A grape day

Location: Oppenheim
Distance since last post: 68Km
Weather: Hot with 50% cloud cover
Forecast: Heavier cloud tomorrow. Clearing toward Thursday.
Notes: Problem with the Lead-acid battery today. It didn’t seem to charge. Will concentrate on loading the Li-Ion battery tomorrow.

Due to the cloudy weather I decided to cycle all the way through to the campsite in one stage today. I chose a route slightly away from the Rhein which had the advantage of being more direct but the disadvantage of being inland and therefore higher. Hills are not something I enjoy on the 25KG Kronan bike! The route was nice though and it took me through endless lines of grape vines (and loud, gun-like bird scarers going off every ten seconds all over the valley) that are almost ready for harvesting for wine. Every town and village seems to be advertising their Winzer (Wine) Fest!

The mobile phone I have is doing very well as my email notifier and as (filtered) emails come in I get a little beep telling me to stop and take a look. Its nice to be able to say I’m in the middle of a Vineyard’ at the end of each reply! But that’s about it for the mobile phone. Trying to do anything Web-like is slow and terribly inefficient. Firing up the Q1b UMPC every now and then keeps proving how perfect they are for Internet activities. There’s no way I would be able to write so quickly, create the maps, review and edit the images and communicate via IM through all the protocols possible without it.

I’m camped right next to a beach on the Rhein (that’s the Rhein behind me there!) and can hear the waves lapping against the shore. Every 10 or 15 minutes a huge river boat can be heard either coming down from Rotterdam or heading up from the south somewhere. Fuel, sand, containers and even the occasional passenger boat. The Rhein is a business river. I wonder how long it remains efficient compared to trains, trucks and air transport.

I haven’t planned tomorrow in detail but it won’t be as long a journey as today. The Lead-Acid battery I have (2.2KG worth of old technology) didn’t charge well and so I’ll concentrate on loading-up the Li-Ion battery. One bit of good news though is that the mobile phone charges from the solar panel even in bright daylight. If all else fails I’ll have to email the blogs via T9 but I hope that doesn’t happen. I still have a fully charged spare battery for the Q1b so I’m not in trouble yet!

2 thoughts on “A grape day

  1. It’s good to know you won’t be completely in the dark since your phone is charging well. Great stuff. Hope the acid battery will work for you.

  2. Good luck. Hopefully, after this trip I will finally have an ally in my battle for ever lighter UMPC’s and longer battery life. Also, don’t forget to fill us in on the biking part of the trip. Some of us (i.e. me) are keen cyclists too!

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