Koblenz (Switzerland) to Somewhere near Strasbourg
Total distance: 104km. Total time: 8.5hrs.
The beginning of the day way pretty average. Cloudy and a slight head wind.
The day got better when I ran into Ben, a Dutch bike tourer from Amsterdam. He saw me struggling to navigate my way through Basel and offered me a hand. He also said the French side of the Rhine was better for bikes as it was all sealed. I asked him if he would mind if I joined him on the French side and he said not at all!
It was lovely riding through the French country side and little French villages. I was going to ride further but decided to camp at the same camp ground for the night. It was there I ran into my first Aussie bike tourer. Henry from the Blue Mountains in Sydney.
Henry on the left. Ben on the right. Henry had no pump, no tools, no patch kit and apparently no plan. I couldn’t bare to let him go on without at least a patch kit so I gave him some spare glue and patches. We all spent the evening trading stories and went our separate ways in the morning.
Somewhere near Strasbourg to Seltz
Total distance: 150km. Total time: 9hrs.
I SMASHED it that day. I said goodbye to Ben in the morning (Henry was still asleep) and went on my way through the countryside.
Most of my ride followed a straight path by the Rhine river. Hence I was able to power along.
When I got to camp I was so so tired. The type of tired where I sat down on the grass, let my bike fall over (didn’t give a damn), and lay down backwards and didn’t move for about an hour. But who cares, I was spotted by Frediman and Andre and Friedimans kids, and they invited me over for a beer, food, more beer, a BBQ, stories and entertainment. AND they were German. So far I’ve had nothing but amazing hospitality from German people, I have no idea where this thought of them being unfriendly came from.
Seltz to Mannheim
Total distance: 97km. Total time: 5.5hrs.
I was invited to breakfast by Freidiman and Andre and I graciously accepted. Then I was up and out at about 9am. The path followed the Rhine but I barely saw it. I think it followed a nature reserve or something, I dunno. It was easy riding though.
I stopped somewhere in Narnia for lunch. I actually have no idea where the hell I was. I just kept following the little Euro velo 15 signs.
Then I got to camp somewhere near Mannheim and it was a race against time to get my tent up.
So after I got my tent up I decided to go out for dinner because I couldn’t be fricken bothered to cook. Also I got baileys with dinner because why not. The baileys cost me 2.5 Euro, and the water cost me 2.5 Euro… So I got another baileys instead of water. Then while I was eating dinner the weather completely went to shit.
“My tent!!” is what I was thinking. So after the storm passed I raced back to the campground to find everything in tact. After establishing there was no damage, I passed the fuck out. I don’t know why, but I was so exhausted. Probably because I had done two huge days with little rest.
Mannheim to Mainz
Total distance: 111km. Total time: 6.5hrs.
My morning started like something out of Stephen Kings “The Mist”.
Then things cleared up and I started to pass through more populated areas.
While in Mainz I was given the luxury of staying in a friends apartment (David who I met when I hosted him in Sydney), for two days. He and his girlfriend Lea also took me out that afternoon for some sight seeing.
But the best part was I got the whole place to myself and it was awesome just to chill out and have my own space.
David’s step dad also runs his own winery so I was given a free bottle of white wine to enjoy on my first evening. The rest of the weekends shenanigans I will post up on the next blog post as I can’t be bothered right now.