Wednesday, September 7, 2011

TUESDAY 23rd AUGUST 2011 (Motorrad Museum)

We were sent on our way with lots of smiles, waves and good wishes from the whole ZUPPELER family which was lovely. We were on the road early, before Uwe went to work.

Funny thing is, away we went in 'a' direction and had no idea where we were going! After an hour we stopped to check the map and get orientated and made the decision to head towards Melle to visit a friend we hadn't seen for 25 years.

A little further along, as we rode through the cornfields, Paul noticed a tiny sign, almost covered by the corn-cobs saying 'Motorradmuseum'. We did a uu-ee and went in to have a look. It was in the middle of no-where and weren't surprised when we found it to be closed. We were a little disappointed but Paul wandered about the outside of the huge barn-like buildings and I went to watch the donkeys in the neighboring field. It was difficult to see through the aged windows but we could make out outlines of many motorcycles and made the decision to go and knock on the house door down the back lane.

When the owner learnt we were from Tasmania, Australia she got terribly excited and couldn't open up the museum quick enough for us to see. We were grateful but had no idea of what we were about to see. We couldn't believe our eyes when the door was opened. Christa went through every bike and explained (in German) with great enthusiasm each bikes history. We understood part of what she said and just enjoyed her total excitement.

We could spend a whole day in the barn and not see everything that's on display. As we finished up we thanked her for opening up but just then she indicated to follow her. Lo and behold she opened up a second large barn door, another shed FULL of old motorcycles...this time the bikes were mainly from the Eastern Europe. Totally unbelievable. Things we've never seen or heard of before. Not only bikes, but all the accessories that go with them. We were stunned.

Back outside she indicated to follow her and she showed us her Puppenmuseum (doll museum) of which she was enormously proud. She showed us the many dolls from the different continents and when we were looking at the 'black' dolls she explained that her daughter has a 'chocolate baby'!

Well, after three large barns to work our way through you'd think that would be the end of the visit but no, a fourth barn door was opened and a heap of old tractors and more motorcycles were stored. We just couldn't believe what we'd stumbled across.

We thanked Christa very much. She wouldn't accept any payment but we were able to give her a small kangaroo and koala keyring and that was worth more than gold in her eyes.

She asked us to come and meet her husband which was a very humbling experience. This whole collection was his life's work. Fifteen years ago he had a stroke rendering him totally paralysed from the neck down and unable to talk. His days are spent in a motorised wheelchair. Christa asked would we bring the Zundapp to the house so Heiner could see. Of course we can.

To see him maneuver his wheelchair around the Zundapp and see a hint of joy in his otherwise expressionless eyes was a real pleasure. We felt like we had the nod of approval and felt like we'd added a little something to his day. It was very sad for us to see and learn about all the things this man has done and achieved in his life and then to see him so totally dependant for everything.

It was time to depart and couldn't believe what we'd just witnessed on our first day out. Life was good but now it's time to get back on the bike and make our way up the road.

We rode on to HALLE where all signs to the city just ceased to exist. We ended up on a narrow track the size of a drive-way! Not sure what happened there...!!! It's here the bike failed to proceed but after a considerable amount of effort was put in to kick-starting she started and Paul rode two blocks to the local church yard where there were trees and a seat. We could sit and have something to eat - our blood sugars were getting low so this was a necessary stop.

On the road again, no problems this time. We made our way to MELLE, stopped in the Zentrum for refreshments and a walk around before making our way to the home of Rainer MEINEKER. Rainer visited us at 'Amaroo' 26 years ago and we stayed with him and his parents 25 years ago. We have corresponded all these years which made it exciting to be able to see where he lives and meet his family.

Rainer was away truck driving but we were greeted by his wife Gaby, daughter Svenja & father-in-law Heini. They live in a rural area surrounded by fields, it was quite lovely. Later in the evening Rainer's son Hendrick returned home. The kids (19 years old) could speak English so we learnt about their lives. Rainer rang and we had a great old yarn. He was disappointed we were going to miss each other after all these years.

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