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J175 - Friday, April 9: Voitsberg - Hirnsdorf

75.05km – 11H00’
Altitude : 352m
On today’s menu : Ascents and descents, urban districts south of Graz, forests and villages, sunshine, heat, then gray stormy weather.
The grape vines and fruit trees, which have been pruned and are now in bud, are just waiting for beautiful weather.  The Styrian region has 7 wine routes and yesterday evening, to celebrate Brigitte and Roger’s arrival we tasted a local white wine which was excellent.  Brigitte and I liked it a lot.
Our carrier pigeons did not come empty handed:
•    On the food side: freeze dried soups; ready to prepare packets of  lentils and rice; sugar cubes, which are hard to find in some countries which use only powdered sugar; chicken breasts and noodles which need only 3 minutes of cooking, which we were unable to find until we reached Slovenia.  So now we are well stocked.  Generally speaking, prepared dishes and food which can be quickly prepared seems to be available only at home, which means that in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece…women still take time to cook!
•    And all the extras in different categories : a compressor, Velcro adhesive tape, 2 large bottles of shampoo (an order placed by Serge, who likes the shampoo used by his hairdresser, Delphine), a Bleuet Campingas Twister and bottles of gas (the one in the van which is used several times a day to prepare Serge’s meals is almost empty), cash because after the Czech Republic we won’t have any Euros left and bank commissions on withdrawals are exorbitant when you are out of the Euro zone, 3 tubes of Génie no rub detergent, documentation of European regulations, of which the famous “Eco tax” in Germany which I didn’t know about.  And last and most important, the rest of the Mizuno, Aéro model shoes, the new collection’s color is Bordeaux, which Serge will soon wear to finish the Race around the European Union.
•    Gifts:  The Easter Bunny of Bréauté didn’t forget us and send a chocolate Easter egg, photos; including those of Figaro (the most beautiful cat in the world, of course).  Thanks go to Jean-Yves and Brigitte and Alain, Brigitte and Roger’s neighbour whom we do not know and who sent Serge some “homemade” cookies.
And that’s all…I’m sure not because tonight we are eating « chez Adrienne » and as I write these few words  there is a delicious smell of banana cake in the air.
During this time Serge runs and continues to run, On Route 54  truck traffic is heavy  and since Hungary we are no longer accustomed to it!  
«Serge is exhausted at the end of the stage, especially because the information we, the “support team” gave was that he would run 73.5km, in fact he did +1.5km, during which he griped and grumbled.  This evening he said to me “tomorrow we leave later, I’m exhausted, I’m not sleeping enough and I need to recuperate.  Then at dinner “chez Adrienne,” Brigitte was worried about keeping Serge, who replied “I also need to enjoy my meals because if I don’t occasionally leave my race, I will end up blowing a fuse”.  At 8:00 PM Serge leaves to go to bed, whereas the rest of us stay with our hosts to have coffee and a glass of homemade Calvados.

Town : Hirnsdorf (Styrie)

GPS : N 47.11’39.6° E 015.49’40.2°