Leaving the Danube, Gersthofen, Munich
Wow! It has been quite some time since I have updated anything. Here it is really hard to find free connection these days. Even some pension houses don’t offer free internet as one has to subscribe to an hourly hotspot plan, which can be quite a hassle for me since I am so used to being on the need to be connected to the net :p
We are now back in Gersthofen,(after a short visit to Munich) an industrial town 8km from Augsburg. Since my father is sponsored by UFL(Universal Fitness & Leisure) the sole distributor of Deuter in Malaysia, we thought that we would pay Deuter a courtesy visit. Moreover it is also on the way towards the direction of Stuttgart which is our next destination. So we didn’t have to detour that far. They were already expecting us as the folks at UFL had already informed them of our pending arrival.Anna from World of MTB also called in to put in a good word for us as she had dealt with them(reviewing their bike bags for the magazine). Upon reaching Deuter we were warmly greeted by Mr Rainer Wenninger & Mr Melvyn Jones It was another wonderful experience as we were one of the very few Malaysians(we are the first Malaysian travelers) that have visited the headquarters. As some of you probably know Deuter is a outdoor bag manufacturer. They have a long history.The company was started by Hans Deuter in Augsburg in the year 1898. The company has been through a lot in history(in times of war) and are still going strong(No.1 bag manufacturer in Germany). They manufacture all sorts of backpacks for daily use to their mountain and cycling backpacks.
We have been using Deuter backpacks for about 12 years now, even before there was an official distributor in Malaysia. To me Deuter backpacks is the best outdoor backpack that I have ever used. I am not saying this just because they gave me free stuff. I have done a lot of mountain trekking and camping when I was a lot younger and have used all sorts of bags and packs from a lot of manufacturers(some of the popular ones during the 90′s were Karrimor, Lafuma) but once my father brought back a Deuter Air Comfort 40( the first Deuter model in the house) I was sold! You could immediately feel the difference with their ‘Air Comfort’ technology. It was of course the most comfortable pack that I have ever used and have been using it ever since. Since then, we have had a few other Deuter models added to the collection Ok, now back to our visit, Mr Rainer and Mr Melvyn took us on a small tour of the company. They showed us their repairing workshop(if there any damages to the straps/zippers/buckles you can send it in for repairs) and their showroom where all their models are on display(Bags,Sleeping bags and other accessories.They had a chat with my father and was really impressed with what we were doing, and asked us what we needed for our journey onwards. We gave them a list and they happily obliged to our requests. Thank you Rainner and Melvyn for the short but wonderful tour of Deuter. I am proud to declare that I am Deuter fan for life!
While we didnt plan on visiting Munich as it was a bit out of the way towards Stuttgart. We were introduced to Dr Winfried, a friend of Sajjad (manager of Lahore backpackers in Pakistan) so we just took the chance to visit Munich and stayed at the Doc’s house. Munich is a wonderful city, but as with all popular cities there will be a lot of tourists and in a big city it is quite hard and tiring to navigate through the traffic and pedestrians with a bike and 30kgs of luggage.
With Ado, boss of Radlhaus in Kissing. He changed my chain, replaced my father’s rear rack, gave us each spare tubes & spare brake pads at no charge. We insisted on paying but he refused. Germans are truly generous people. They are very happy to help out and understand what we have to go through. They are generally surprised when they hear we have travelled this far and the time it took to get here. I don’t think shops in KL would be this generous unless you ask or beg for sponsorship.
I am quite sad that after more than a month riding along the Danube we have parted ways and I have started to miss cycling along the river. But it’s now onwards towards Stuttgart and the River Rhine