice creams the garage had I think.

Back at the castle in the evening we had a great B.B.Q. and band.  The band leader looked like Leo Sayer, tight trousers & afro hair, good music and he was a good singer but he did get upset when a woman got up and started singing.  The rest of the band went along with her and the audience really rocked and applauded her and called out for more, you can understand how he felt.  A lot of people thought Robin was rocking when all of a sudden he jumped up stamping loudly on the wooden floor, it turned out he was trying to stamp on a huge moth.  Later on he was rocking and we had a few dances and smooches (SEE THERE IS LIFE IN THE OLD DOG YET!!).  Crazy Horse was very quite that night, we asked Uva why and learnt his wife had come along that evening and Crazy Horse was tamed, for a few hours anyway.  It was a really happy friendly evening, lots of fun had by all.  Uva and his friends had worked so hard and it paid off.  Good food, good music, good friends, all makes a good rally.  We all slept well, as you do when you have had a good night before (THAT’S THE CIDER LINDA! – Anita)

Anita and I went and looked around the castle the next day, we went into one room when two men approached us and one was admiring my tapestry bag.  They spoke very little English but made themselves clear that they make such bags in their homeland.  An offer of a guided tour, which could not be politely refused, took us to the old kitchens of the castle and invited to sit.  We started to think this was not a good idea and I said to Anita “how do we get out of this one?” so we just smiled, waved and walked off.  Then, almost every room we went into they would appear from somewhere, and offer us coffee (it turned out they were Curds who were working in the castle as decorators) we then made them think that we were a couple as in “together” and guess what, we did not see them again.

Sunday, after breakfast we started saying our goodbyes, which took a few hours after chatting to everybody.  It was now really hot so we put the air conditioning on in the camper and ended up with lots of sweaty Indian riders in the camper sampling English tea and cooling down.  Cheers said he really liked English tea, when I asked him if he wanted sugar, he said “no thank you I will have honey instead”.  Can’t imagine what that must taste like. YUK. YUK.  We eventually left early evening for the homeward journey.


Lynda Oakley (aka Nanny No-Good) & Daddy Oakley


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