Day 16 – A Circle Doesn‘t Have To Be Round

The last day of the Baltic Sea Circle 2018 started with glorious sunshine and we had a coffee next to the water.

We then had proper breakfast together with Peter and Torsten from MNK47. Peter made some scrambled eggs from all the eggs they had left from their journey. Must have been 10 or so…
Then packing up camp for a last time. This time we took our sleeping gear, bags, pillows etc. from the tent and put everything into the boot in order not to have to open the tent again when we were unpacking at home in Hamburg.

We thought we had enough time to take the scenic route to Hamburg via Swinoujscie/Swinemünde and take one last ferry to enter Germany via the island of Usedom.
But one thing became clear, life is what happens while you’re making other plans.
While we were going up the road there was suddenly a noise and we thought it was one of the panels that we had taped previously that had become loose again. So we taped it again. We thought we were alright but after not too long a while the noise was back. We stopped again and saw that one of the plastic panels from the car’s undercarriage appeared to have come undone. Jörg was then trying to get underneath the car to apply duct tape as a temporary fix and did as best as he could, thus soiling his shirt that he had saved for the last day.

Having lost almost 45 minutes, we calculated that the planned route would now consume too much time and turned around to take the motorway so that we could be at the finish line in time.

We then had a bit of a disagreement on how fast we should go with the loose panel. Jörg, being the pilot at that time set the cruise control on 130km/h against Franz’s preference and we were gliding through a lovely summer’s day into Germany towards Berlin. At a not so smooth section of the motorway we heard a noise immediately followed by a small bump and we could see the evil panel in the rear view mirror sliding across the motorway.
Well, that at least settled the speed discussion.

Having passed Berlin we were on the home stretch but were hitting quite a few and also some quite long construction areas and got into a jam that took away another 45 minutes. But we read from the other teams who had taken the more northerly route that they had a jammed section that took at least an hour.

It was a bit of an odd mood that we were in on this last stretch. 16 exciting days full of sights, views, people, events, discussions, laughs and banter and endless hours of driving lay behind us. Our spirits were high and full with impressions and memories. However with the finish line coming closer there was also a bit of a feeling of emptiness creeping up. How would we feel when we were back to our every day life? Would we be different? Would we cope with predictability and normality?
We will see.

We then came close to Hamburg and it looked like that we would make the finishing time between 16 and 17h. In fact we arrived again in the port of Hamburg, where we had started 15 days earlier at 15:55. Jörg’s aunt Carmen was expecting us and taking pictures and we were then joined by our girls Anne and Daniela a bit later.

We were then greeting the other teams that were there already and those that were arriving after us. 2 hours later we left the venue, drove back home, unpacked, started the first washing machines.
Later that evening we concluded this adventure with a lovely dinner with our girls.

We’ve now completed the circle around the Baltic Sea.
The circle is not round, not perfect but complete and it for sure made us a bit more complete.

We had to drive 8076 km to achieve this task.
The Fat One drank about 900 litres of fuel while carrying us safely and comfortably on even the roughest roads. We haven’t counted our consumption of booze and sweets, meat, fish and potatoes but you can rest assured we didn’t hold back on anything.

And we are thankful, very thankful.
First and foremost we are full of thanks and love for our girls who let us go on this trip and had to endure our exciting stories while they were holding the fort back at home. Not always easy…we know.

Then we are thankful for our sponsors, especially the Garagist for preparing the car.
And we also shouldn’t forget Christof who was so nice to lend us his camping gear and especially his roof tent, which gave us many hilarious moments of tent-yoga.
Thanks so much!

But especially and enormously grateful do we feel when we think of all our family, friends and colleagues who opened their pockets and donated so generously for the charities we had picked.

And this is what in the end we’ve got together:

Let’s help kids in need – Arche received 23 donations with a total of 1915,-€
We drive, you save dogs – Hilfe statt Trost received 11 donations with a total of 855,-€
Putting Men’s Health in Focus – Movember Foundation received 10 donations with a total of 620,-€

3390,- € for good causes is a great achievement by you and us and we feel truly blessed.

All donors can relax now for as much we enjoyed this trip there are no immediate plans to do a similar exercise anytime soon. Although, the tour across the Balkans…

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