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Eastern Europe Trip

A year of adventure and misfortune - the story of our Eastern Europe trip, the accident and subsequent recovery, and our lives up until September 2008... For the latest blog, click on Blogs in the header...

Saturday, 18 August 2007


Day 9 – Brno

It rained in the night, but has stopped now, and whilst it’s not as hot and sunny as it was, it’s still pretty warm. We woke early and made a cup of coffee whilst formulating the plan of attack. Tracy is very reluctant to wear her bike boots again, as her foot is still playing up, but our need to get the tyres sorted means that she needs to. So, once again I’ve watched her grimace in pain as she forces her over-sized foot into her boot and then gets on her bike. With the sat nav programmed with the address of the Ducati dealer, we rode into Brno and apart from a couple of wrong-turnings, we found it without too much difficulty. We got there just before 9am, so had to wait until opened at 9.30am. When the mechanic turned up, he spoke a little English and we managed to communicate our needs, he said there might be a problem as the rear tyre size was not one they normally have in stock (odd, as the Ducati Monster is their best-selling bike in Europe!), but he went to look anyway. A few minutes later he re-appeared with 2 Pirelli Diablo tyres in Lydia’s size. He then proceeded to wheel her into the service bay, where he and a fellow mechanic got on with the job of removing both wheels and changing the tyres. Shortly after they started a couple of Czech bikers arrived and started watching proceedings… guess it’s not every day they see a GB registered bike being re-booted…

Lydia gets her new boots

With the tyres fitted and paid for, we rode back to camp, via the supermarket where we bought a few supplies for later on. Back at camp we parked Lydia under the tree, and rode 2-up to find the race circuit. Where in England the circuits are very well sign-posted, in Brno, the circuit is not. We rode round for what seemed like ages, following the sat-nav to the address on the back of the tickets, which turned out to be a small housing estate – although there was a small contingent of security officials guarding a grassy car-park and directing a few people up the road on foot… As this didn’t look like the main entrance, we rode round some more, eventually finding ourselves at a large car and bike park, with signs to “paddock” and “circuit”. Result. We then wandered to the main gate, and entered the circuit, flashing our tickets and being waved through. Here, we bought an official programme, which showed the circuit layout – we were now behind the paddock on the start-finish straight, where there are paid-for grandstands. It was then that I remembered I’d booked tickets for a grandstand – only ours was at the opposite end of the circuit.

So we opted to familiarise ourselves a bit more with the circuit and walked back out of the gate (it’s not possible to walk around inside, like at most circuits), and then right round to the first grassy seating area where we re-entered the circuit, grabbed a beer, and went to watch proceedings from the top of the hill. We watched the tail-end of the 125cc first qualifying, and the MotoGP practice, ate a disgusting hot-dog (seems it’s not just the British circuits that can’t do decent fast-food, although it was much cheaper), and then wandered back to the bike. We think we’ve sussed out how to get to our grandstand for tomorrow’s qualifying session, but we’ll have to see.

Now we’re back at camp, and no sooner had we arrived and taken the opportunity to shower, than it’s started to rain again. And it’s really raining… so we’re inside the tent, Tracy’s reading her book, and I’m typing this up, so I can quickly transfer it onto the website when we next get to civilisation… hope the rain stops before tomorrow…

With no sign of the rain stopping, we decided to cook our evening meal in the tent… One of the reasons we opted for the Hilleberg Nallo 3GT tent was its spacious porch area, which is big enough to hold the panniers and leave most of the floor-space free for other purposes – in this case playing host to our stoves – on which I prepared and cooked Hot Tuna… and it tasted every bit as good as it does when I cook it back home, and we didn’t set fire to the tent or do any damage at all… so that’s another question answered – we really can prepare and cook a meal inside the tent when it is pouring with rain outside!

Paul tries onions for eyes…

Cooking inside the tent during a storm…

It didn’t stop raining for some time, so following our meal we sat reading our books until the light faded and we fell asleep…

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