The DM/RP Rheinland Pfalz area looked to be a good place for me to go and activate some unique and easy to access summits. The adjacent SOTA areas of Saarland DM/SR, Hessen DM/HE and Luxembourg LX, where I had unfinished business, where also reachable within the hire car mileage allowance of 1400 Kms on a 7 day rent, at 200 Kms per day.
Cheap flights by Mr O’Leary’s Ryanair were available from Stansted, 200 miles by road from my home, the roads to there are good so the airport can be reached from North Yorkshire within 4 hours.
The afternoon flight brought me into Frankfurt (Hahn) airport by 18:00 local time, so I was in my Europcar driving out of the airport within the hour, leaving me time for one activation before it was dark. The weather was horrible and wet as I made by way to the drive on summit of DM/RP-187 Wildenburger Kopf (6 points).
The small budget airport at Hahn is actually 40 miles from Frankfurt and in a good place to start a SOTA Tour. I reached DM/RP-187 in around 30 minutes and found an operating position that would allow me and my equipment to remain dry, once my antenna was erected:
I didn’t have much time to spare before driving to Grafendhron and my Landhaus B&B for the first two nights, so I made 17 fast QSOs from 17:35-17:51z on 40m CW/SSB before packing up. The first station logged being GI4ONL Victor, near Bushmills, followed by Tonnie PA9CW. Last man worked was the very active Markus IN3ADF. By the time I arrived at Landhaus Grafendhron it was dark and very wet and there were no signs of life in the building. A note in German on one of the doors titled “Liebe Gaste” appeared to be directed at me. It was inviting me to ring a mobile number. After failing to get a signal on the phone I normally use in Europe, I was getting desperate, fearing a night sleeping in the car. However, my backup mobile phone had a signal and after speaking to the proprietor I was able to locate the hidden key to get me into the building and my room. I would not recommend staying at this place for several reasons…
Once I had unpacked in my tiny room I went back into the car to change the language of the digital dashboard in my Ford Puma to English.
Day 2 will follow…