Three Rivers Tour – Germany

After great time in Bennekom with Tineke and family, went back on the road in some decent weather at long last. Still nippy but no rain and a bit of a tail wind. Stopped for lunch in a glass bus shelter for cheese ( thanks Tineke ) sandwiches. Ma said “Why is that Street sign in German?”
Apparently we had crossed the border without noticing.
Stopped short at campsite run by a German Officer. After putting up the tent I went looking for a tap for water. None to be found. The GO said it should be 10cents for 10 liters. I held out my little tiny pan and said I wanted enough for a cup of tea.
With withering looks and as stern countenance he filled my miniscule pan from the kitchen and gave me a strong signal not to break the rules again.
Apparently I did just that when I moved the few pieces of garden furniture around in the putt putt course. He told Ma off, so we had to put it back again in the morning. I turned one chair round for good luck. We also won in 1966.

Germany is also very bike friendly and cycle paths galore. Not just on the dykes along the Rain but also along most roads. Still very flat and mostly a cross or tail wind so great biking conditions.
Ma coping well with the heavy load and getting fitter and fitter. Did 101km into Cologne by mistake.
Left the Rhine banks for a long stretch as the industry, steel and chemicals, was polluting our lungs. Got lost in a chemical plant cycle path and had to detour an extra 5km. Then, as we were entering the suburbs of outer Cologne, a kindly German biking couple offered to show us the best way to our camp in central city. My map said straight ahead but they took us on a long, but beautiful, ride along the Rhine path. Unfortunately this was 15km longer, so Ma did her P B. Tired, but coped well. Just for fun it was also a public holiday so the supermarket’s were closed and we could not get food. Sourced a can of raviolli from a shack shop. It was lovely washed down with German beer and wine.

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Colin’s “Control Panel” i.e. the stuff he uses to get lost on well marked roads.

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At the start of the Giro d’Italia, few days too early alas.

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Colin celebrating with the Leicester sign.

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Dodgy campsite.

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“Low calorie diet” German style.

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Arno’s Bike Shop – are you branching out from Skuinsdrift?

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Cologne, old and new.

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Colin and Maggie, reflections in new Cologne.

Our calendar has gone to pieces and Ma thought yesterday was her birthday so I planned a day off, which we did. Went to Cologne cathedral and Ludwig museum. Loads of Picasso’s and Andy Warhol and other huge names which me as a pleb does not know!
Great day though, also lekker hot and sunny.
Today left Col and rode 50km ( ma’s bday so let her off with a short one ).
Beautiful day of riding on the banks of the Rhine with hundreds of other bikers. Most cyclists ignore each other but when a really loaded bike comes past we all give a conspirital nod as we are the real bikers!
Camped on the bank of the Rhine with millions of others. Packed but orderly in the German way.
This is day nine completed of the Rhine book. Ma not only did 101km the other day, she also broke through the 1000 km trip distance.

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View of the castle from the riverside campsite.

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Nice comfortable 50k today but against a horrible head wind. When we got to camp at Boppard wind changed direction by 180 degrees! Should have left in the afternoon.
FOOD
Ma now eating anything she sees. Breakfast every day was boiled egg on toast. This is now followed by jam on toast.
Lunch is cheese sandwiches around 11h00 as she is getting hungry. Then we stop for a second lunch at a biergarten for apple strudel and coffee.
At Camp around 14h00 Ma downed 500ml of Pilsner.
Dinner tonight was two huge slices of piggie ( schnitzel ) with chips and salad.
Now back in the tent drinking wine and looking for a biscuit.

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Maggie, with a draught of beer. Europe changes you, no more cider?

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South African Buffalo at rest, taking in the scenery.

The Rhine about half way done. Great cycling but strong headwinds last two days. It makes for grinding work in one gear uphill all the way.
There are five recognisable cyclist types on the Rhine.
1) The commuter on Dutch style bikes with one pannier for the laptop or briefcase/handbag
2) The glamper riding with two panniers which contain all the electronic gear ( iPhone,chargers,tablet,charger, camera, charger, laptop, charger, and in the other one clothes etc because they are staying in hotels.
3) The athlete racing at high speed on racers or MTBs. A danger to all other riders.
4) The Traveller. Panniers on front and back with tent on top. To be respected and given the amiable nod.
5) Us. The only Travellers going the wrong way up the Rhine!
Every day we see between 15 and 20 Travelers going down the hill but, to date, not 1 going our way. Sissies.
There are hundreds of Castles along the river, every few kms. Some are really not that old and are really like stately homes. I love the really old ones built 1000 years ago and are falling down now. There are Castles coming out both ears but I love them. You could say I am a Castellated Nut!  An engineering joke! Oh what a laugh. Tee hee.

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Pump station with bicycle tools.

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Ablutions at the campsite. Yikes.

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Riding through Nierstein.

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Hotel luxury! Nierstein.

2 thoughts on “Three Rivers Tour – Germany

  1. Maud

    Love your accounts of your travel adventures! Oh that poor German Officer haha, they tend to love Rules and Order and stuff – little did he know the Wingless Wonders keep winning…

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