The Journey – Day 82

Waking up to itchy ears, burning patches on feet that had been exposed during the night and the sound of a sit on mower running over gravel hit me all at once, the moment I opened my eyes.  I needed coffee, and something to wipe off the blood splats (my blood) left by me swatting mosquitoes around the inside of the motorhome.

I looked out side to see the German ship had gone, the Granex 2 still in place and one of the workers wizzing around on his sit on mower, now actually cutting grass.

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The Journey – Day 81

I left the quay early and went back to the old one.  The Granex 2 had been moved from one jetty to the next one; a ship which had been anchored upstream had changed places with the Granex and was being loaded.  I had a brief chat with Lucian who asked me how far the town was and if there was a Tesco as he needed some supplies and cigarettes.  I offered to take him, and he said he would let me know when he was ready.

I went to speak with the captain of the other ship who told me he was going to Vienna and then Regensburg.  This was not true, the night watchmen had asked the dock boss for me who was going where.  I politely said thank you for the very kind offer of the life but I was going the other way.  I can never understand why people cannot just tell the truth.  ‘I don’t want to take you with me, so I won’t’ is much better than lies, the result is the same only one does not deserve respect.

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The Journey – Day 80

Apart from this being a special day numerically, Sunday was like a Sunday should be.  I pottered around the motorhome, charged batteries and did a little exploring around.  Daniel, the captain of the two ships in the next dock came along for a chat.  He invited me to park next to his ship to use his generator to charge up all my larger batteries.  He also agreed to let me use the on board washing machine; something I was very grateful for as it is a big problem in countries that don’t have laundrettes (that I could find).  Continue reading “The Journey – Day 80”

The Journey – Day 79

Out of bed before the alarm and feeling determined to get something done.  As usual this would be writing blogs and recording video files and wiping memory cards for more filming.  I have a horror of hitting the erase button, even though I know I have stored everything on two hard drives.  Wiping off originals is nerve wracking and I check all is well on the hard drives to be sure.

I thought that the dock would be quiet today, being the week-end.  Not at all; not only were those who had spent the night there, myself included, there were workers turning up in various vehicles, not seemingly a part of the dock team and I wondered what they were doing.  I don’ want to write about it here, nor have I filmed the activities of these people.

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The Journey – Day 78

I was ready to go a 6pm; the crew wasn’t.  The sun rose through a low mist over the river which made the distant shoreline cranes look spectacular, like a Turner painting.  The mist cleared a little and by the time the ship was underway the sun was warm enough for me to sit outside comfortably and simply enjoy the view, gladly exchanging cigarette smoke for the diesel fumes from the engine exhaust.

The morning wore on and the scenery became spectacular.   I filmed, and eventually returned to the wheel house as the wind grew stronger and it was unpleasant to stay outside. Where the river turned into a head wind, moderate waves formed and bounced the ship around, visibly bending it and sending it off in different directions when as it changed.  I took more notes and filmed outside as we went straight through Bratislava.   Continue reading “The Journey – Day 78”

The Journey – Day 77

I had an instant desire to smash my phone when it innocently did as I had told it to do and set off its alarm function; exactly at the time I had set.  I resisted the temptation and got out of bed instead.

The crew of the Gravex 2 were nicely still in bed, which gave me the time to set up my travel bag and have several cups of coffee.  I went to the Banana and struggled with it against the flow of the river, stumbling on the snake filled loose, slippy rocks and tree branch snags until hot and sweaty I got the Banana next to the quay.  The crew emerged, had their cigarettes and set to putting the Banana on deck.  Time for one more coffee and make arrangements for the motorhome, get my bags and climb on board.

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The Journey – Day 76

I had a leisurely breakfast, shaved and made the best of myself, organised camera equipment etc. and set off for the Hilton, in the certain knowledge I would not be going anywhere today, boat or no.

Even with the laid back morning I had taken, I arrived in the hotel before the conferences started and I decided to film background shots of the many suites of conference rooms.  People started to arrive for their day and I got some shots of them without showing faces etc. which showed the hotel in use.  One woman came out of a lift as I was filming the foyer.  I took the shot again as she had walked right across the shot.

I moved around filming from various angles the open spaces, bars, restaurants and waterfront lounges.  The same woman managed to walk into shot five times.  The last time I very politely said this must be some sort of record and would she like to sign a waiver form?  She said she was looking for a computer part but could not find one?  I still am not sure what she was about.

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The Journey – Day 75

I left the motorhome having tidied up the gathering piles of tangled wires and plugs for charging various bits of equipment, and went to use the internet in the Hilton.  The very nature of hotel life prohibits personal contact, so I only took the hand held selfie camera for personal shots and abandoned temporally the idea of the voyages main interest; meeting people on or around the river route.  I spent most of the day working on the desk in the computer lounge.

Very comfortable but as my budget does not include hotel service I returned occasionally to the motorhome for coffee and sandwiches, also keeping an eye on the quay to see if any ships had tied up there.

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The Journey – Day 74

Up early and off to the UN building to meet up with their representative for media and publicity.  I explored further around the suburbs for so long I lost track of time, and had lunch in a Turkish grill.  I could not finish the 25cm diameter burger, costing five euros.  I filmed the cosmopolitan life around a large church and grounds and made my way to the underground station.

At the UN building I met one of the heavily armed security guards who directed me to the security control at the main entrance where I passed through an airport style baggage check.  I went through to a foyer with some shops and a coffee machine.

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