Monday 7th November 2011

Castle in Leipheim, Germany

Mon 7. Geislingen to Mering 83 miles. It’s starting to get pretty cold now especially when the sun doesn’t come out. Seemed to go the long way round today, after riding for nearly 2 hours I went past a sign that said I’d only gone 9km from where I started! Good laugh in the hotel last night with a couple of locals and the staff, I couldn’t get the internet on my notebook so the Chef who obviously knew everything, tried and failed and just wouldn’t listen to anybody else, after a while he did give up and the second chef and waitress did it straight away, much to his disgust! Cycled along with an older man for a while he was off to see his daughter a couple of villages away. Think there’s some Bavarian event going on in the hotel tonight, unless they always wear traditional clothing when they go out! Perhaps there’ll be some thigh slapping later!

Sunday 6th November 2011

Breakfast in Pforzheim, Germany
Breakfast at the hotel in Pforzheim

Sun 6. Pforzheim to Geislingen 84 miles. Been on the road for a week now, it’s not going quite according to plan, I didn’t factor in that it would get dark so early and I thought I would find more campsites, but hotels are better just not very good for the budget. Mileage is down a bit but again mainly due to the hours of daylight. Huge breakfast this morning, see picture, and that was brought out after I’d eaten the continental breakfast! Perhaps they thought I looked malnourished!! Ended up riding into Stuttgart on the motorway, just couldn’t find my way in, then had a nightmare getting out, if I could have gone round I would have but there was no other way. Whilst trying to find my way out I asked a lady on a bike which way, as the cycle path that lead out was closed, she wasn’t too sure either so she went one way and I went the other, turns out mine was the wrong way! So I turned around and went back to where I had left Annik (as I later found out was her name) much to my surprise she was heading back in search of me because she had found a way through. We then rode the next 10km or so together to the next town where we had a coffee. Turns out she was a journalist and her sister had cycled around the world a few years ago! After our coffee we parted company and I continued on my way, still getting lost! It never ceases to amaze me how kind people are, I mean Annik didn’t have to come back for me but she did and I will always be grateful for that.

Saturday 5th November 2011

Sat 5. Bitche to Pforzheim, Germany. 84 miles. Nice ride through the forests along the French German border, made a nice change to day, no rain and no wind. The first 2 to 3 hours were nice and flat, I knew it was to good to last and it didn’t, I had to go up a col at 432 metres, but it wasn’t too bad, also rode up along the Rhine to Karlsruhe. Not too sure about the German roads they don’t seem to have many road numbers just where the road goes, which is a bit difficult for me as most of the names don’t exist on my map due to it’s large scale! Dinner was nice tonight, they seem to give you bread as standard with a dip or spread, tonight it tasted like beef dripping, lovely not had that for ages.

Friday 4th November 2011

Fri 4. Perl-Sinz to Bitche. 77 miles. Took my time getting started this morning, it was blowing a gale and raining! Luckily it only lasted an hour or two then the sun came out. Nice ride for part of the day along the river Saar apart from the puncture. It was nice to ride along a flat surface for a few miles. Back in France tonight for the last time, I then enter Germany and continue through to Austria! This rides a bit harder than I thought, mainly due to the hours of daylight, it’s ok riding in the dark in the morning because you now it’s going to get light but when it gets dark so early it’s not nice! Also had a strong headwind every day so far. The day finished with rain again!