Day 30-32. May 28/29th
Two days of great cycling have seen us move 170k downstream and we are now enjoying a days rest. Sitting in the needed shade having just finished a half bottle of the local pink fizz with a punnet of strawberries. Camped in a field next to a Guesthouse at Gunzburg with big tee-pee tent for company.
Really great ride down the river so far and the weather has greatly improved. The dramatic gorge continued for some 30k and then the odd meadow and then occasional fields as a flood plain appeared. Steadily the plain has widened and all the time the scenery have changed and delighted. Made a farm near Rottenacker (83k) for our Saturday night stop, longer than we intended but the weather was not that great so we pushed on a bit.
However, I need to go back to the previous night to put things in context. Having pitched our tent a Hausen we were joined by a group of 3 Germans. Joined in that one of their tents was pitched so close to ours that the guy ropes overlapped. Strange as there was a lot of other space. Anyway few words passed between us as we dinned out that night in a very boisterous restaurant full German bikers. Also, one was tattooed with big earrings in his ears - not our type at all! We did however; find that they were on an 8-day ride to Passau on the Austrian border - on our route. During the night we were attacked at least 3 times, not by the Germans I hasten to add but what we presume to have been a very energetic and hungry fox. First just some pushing and scratching at the tent flap. Later a more determined move, which I discovered when awakening for a necessary night wander, Sue's handlebar basket had been overturned and half pulled from the outer flap - the contents were strewn over a wide area. These I collected and secured well within the tent. An early morning look outside revealed that on of Sue's heavy panniers, with food in, had been dragged from the tent and well and truly rummaged through. Anyway, checking through things showed that were missing a yellow shopping bag, Sue's hairbrush, the route map and her spare pair of glasses. A little imagination gives a very amusing image of Mr Fox! All the items save the yellow bag were recovered some distance from the tent.
Now back to Saturday and our arrival at Rotteraker where we found the campsite closed - a little dispiriting after nearly 80k. Here we came across the 3 German's in a similar predicament only they had a language advantage over us - I now know over 10 words. We followed them for 5k to a remote farm where we were warmly welcomed, shown an open field, provided with a trestle table and benches. Full facilities were in the farm basement and before long a crate of beer also appeared. As the sun set over an idyllic we retired to a little old shed with table settee and arm chairs. When the beer was finished me and my mates Annya, Silvyo, and Andreas from Leipzig had overcome any language barrier and were happily laughing at jokes that did not exist. In fact both the As had a reasonable grasp of English. A quite cold night with an amazingly heavy dew gave way to another brilliant day. Breakfast at the table and then we were off.
We took a detour northwards to the Blau River and visited Blaubeuron with its amazingly large and very arresting blue spring. The trip down the Blau to the Danube will be remembered. Also to be remembered is Ulm a University town, the world's tallest church steeple and along the river the densest population of cyclists I have ever come across, not forgetting rollerbladers and walkers. We lunched in the Town Square and then returned to the riverside and made Gunzburg by 6 (86k).
We are now starting to move in a loop to the north of Munich and this gives us our last chance of seeing a known and friendly face - Stephen and Rachel having recently moved there.
Addendum to Fox: Sue now found months supply of cod liver oil tablets missing - supple fox!