We’ve been holed up on a large lake (think Keilder Reservoir) on what must be the largest Stellplatz in Christendom. We were heading southeast and picked this place out, and what a find. It’s in the village of Asberg and the Stellplatz has room for around 500, but the pitches are big, there are showers (and EHU if you can find it – at a price). In typically German fashion there are cycle routes everywhere, a place to eat and drink around every corner and it’s all very tidy and well maintained.
For three days we have run, cycled and walked – we need a holiday now. On the first day we cycled the 15 mile route round the lake (which was lovely). We did the same at Keilder a couple of years ago, and whilst the vista was similar, the weather was rubbish and there was nowhere to get a cup of coffee. And that’s the thing about Germany. If you want mountains, lakes, views and good holiday stuff you head towards the equator. In the UK you head towards the Arctic. Oh, and if you do manage to get good weather ‘up north’ you’re accompanied by a couple of squadrons of midges that dilute any pleasure you may be getting from a glimpse of Mrs Sun. So Germany wins hands down.
Here you can rent everything, including paddleboards. Now I don’t know about you, but I struggle with the point of paddleboards? Which idiot thought they were a good idea? A surfer? You know, surfing is great, the sea, the waves, the surf and my board. Let’s take away the sea, the waves and the surf and just keep the board? Or how about windsurfing? The water, the wind running through your hair, the sail, the jaunty angle and the board. I tell you what, let’s take away everything other than the board… You get my point? Seems madness to me…
On day two we took the boat out and had a lovely paddle across the lake. In the afternoon we both ran round the smaller bit of the lake – 10kms. Well done C. I actually run 9.5km because my groin strain let me know it wasn’t happy and sent my leg into spasm. Oh well. It’s skipping for me for a while. And today we cycled 20 miles or so to another lake along a canal which joined the two. We took a picnic with us and sat by the lake chomping away at a couple of rolls. The route there and back was through miles and miles of forest tracks – all marked. There is nothing here but trees and marked cycle and walking routes – it’s fab.
What about the book? Well, Mr Amazon emailed me having opened up a permission to access some sales data. In the end I got the first three days worth (I think) and it told me I had sold 29 books. I’ll live with 10 a day, but we’ll see. I’m getting back in touch with Mr A to press him for more info. At the same time I have used Facebook to target the US: both genders, 24-65, and lovers of thrillers such as Le Carre. I started it on Friday and it finishes on Monday – cost £20. Without any stats I can’t see how many books I’ve sold, but the sales ranking in the US has shot up considerably, so I must have sold some books.
Just as interesting, currently 30 US people ‘liked’ my post/advert. I checked out most of these folk – and a good number of them are very WASPy, and one or two downright white supremacist (certainly v Republican and anti-Obama). I think they probably thought my post/book was an actual conspiracy theory and assumed I was blaming Obama for the whole thing. The real irony is that my book is anti-religion, and notably against white supremacists, so they’re going to get a surprise if/when they read it!
A further upside is that today I’ve sold 6 copies of Unsuspecting Hero in the US – I don’t sell UH in the States – it just doesn’t happen. I assume they’ve bought both books? We’ll see.
Off further southeast tomorrow. We’ll be running out of Germany soon!