After a three-year period of no TT, camper Klaus Krumpl has returned to the island and his beloved ‘Gruseleck’ in Dhoon.

Now a much-loved character on the island, Mr Krumpl, aged 69, from Duisburg in Germany, has been coming to the TT for more than 40 years, setting up camp in the same location on a grassed corner in Dhoon, Maughold.

The camping area name ‘Gruseleck’, meaning ‘scary corner’ in German, comes from a previous TT where Klaus recalls locals walking past describing the area as intimidating and scary.

When describing the TT in his own words, Mr Krumpl said: ‘Fascinating, astounding, impossible to explain – the action is simply hair raising.

‘The year 1981 was the first time that I came here, and from that one time came half a lifetime.’

He first heard about the TT from reading about it in a motorcycle newspaper when he was younger.

‘Back then more was written about the island in the motorcycle newspapers, they wrote about it regularly and explained what it was about,’ Klaus told us.

‘It fascinated me so much, and I wanted to be able to experience it.’

Asked if he had noticed how much the island had changed over his four decades of visiting, Klaus said: ‘Yes, but where in the world hasn’t changed?

‘But even though the world has changed and the same goes here, on the island it’s remained relatively intact compared to the way it was in the past.

‘There’s still much tradition, and the [appearance] of the island itself has stayed virtually identical.’

As for what he liked most about the island, Klaus said: ‘At first it was the racing, but after the amount of time I spent here, that passion is no longer as intense.

‘I’m fascinated by the island, by the people here and the land itself. They’re friendly, helpful, very warm people.

‘And that’s not something I’ve just experienced here, but also in Ireland and Scotland – the people there are very similar to here.’

Klaus continued: ‘At the moment there’s so much trouble in the world, from Covid to the Ukraine – but when you’re here, you’re distracted by the positive things and the idea doesn’t even cross your mind to think about the negatives.’

This time he is staying on island for longer, usually just attending the practices and races over a two-week trip, but this year he’s making more of a holiday to ‘relax and enjoy it’.

He will be returning with his Yamaha motorcycle next year, having had to give it a miss this time due to a knee injury.

As for how he picked the particular corner by Dhoon glen, on the corner with Ballaragh Road, as a camping place, he explained that he hadn’t chosen it.

But rather, the first time that he was here the weather was bad, and riding through the area his friend accidentally dropped his bike at this very spot – being exhausted after travelling for 40 hours.

‘We pulled the bikes up onto this slope, set up the tents and went to sleep,’ Klaus said.

‘And in the morning it was a beautiful day with the sun shining, and my friend said to me: “Did something happen to us?”, and I asked “why?”

‘“Because we’re in paradise”, he answered.

‘The whole drive here was such a catastrophe, and then we woke up in all this sun, and since then we’ve always stayed here.’

He added: ‘And the people here have been so welcoming, they know that we always act sensibly and clean everything up after ourselves – so they’re always glad to see us come, it’s simply wonderful.’