Training Day – Kalmit Mountain

Hi everybody. This is our first post. Today I write in English, since we have some non German friends and family members and also want to show this website to people we meet during our journey around the world. I will always at least leave an English summary, but the main posts will probably be in German.

I just set up the software an hour ago, so there will be changes, but we are trying to get used to administrating it and want to give you an early opportunity to visit our website and give some feedback.

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This first post is about our tour to the Kalmit Mountain in Pfälzer Wald. We already did other tours around Mannheim, but this time we were fully equipped, with the panniers attached to the front and rear wheel. We carried the tent, the camping burner, some gasoline, sleeping bags and mattresses, all clothes, 10 Liters of water and much more to get a feeling for the fully loaded bicycles and the kind of life we will live for quite a long time. So of course we also wanted to camp in the forest.

Usually it is forbidden to camp in Pfälzer Wald, but the national park authorities prepared some quite remote „wild“ camping sites. The GPS coordinates of these sites you can purchase via their website. It’s a good opportunity to camp in the Pfälzer Wald, but still help protect this unique national park.

So here is the tour:

Fully equipped and under rather bad conditions we start towards Pfälzer Wald on November 29th. The temperature is below zero. Luckily it doesn’t rain.

First we cross the Rhine river to Ludwigshafen. The Garmin GPS then guides us out of the city. We purposely ignore all road signs to see how well the GPS is giving directions. I think we can rely on it, in case we need to find an embassy or consulate in a foreign city.

We leave Ludwigshafen and cross some huge fields on very muddy roads. Packed with all the equipment, the bikes get really shaky and feel more like they are made of rubber. It is a challenge to keep the balance.

We cycle via Haßloch, were I got a restaurant recommended. So we have lunch there and spend some time to get warm again. However, since the sun sets early we soon have to get back on the bikes and towards Kalmit Mountain.

We soon reach Maikammer at the foot of mountain. Now a 500m climb to the top and we are at our destination. We slowly but steadily gain meter by meter until we finally reach the camping place. Soon it is getting dark. We prepare some tea only to find out some gasoline leaked into the tea pot. So we can’t drink it. But Cora fills her hot-water bottle, which I think makes the night a bit more comfortable for her.

The wood is too wet to make a bonfire, so we early go inside the tent.

The night is really cold (-5 °C). Take a look at the ice on the bikes. After all, this was basically also a test for the equipment. We learned that Cora needed a better sleeping bag.

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During the night at around 0:30am we hear some voices. You need to know that the camping spot is quite remote and we are pretty surprised that people are actually coming to this same spot in the middle of the night. But they are probably more shocked when they suddenly realized, that they are not alone. After they see our bicycles and tent they go quiet for a second……but then offer Glühwein.

Anyway, after little sleep we get up as soon as the sun is about to rise. We drink some tea (without gasoline), pack our tent and are ready to go. After a freezing downhill from Kalmit Mountain we finally find a cozy cafe in Neustadt and soon feel the warmth coming back to fingers and toes.

We decide not to cycle back to Mannheim and instead take the train. That’s why the GPS track ends in Neustadt.

Our first tour went pretty well. We also tested the OmniFuel camping burner for the first time. It can burn gasoline, diesel, kerosene, gas and some other stuff. That will help us in countries where there is no access to special camping fuel or gas. Our GPS got powered by the build in dynamo of our front wheel. This worked OK, but as you can see in the map above, there were times, when the power wasn’t constantly available, so that’s why there are some gaps in the track.

Find out more about us and the route we are planning to travel here: