A day with Corinna or the phenomena of coincidence

On our way to Linz, as usual on the late afternoon, we started searching for a place to stay for the night. Since we don’t want to disturb anyone, we usually go to the forest but not so deep that we would bother the animals, woodland edge is a perfect place to have. Of course it would be ideal to be somewhere with a beautiful view but since wild camping is not allowed we always have to hide ourselves. On this particular afternoon after an hour of unsuccessful search on the serpentine roads we ended up at the Promberger farm. There we found a self-service farm shop with fresh eggs from the chickens who had a happy life on the big field next to the shop. This cheered us up a bit as we try to avoid eggs from the shop and instead to buy them directly from farmers. Walking around the surrounding we noticed a straight level and dry grassland with an amazing panorama of the Alps. Next to this was a small horse staple where a woman was cleaning a horse. She was very friendly and revealed us the name of the owner of this field. Without any hesitation the owner gave us her permission and therewith saved us from maybe another extra hour of searching the place. Overwhelmingly happy we parked the bus and started cooking. At the same time we enjoyed the spectacular view of thunderstorm moving from the Alps towards us. As we were eating the dinner and enjoyed the stormy panorama, the woman from the horse staple came to us and brought a bottle of white wine, cookies and a sunflower from her garden. For a short time we were speechless, we did not expect such hostility, usually it is the opposite – 2 out of 100 travelers with a van leave their rubbish in the nature and therewith are the other 98 automatically labelled the same. For Corinna we were not the bad guys, she told us that many years ago she was also travelling with a van and now she is rescuing the animals, mostly horses and chickens, who otherwise will be executed. Unfortunately, this responsibility means that travelling is no longer an option so she enjoys talking with travelers and hearing their stories. On the next morning Corinna brought us fresh bakeries and self-made marmalade, we drank coffee together and had another good talk. Since we are not in a hurry and we love animals we decided to stay for a half a day and help her out in the horse staple. Her small farm is home for many horses, chickens, two cats and a dog called Higgins. I started my day by cleaning Apollo who is already 40 years old horse. He is the oldest of all her horses and still crazy about the apples. Afterwards I was cleaning the staple from the old straw and after the coffee break at noon I was looking how the farrier trims the horses’ hooves and changes their shoes. Ragle was busy with her own work and time-to-time came and spent time with Higgins😊 We had an interesting day at Corinnas farm and afternoon we continued driving towards Linz to meet Evelin, Jürgen and Hans.

A similar situation happened also in Slovenia. Again, after searching (what felt like forever) to find a place for the night we noticed a mowed meadow with a wonderful view. I went to check the place and noticed people walking there. Hoping that maybe one of them know the owner of this field I went to talk with them. It turned out that one of them was actually the owner, she was so friendly and gave immediately her permission. She also showed us where she lives, in case we need something. We were amazed how friendly and open people are and had a good sleep under the clear sky. On the next morning the owner came with her husband and daughter to see how we are doing and whether we need fresh water or something. When preparing to drive off we suddenly heard someone screaming, and not only one time but continuously. We drove towards the scream and noticed three bicyclers, we stopped and asked them is everything okay, do they need some help, etc. They explained us that there are a lot of bears in this region of Slovenia and the woman was screaming to scare the bears.  For the first moment we were a bit shocked because many nights we have been sleeping in the woods but of course the bears are more afraid of us, so we don’t worry about it.

We talked with them for a while about our trip, where we are coming, and where we are heading. They suggested us to got to a wine region in the east of Slovenia and we can park our bus on the property of their friend who has a big vineyard there. One of them immediately made a call and even asked for a bottle of wine to be ready for us when we arrive. Everything settled he gave us his contact card and the address of his friend, Milan Hlebec, vineyard in Kog. Since we didn’t have any plan for that day, we were more than happy we had one now😊 When we arrived to this address we found a small hotel in between the vineyards. We met Milan Hlebec senior, and he showed us where we can park our bus and offered us the electricity and fresh water. While sitting outside and tasting the wine with the owners of three different vineyards of this region we decided to help them tomorrow by picking the grapes (it was the grape picking season). Next day we stood up 6:30 in the morning and with many other workers we started to pick the grapes. They were mostly elderly people but since many of them spoke also a bit German we had a lot of fun getting to know each other. Afterwards, as a thank you, we had a delicious warm meal and a lot of home cooked cakes and last but not last also a box of different wines from the vineyard we were helping.

Being friendly and talking to people opened many doors for us until now, lets see what is still to come 😊

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