From Beijing to London between the Olympics and beyond
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Asparagus fields for ever.
On Wednesday April 18th I set off through the asparagus fields to Altmelon, following Erich's daily map.
Climbing over a hill to the north of Vienna - a location for an exclusive suburb.
Midday pub stop. In the background is Mike chatting to expat Brit who had just popped out to walk the dog - he was wondering whether his wife would swallow his excuse of being diverted by someone riding on horseback from Beijing to London.
Our friendly host Gerhardt Rodinger of the GR Ranch who fed and watered both us and the horses. http://grranch.jimdo.com/ Many thanks!
A strangely immobile Austrian policeman guards Zorbee for me on my way to my next stop of Bierbaum on Thursday April 19th.
Bierbaum is Erich Huber's stamping ground, and he had arranged a complimentary loose box for Zorbee at the local stables run by Rosi Shreiber-Jeringer. Here she is training a small mite in vaulting.
And not only were we provided with en suite rooms at the local guesthouse, but treated to an amazing meal in the restaurant 'Zum Goldenen Hirschen' or Golden Stag, where the chef's speciality was game. A happy Mike tucks in to a plate of venison with knoedel (a kind of Austrian dumpling). I had wild boar with asparagus.
The room was decorated with dead animals and I have to say it was a little disconcerting to have the raptor below circling over one's plate of food.
The happy party. Left to right - Irwin and Rosie who helped with route planning, Erich, me and Mike, Erich's wife Brigitte and sons Max and Alex, Edith and Hans who rode with me the next day.
And finally I was invited to sign the guestbook - and in what company! At the front it had been signed by Christian democrat politician Leopold Figl, the first Federal Chancellor of Austria after the Second World War. A significant Austrian figure, he was not only incarcerated at Dachau by the Nazis for five years, but escaped a death penalty for 'high treason'..
Spent most of childhood living in Malaya before returning to school in London. Taught for ten years then moved back to Welsh roots to raise sheep, ponies and young family. Married with 3 children. I am raising money through the ride for my husband Iestyn Thomas's charity Challenge Aid www.challengeaid.org which raises money for disadvantaged children worldwide through exercise. I breed ponies under the Cwrtycadno prefix see www.cwrtycadno.com