More Berlin and a New Plan

So now I have a new bike we can set off, right?…. Well….. Not quite. We had decided to re-register Pippa in Germany. That way Aidan could insure her here and finally ride again. And it seems we’ll be saving tons on the carnet too. But this also means quite a few hurdles to jump.

For starters she had to be declared compliant with German vehicle laws and roadworthy. In other words a “Vollabnahme” had to be done. It’s like an even stricter version of the TUV! Like a true traveller Pips was scruffy, zip tied and duct-taped in more than one place. The proper Germans would never pass that as safe. So Aidan begrudgingly set about de-ratifying her, removing as many battle scars as he could. And she needed a new headlight for driving on the right hand side of the road. Apparently simply adjusting the settings wouldn’t do if she was to get a German passport. Luckily we found a bargain on Ebay 🙂

Of course it wasn’t all hard work! We had lots of fun too. Nicci flew over from London and we put the greasemonkeying on hold. There was some catching up and drinking to do! We took her straight to the Bei Schlawienchen, a piraty bar where a bunch of very strange guys set the world to rights over a game of table football before inviting us to carry on the party at theirs. Not completely convinced that this was a good idea we opted for a pub crawl instead.

Over the next few days we continued as we’d started and wandered around the city, sampling Berlin’s huge variety of beers, feasting on a long-craved steak, meeting some friends in the park and generally enjoying the wired and wonderful city.

As luck would have it, we were in Kreuzberg for their very own Gay Pride while the main event was going on in the city. The party atmosphere was awesome and even the thunderstorm couldn’t ruin it. We just escaped into a pub for it. Skunk loved it too, sporting a mohawk for the occasion.

Of course we introduced Nicci to our favourite dive, Paul’s Metal Eck, where Silva spent the night head banging to exhaustion.

All too soon Nicci was gone and it was time to resume the travel preparations. Silva needed a helmet as wearing one is mandatory in most countries. The lucky bastard had one custom made!

 

Over time it became clear that our money was running out faster than anticipated. It is amazing how fast it disappears when you’re not working! We wouldn’t be able to afford Southeast Asia anymore. Maybe we could just about get there, but then…. It was a disappointing realisation! 😦 We knew it would come to that one day, but it’s never fun when that day comes around.

So the plans changed once again. We would now head straight to Australia, where a working holiday visa would allow us to earn finance for the onward journey. As consolation we headed to Wilmersdorfer Park, where a bunch of Thai families chef up and sell yummie food super cheap every Sunday. You can even get Chang beer 🙂 Breaking my sticky rice out of the bamboo stick brought back memories of my Thailand trip years ago and made me want to go to Southeast Asia even more! So we promised ourselves we’d go there as soon as we could afford it.

Of course we still had to make the most of the fact that we are in one of Europe’s wickedest cities and so here are lots more pictures of our bumblings.

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