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Thursday, July 19 2012 | Handover in Yekaterinburg

I'm absolutely shattered. Not only the new time change (Ekaterinburg is again two hours ahead), but the last few days and weeks have been strenuous. Shortly after 9 o'clock I'm already in Torsten's room. He, Rolf and Felix had picked Michael up at the airport late last night or rather early this morning.

When I go into Torsten’s room, Michael is still in the bath, but he comes out, wrapped in a towel and beaming with joy, to greet me. Michael had not booked a room in the hotel because he had gone directly to the Editourmobil, but after a long flight from Bangkok, he was more than keen to use the facilities in Torsten’s room, because the opportunity to have a decent shower does not occur often enough in the Editourmobil. Michael has had a tiring time of it, and had slept a little on the plane. We discuss all the relevant issues of the past weeks about the tour, appointments, and any particular things worth mentioning. Rolf had run through the essentials of the Editourmobil with Michael so that he was completely up to speed. After the handover Torsten packs his things and the three of us go over to the vehicle. Rolf and Felix are already over the hills and far away on the bikes. To be on the safe side we had said our goodbyes yesterday evening. After sorting out a few final questions, I collect my things from the van, and then it’s time to say goodbye, as we both need to get a move on. I take one last photo and realise at the same time that my part of the tour is now over and soon I will be back in Heidelberg. The Go to Brau Beviale tour always leaves you with a mixture of tears and laughter. But at the end of the day the bottom line is that it’s been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for the next one. Meanwhile my best wishes for their success go out to Michael and Torsten for the second leg of the tour from Ekaterinburg to Dnipropetrovsk!