In a rush, we pack those things into the panniers that no longer have much value for us. “Only ten more minutes, then we have to be back.” We start the engines. This is the last motorcycle ride on American soil.
Just a moment ago, we were sitting in the agent’s office, letting the cold air from the air conditioner breeze into our faces gratefully. The heat is really stifling even early in the morning. Well, it’s not quite that early anymore, because we’re a little late. “They never take it too precisely anyway,” I joked beforehand while having coffee at our apartment.
But not here: Everyone was already waiting for us in the small office. They immediately announce that the formalities have been completed and that we can drop off the motorcycles at the port right away. “Today already? You mean right now?” Moe and I looked at each other first in confusion, then slightly panicked. “We haven’t even packed the motorcycles yet.”
Oh boy, how embarrassing! First we come too late and then we have not even packed. So we thought again that we know Mexico and how the shipping process works here. In our imagination, we would have spent the next few days running to the authorities and waiting.
So quickly back to the apartment. There our things are at least already sorted: Everything we don’t absolutely need goes into the motorcycle panniers for the RoRo passage. It is not quite sure whether the Tigers will arrive in Bremerhaven in the same way as we deliver them here.
In the excitement, I waste no thought on the fact that this will be the last ride on my beloved Tiger for a very long time. Moe, however, thinks of nothing else during this ride and so tears run like mad down his cheeks, which he hides under his helmet.
See you soon, baby!
Thanks to the good preparation of our team of agents, evything proceeds smoothly at the port. After only one hour we are done with the whole process and hand over the keys for our Tigers. It is a queasy feeling to leave them behind on this huge site. Next to the polished new cars, the travel vehicles with their scratches, dents and colorful stickers disrupt the homogeneous overall picture. I stroke the tank of my Tiger 800 one last time: “We’ll see each other again soon, I promise!”
Now we can book our return flight and prepare everything for the export of the youngest member of our little motorcycle club. Since Teddy already has the required rabies vaccination and a microchip for his trip to Europe, he only needs a health certificate from the vet. With this document we go to a branch of the Ministry of Agriculture to apply for Teddy’s export.
It’s a bit like handing over a secret document: you are not allowed to enter the building, which means that you meet the staff outside the building via telephone arrangement. After three meetings we have the certificate.
At the airport, the paper is stamped and then we are allowed to check in. Teddy is light enough to fly with us in the cabin. Most of the time he sleeps in his travel bag and masters his first flight much braver than I do.
A “new” country on our journey
What an unpleasant last leg! When flying, I always have to think of how a friend once told me that he was sitting on a flight next to a very old man who was visibly excited. “This is my first flight in a lifetime,” he announced to him with beaming eyes. A few hours later, disappointment was written all over his face. “Are we there yet?” he asked his seatmate in shock. “But I didn’t see anything! How can something that’s over so quickly be so expensive?”
A journey doesn’t get any better by the number of kilometers you cover – and certainly not in the shortest possible time. I also feel it’s insane when I think about how long we traveled by sea and land to get to Mexico – and now we land back on the European continent within a few hours.
It didn’t take long, but we waited a long time for the moment to be here again. And we are just happy about it. Everything is so well-kept and quiet here. We can hug family and friends again and have many nice conversations with different people. Not much has changed. The places we haven’t seen for years, on the other hand, have changed a bit more.
Moe says that in some ways Germany feels like another country on our journey. Although it is very familiar to us, we are just discovering a lot of things anew. We plan to get to know our home country much better in the future. There are so many corners we haven’t seen yet.
Have we changed? I suspect not so much. But perhaps others can tell better.
Have I mentioned it before? I LOVE surprises. And there are so many of them that it really makes my heart jump. Lovely people take us homeless globetrotters in, help us find our way through the bureaucratic jungle and take us from A to B.
Huge thanks to our family and friends! Even people who have never met us before generously offer their help. Some examples: Markus helps us to find an apartment in our new chosen home Bonn. Erhan drives us with his van from Hannover to Bremerhaven and back to pick up the Tigers in the harbor. And Jens offers us to store the old Tiger in his garage in Hannover until we can pick it up there. All positive examples of how the Internet can connect us. Just great, we will never forget that!
After a small tour through Germany we go to Austria: Tom Possod and Lea Rieck have taken the Newchurch Festival as an opportunity to invite a few globetrotters. A nice little event in an enchanting scenery, where we finally meet long known faces in person. Many interesting conversations ensue.
However, there is an early end on an excursion, when I want to get off Thomas’ rental bike for a short time. I get stuck on the luggage bag and land badly on the ground. The foot bends over, I fall over and finally everyone looks around at who is whining. Great pain causes me great concern – straight to the hospital. There the doctor’s diagnosis is: “It’s destroyed.”
It’s a damn bad time since we have to completely reorganize ourselves and settle in here. But when is a good time to break one’s ankle?
So I lie for weeks in the room that I used to share with my sister for 16 years. Cared for by my mother who, in my opinion, cares a little too much. It’s strange to find myself back in the setting I moved out of twelve years ago.
And then there’s also one goodbye that was taken away from me by the accident: the last ride on my Tiger. After all, it was borrowed for our trip and is returning to Triumph Germany. It pains me very much that I am not able to pay this last tribute to it and therefore am not able to meet the dear Triumph team in person. It is not clear yet what will happen next.
In the meantime, we’ve moved to Bonn and are pondering how to get our other great love – the old Tiger – back on the road. It’s still waiting bored in Jen’s garage in Hanover and needs a German TÜV.
So the broken foot and the Tiger in need of love still need a while – nevertheless we won’t miss the chance to go to the MRT and HU meeting in September. Will we see you there?