Wednesday 1.8.2012 70km Total:940km
We sleep in until 9PM again and hit the breakfast buffet before we start to pack up the gear.
This day also began gloomy and grey but it cleared and transitioned into bright burning sun.
We grabbed lunch in Itzehoe at a restaurant where the waitress explained that the kitchen was "kaputt".
Even so they managed to serve us schnitzel with fried potatoes.
I think it's the best meal we've had yet, not bad with a kitchen that's kaputt!
We ride on to Heiligenstedten and the hotel Julianka on the Autobahn, obviously with pileups with cues stretching several kilometres just like last year.
But even though we are pretty wide assed with the panniers lane splitting was easy, the Germans drive crazy fast but they are considerate and competent drivers.
At the hotel we're just off the bikes when Thorsten comes out and greats us with a firm handshake and Doris came out on the stairs and gave us both a hug.
It's not surprising we booked this again last year because they sure make you feel welcome.
We checked in, unloaded the gear and the headed back out for a ride through Wacken.
Bear had decided beforehand that he wanted to film a ride on the main street and it might turn out fun depending on if the crazies have woken up yet.
It didn't feel as hysterical as last year but that probably due to us getting a bit jaded after the initial shell shock and not because the crazies has gotten any less crazy.
Just like last year Thorsten drives back and forth to the festival for a small sum so after a shower back at the hotel we get in the car and head to the Mekka of heavy metal.
We didn't really see any band worth mentioning this night but the Bear did a real "Hoedown" with some like-minded misfits to Saor Patrol so it wasn't for nothing.
The main instrument of the gig was a bag pipe which is pretty fresh but it definitely isn't the most musically versatile of instruments.
We went through the security check to watch an all female Swedish band called Frantic Amber.
I'm have as much of a soft spot for a low growl as the next metalhead but this wasn't really my thing at all.
But at least we served our duty as it's nice to see Swedish metal represented in a place like this, I'm sure they gained a few new fans even though I'm not one of them.
We're back at the hotel at 0.30AM with packs filled to the brim with merch.
This is the ride-through of Wacken from Bears helmet cam.
They'd changed the main street through Wacken to one-way so we had to get back via the Autobahn.
Bear still had the camera switched on and captured this.
I'm not a reckless rider and I thought I had made 100% sure there weren't any other vehicles within distance, still this guy appears out of nowhere.
With no speed limits what was a speck in the distance looking back might come at you a lot faster than you think.
Thursday 2.8.2012 0km
Something I remember from last year is that the hotel doesn't have a traditional water heater but instead has something that heats the water on demand in every room which makes it mix of luck and skill to find a temperature that's comfortable to shower in without it boiling you like an egg.
It almost takes longer dialling that sucker in than it takes to shower so once you find the sweet spot you're not going to want to shut the water of until you've finished.
We where supposed to see a Swedish band called Dead by April as well but a couple of Hamburgers (descent, not cuisine) got in the way with a dedicated intent to drink both us and themselves under the table.
They definitely succeeded with the first and they weren't doing half bad with the second either.
They were truly a couple of weird dudes.
One of them, Dieter offered me a cigarette and when I declined wondered if I was afraid of getting cancer because "you'll probably get that anyway".
Even if It was a pretty strange thing to say I'll have to give him that if you look at it from a purely statistical point the odds are probably better that he'll be right than that he'll be wrong.
He really didn't want to talk about what business he was in at all and it didn't get any less mystical when I asked where he'd worked any he starts to list almost every dictatorship and conflict zone on the face of the earth.
He also offered me a tandem jump but when I realized he himself had made his very first parashute jump just two weeks earlier I must confess I chickened out of that one.
The other guy (whose name I've unfortunately forgotten) was a real easy going guy.
The fact that I hate all sports with a passion which doesn't smell at least faintly of some sort of fuel did not sit well with him.
Everybody loves Borussia Dortmund and that's just simply an undeniable fact.
He probably went from there to a very well founded argument of why every member of the human race has a profound love of his favourite soccer team but I will never know because he was of the impression that my knowledge of the German language increased along with his level of intoxication.
We left these two gentlemen in a haze of Jägermeister and vodka because we did actually intend to watch some more music on this music festival, a prospect they seemed to have ditched many drinks ago.
The Volbeat gig was without any real competition the best of the day.
The energy was just insane and Paulsen played the audience like a finely tuned instrument.
It got a bit rushed this morning so I'd forgotten the sun cream and I got ruthlessly punished for it, completely scorched on the shoulders neck and face.
I was also stupid enough to listen to the plea from one of the Hamburgers (still not the cuisine) that I should put my shirt back on because even though his level of intoxication was impressive even at that point he obviously saw what was happening.
It was nice and cool at the time and the burning sensation didn't come until later.
The man, the myth, the legend: Udo
Fanststic gig from the pride of Denmark: Volbeat
Friday 3.8.2012 0km
I can relate to Henry Rollins in a special kind of way that really have nothing to do with music.
I've suffered from some kind of Migraine/Hortons combo ever since my late teens which unfortunately by now is so long ago the Audiobook breakthrough was far on the horizon.
But Henry had released most of his Spoken Word shows on CD.
I bought all of them and still have them in my record collection to this day.
I listened to those show over and over again when I had migraines so It's on more than one occasion that Henry has made my personal hell a little more sufferable.
I've never been a big fan of either Black Flag or Rollins band but watching a spoken word performance with Henry was kind of a big deal for me.
We had originally intended to watch the DAD-gig between 2 and 3AM but the heavens opened up in the afternoon and turned the whole festival area into a mudbath.¹
Since we didn't bring any rain gear we threw in the towel after In Flames at 12AM and called Thorsten to pick us up early, by now we where wet, cold, dirty and miserable.
When we waded out of the festival grounds you had to choose your footing carefully to keep the mud under bootleg of our shoes.
Todays mud depth: 5cm
¹ I've read afterwards that it was the worst conditions they'd had in 23 year because it had rained so much even before the festival started that the ground was saturated.
Home away from home, the gas-converted low flying Passat piloted by Thorsten it what takes us between the hotel and the festival every day.
In the morning there where still a few strands of green grass left. That wasn't going to keep.