In late June I embarked on a twelve day intensive SOTA tour from Prague, activating en-route across the west side of Czech Republic to Munich, south to Friedrichshafen and then back to Prague via the Bayern area. I was accompanied on this road trip with my friend Victor Mitchell, who holds the callsign GI4ONL. We attended the "Ham Radio" convention at the enormous exhibition centre there, on Lake Constance, (Bodensee). When operating in the Czech Republic as well as using our own callsigns OK8CDX and OK8VM, we were permitted to use the special callsign OL15SOTA, thanks to Mirek OK1CYC.
There were difficulties with transport on this 2022 summer tour caused by rail strikes and airlines cancelling our pre-booked flights, however we were not impacted either by delays at the airports or in excessive car hire fees charged by our usual provider in Prague, Ren+plus, low cost car rental.
We activated 36 summits on this tour in the Czech and the German Alpine and German Low Mountains Associations. Many of the summits were non-descript and in featureless woodland, however several were outstanding and are worth writing about.
My flight to Prague was on Tuesday 21 June from Manchester, however there was a rail strike that day so I travelled to Manchester by train on Monday 20 June and stayed in a city hotel overnight, using the Metro Tram to convey me to the airport on Tuesday morning. There were no delays at the airport and I easily passed through security with the radio gear and batteries etc. Some hardware such as my wire antenna and pole were packed into the suitcase and carried in the hold. The padlock on my suitcase mysteriously dissapeared during the flight, however the contents of my suitcase, which included a Thinkpad laptop were still there when I opened it up after my journey....
Our Kia Ceed hire car - Prague airport
The first activation took place next morning, 22 June, on the six point OK/PL-090 Vici Hora, where I used the special callsign OL15SOTA. Mine was the 30th activation of this summit. By around lunchtime we entered Germany, activating DM/BM-323 Entenbuhl and then the drive on summit, DM/BM-321 Fahrenberg, on our way to our pre-booked Bavarian Gasthaus in a village not far from Munich.
Next day, Thursday, we drove to Friedrichshafen, activating three summits on the way in the Allgau Alpine area. Friday morning we drove to the Messe for the Ham Radio event and the first person I met before I went inside was my friend Luc ON7DQ from Belgium, thank you to Luc's YL for allowing me to use her photo:
Victor and I attended the show on Friday and Saturday, which was not so good as many of the larger traders, such as Yaesu and Kenwood, who did not attend. The high point of the
show was meeting the many SOTA activators and chasers and my friends in
Chiltern DX Club where I helped man the club stand. We were ready to leave by mid afternoon on Saturday though and restart our SOTA Tour by returning immediately to the hilly Allgau area. We had time to activate Altringenberg DL/AL-272 and Laubenberg DL/AL-273 before reaching our Gasthaus on Saturday evening at Isny im Allgau. We had a "good drink" shall we say, that night - enhanced by a free glass of Schnapps!
The next day we got on with the job and activated four summits in the Allgau before reaching the massive DM/BM Bayerne Mittelgebirge area where SOTA points are easily earned from the many wooded summits. Our final day in the Allgau was very hot, but early morning it was a delight to be activating the Auf dem Falken DL/AL-271, which turned out to be a wooded ridge and just 1 Km to the summit where Victor found himself on the edge of a fenced off large drop, while I continued on the ridge for 500m to find an area in the woodland clear enough to spread out my 40m link dipole without fouling the trees. Parking at 47.593 10.300, track uploaded to SMP and SOTL.AS:
|Victor's view from DL/AL-271 was better than mine....|
|Victor DL/G4ONL/P ready to leave DL/AL-271|
|This was our Bavarian lunch at the Alm on DL/AL-171 Eisenberg later that Sunday.|
The summit was activated by Peter DL/ON4UP/P two weeks later....
We never go directly from Gasthaus to Gasthaus on these SOTA Tours - so to encompass the four activations on this day my Google Timeline shows we drove just 62.9 miles and wallked 8.9 miles climbing the four summits, 12 points earned and 4 SOTA Completes for me:
Now go to Part 2 and the next thrilling installment!