Bike-Ride To Australia 9th-November 2011

Bike-Ride To Australia 9th-November 2011. Obing, Germany to Vocklabruck, Austria 80 miles. Frosty start to the day. As  I looked out of the curtains this morning, I saw that the hotel looked out over a lake! It was very picturesque with the sun coming through the mist. No time to enjoy it though, I’ve got to get moving! That’s something I always miss out on, taking advantage of what the hotel has to offer!

When I went to settle my hotel bill, I had a pleasant surprise! They hadn’t put last night’s meal or bar tab on! I wondered if I should say something, but then it’s not my fault it’s not on the bill! And I’m sure they have more money than me! In the end, I decided not to say anything and quickly paid the bill! I couldn’t get away from the hotel quick enough! Although I did feel somewhat guilty! After leaving the hotel, I made good progress and had reached Austria by lunch. I think I was peddling like mad to get as far away from that hotel as possible!

First sighting of Austria
First sighting of Austria

The sun soon burned the frost off today, and it was lovely and warm. I was even down to a t-shirt. It didn’t last long, though! As I made my way up some mountain, the clouds descended, and the temperature plummeted! I went past one of those chemists with the temperature displayed outside. It read 4 degrees c! It must have dropped a good 14 degrees in the course of a few miles! I never did see the sun again!

Not a particularly pleasant end to the day, riding in the dark and fog! And I don’t think much of Austrian drivers. They pass by so close! And don’t even toot! I’ve not felt so intimidated since riding in Morocco. Still, it’s all okay now. I’ve found a bar and am enjoying a couple of beers! Although it feels strange sitting in a bar where people are still smoking! Very odd!

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Bike-Ride To Australia 8th-November 2011

Bike-Ride To Australia 8th-November 2011 Mering to Obing 82 miles. Late start today. When I checked into the hotel last night, the receptionist locked my bike in an office. But come this morning nobody had a key! Instead of waiting for somebody to arrive with a key, I went for breakfast, making a nice change. Most mornings, I’ve not bothered, preferring to get on the road early instead.

At breakfast, I got ribbed by some of the people I met last night for wearing shorts! I didn’t take the mick out of them for their lederhosen, did I! Mind you, I must admit it is pretty cold to start with, and even the cows give me a strange look as I cycle past!

Parliament building in Munich, Germany
Parliament building in Munich

Munich came and went, and to my surprise, I found my way in and out without getting lost! I even recognised some of the places I visited last year on my way to Italy. I did, however, have a bit of an altercation with some woman! She was shouting at me for cycling on the road instead of the cycle path, which I know she was right about! But I just think she’d had an argument with her husband and was in a bad mood!

Tonight should be my last night in Germany, so best make the most of their beer! I also need to start thinking about my route. Do I cross the Alps or head a bit further north and go along the Danube?

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Bike-Ride To Australia 7th-November 2011

Bike-Ride To Australia 7th-November 2011 Geislingen to Mering 83 miles. The temperature is really starting to plummet now, especially when there’s no sun! I might have to dig my thermals out soon!

Not too sure what happened first thing this morning! But I’d been cycling for nearly two hours when I passed a sign, which, if correct? Said that I’d only travelled nine kilometres! I tried to see if a 2 or maybe even a 1 had fallen off, which would have made sense. But there was no sign of anything else ever having been there!

I had a good laugh in the hotel last night with a couple of the locals and staff. I couldn’t get the internet on my notebook, so the chef, who knew everything, tried and failed miserably! But he just wouldn’t give up or listen to anybody else. He knew best! He eventually gave up, saying something about my notebook being wrong, surprising that! The second chef and waitress between them did it straight away! The head chef just walked off as we all laughed under our breath!

Castle in Leipheim, Germany
Castle in Leipheim, Germany

I had some company this afternoon. An old boy joined me for a time. He was off to see his daughter in the next village.

I think there could be some thigh-slapping tonight! All the men are dressed in lederhosen and the women in dirndl (I had to look up the women’s clothing!) I know I’m in Bavaria but is this how they dress all the time? I’m not sure about the clothes, but I like their beer! I’ll have a Steiner, please!

As you might tell, there’s not been a lot happening today! However, I did see a black squirrel! Is that normal? And I passed a Woolworths. I thought they’d closed down or is it just the UK branches that closed? I did think about going in and getting some pick and mix!

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Bike-Ride To Australia 6th-November 2011

Bike-Ride To Australia 6th-November 2011 Pforzheim to Geislingen 84 miles. Well, I’ve been on the road for a week now and enjoying every bit of it. Well, maybe not all! There are a few things that have taken me by surprise! The first one is the limited hours of daylight. The day starts in the dark and finishes in the dark! There’s also the lack of campsites. I was expecting there to be a few more than none! But hey, staying in hotels is a lot better! No having to put a tent up in the dark and then having to trudge across a field to have a shower! All I do now is make sure my bike is safe, trudge upstairs, have a shower, then spend the evening sitting in the bar! No hotels are definitely the way forward, although I’m not too sure about the expense!

What a breakfast this morning. I’d just finished pigging out on the continental buffet when the waiter came out with more food. A massive plate with six sausages, three slices of bacon and three fried eggs on it! Perhaps they thought I looked malnourished!

Breakfast in Pforzheim, Germany
Breakfast at the hotel in Pforzheim

I had a nightmare cycling into Stuttgart this morning and found myself on another motorway! Somehow I don’t think the German police would be as forgiving as the French! Luckily I wasn’t on it for too long and soon found a way off. I had just as big a nightmare trying to find my way back out of Stuttgart!

At Last

After eventually finding my way out of Stuttgart, I found myself cycling along the River Neckar on a cycle path. Unfortunately, after less than a mile, that route was fenced off, forcing me to find another way! As I cycled back on myself, I saw a cyclist coming in the other direction. As we came alongside, I stopped to tell them that the route was blocked and if they knew of a different way. She wasn’t too sure which way to go either. So she went one way, and I went the other! It turned out my new route was also blocked! Once again, I turned around and went back to where I had left Annik (as I later found out), and much to my surprise, she was heading back in search of me! She had found a way through a subway underneath the river. Despite having to bump my bike down the steps on one side and drag it back up on the other, I could at least continue cycling in the right direction!

I then rode with Annik to the next town, where we stopped at a café for coffee. She told me that she was a journalist (maybe I should get some writing tips from her!) and a few years back, her sister had cycled around the world! After sitting and talking for nearly an hour, I had to continue on my way, or was it she wanted to get away from me!?!

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