We had a lovely last day cycling with Helen and Richard along the Eurovelo 4 to Cheb. We enjoyed some sunshine and were even blessed with a tailwind, as we followed the river towards Germany. That evening I enjoyed the best schnitzel I’ve ever eaten, and we had a lovely time at a local pub.
With an early start and a bakery breakfast we said goodbye to Helen and Richard and took a cycle path over the hills to Germany. It was freezing cold, but we kept warm with a cafe stop for lunch and a few hills to climb. We were very happy to stay with Christian (WS) in his strawbale house to avoid a cold night in the tent.
Another cold and rainy day as we joined the river Main. The cycle paths were well signposted and smooth tarmac, but seemed excessively wiggly. We found a campsite and commandeered the kitchen for the evening, keeping dry and warm with constant mugs of tea.
But the next day brought the sunshine and warmth, and we continued downriver to Lohr, where we stayed with Annette and Bernhardt, who are not on warm showers but who we were put in contact with via another WS host. We had a wonderful evening with them, enjoying the sunshine as we chatted and ate on their deck, and in the morning were treated to the most scrumptious breakfast spread.
We cut off a bit of the winding Mine trail and headed over the hills on gravel roads instead. The climb wasn’t long or high, but quite welcome after so much flat. Then it was back on the river to Frankfurt. It was even hot enough for an ice cream stop! While we were sitting in a Lidl car park scoffing down a tub of ice cream a man gave us a box of 100 watch batteries, to ‘sell for money for our trip’. It was rather strange.
An afternoon of sunny riverside trails and dodging the thousands of other cyclists brought us to Bernhard’s (WS) flat in Offenbach. He was a really interesting long distance tourer who cooked us incredible spaghetti for dinner.
Back on the Main trail, it got quite industrial before joining the Rhine. But as we followed the Rhine to Bingen it got more and more scenic. The hills rose sharply from the river, and were covered in steeply stepped vineyards. We spent the afternoon cycling with Michael, a German cyclist heading to Cologne, and I think we convinced him to quit life and do a long tour.
The brief interlude of good weather was abruptly ended as we woke up to grey skies, a very strong headwind, and rain that started as we set off. But we only had a short day along the Rhine to Koblenz. And it was still pretty scenic and slightly more enjoyable as we were now only passing other cyclists every 20 mins or so, instead of constantly. We got very lucky, and managed to miss alot of the heavy rain while having lunch or doing a shop, so got to Koblenz pretty dry.
That evening was spent eating possibly the best veggie meal of the trip with our host Tabi (WS) as she told us about her long trip (22 months!).
We are really on the countdown till our ferry now, and the panic about going back to real life is setting in. But when the rain stops and the cycling is good we are still managing to enjoy ourselves!
Jim’s words – Burger, Germany, Tea, Sunshine, Batteries, Rhine and Daal.