Todays mission was to sort Hazel’s British Columbia driving licence. This meant a trip to Kamloops in the hire car. While there Hazel was also going to do some shopping at Walmart.
To gain her BC licence Hazel has to hand her UK licence in which does seem strange. Anyway the whole process only took about 30 mins.
Call me strange but I do like looking round “forign” supermarkets. What people buy gives some inside to the country. In this case the first thing I saw was “George” labelled clothing ! Suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised as Walmart own Asda.
After shopping we returned to Sun Peaks for a chill. Later we headed out to a quiz night at the pub over the road. We were in a team of 6 with Hazel’s mates. Our team won the quiz – a high to end the holiday on 🙂
The only downer on the day was the impromptu quiz meant we forgot about a fine fruit crumble that Hazel had made for us.
Long drive from Brentwood Bay to Vancouver. We broke the journey at Cowichan Bay on route to the Naniamo ferry terminal.
Tonight we’re in a family room in hostel. This turned out to be a shit hostel. The room was only just bigger than the bed which was a metal framed double with a single as a bunk above it. No air-conditioning & way too hot. Ended up wedging the door open to get some air flow.
It’s not ideal wedging your door open in a dodgy hostel so we piled stuff behind the door so it couldn’t be opened without making a noise ! Anyway we’re all still alive.
Early start to the day. Hazel had arranged for one of her mates to give us a lift to Kamloops to pick up our Turo hire car at 7:45. Turo is like AirB&B for cars. You’re renting of individuals not a company.
Hazels mate arrived early & we got to Kamloops an hour early for the car. We killed time in Starbucks having some breakfast. In the UK breakfast at Starbucks would normally mean selling a kidney or re-mortgaging the house. Not in Canada 😁
The car pickup was at the guys house – he wasn’t there. The car was so we started our journey to Vancouver Island. Turo worked well.
The drive was long but scenic. We broke the journey with a stop in Whistler.
Sadly when we returned to the car we found we’d got a parking ticket. Turns out we’d been ticketed while Sarah was at the machine buying a ticket. Bastards… Our first bad experience in Canada 🤬
We then had an hours ferry ride to Vancouver Island.
We arrived late to our AirB&B which was in Brentwood Bay, just north of Victoria.
Well it seems the assistant in the BK Whopper bar in Calgary Airport read last nights post on customer service – she was, or came across as really quite rude !
Anyway they sell beer so ordered Molson and two vege burgers. All good until my order is ready. Apparently you can’t drink in public in Canada so I couldn’t take my bottle of beer out of the burger bar to where Sarah was sitting 😕
Mellowing to my charms she offered a solution 😁
The flight to Kamloops was on a tiny plane.
We met Hazel at the airport and after some food shopping headed off to Sun Peaks.
After a short chill in Hazel’s flat we went out for Taco Tuesday at Hazel’s local.
Then it started to go wrong…
To cut a long story short we had a great evening with Hazel & her mates. Sarah was a little squiffy & needed a sit down on the way home….
It seems Lake Louise is popular. You can’t drive there but have to book a park & ride place. This booking has to be done on-line. That process was a nightmare ! Luckly once booked the park & ride bit was really well done & quite stress free.
What wasn’t stress free was the numbers of people visiting this small area. Luckly it was a bit like the lakes in that people don’t go far from their transport. We walked down to the head of the lake & got away from the crouds.
It was beautiful…
Back at the park & Ride we had Poutine a Canadian delicacy of chips, cheese curds and gravy.
Awesome, super excited to serve you, Funday Sunday, Taco Tuesday, great choice,
Fuelled by Poutine we went for a walk down Johnston Canyon.
On returning up the Canyon we heard rocks falling and the cracking of timber above our heads. We looked up to see a tree falling into the Canyon above us. We ran… Luckly the tree roots held & the tree didn’t fall onto the walkway else it would have been close !
After this close shave we ate out at a Taco bar to celebrate still living 😁
The food was good but the service ethos is starting to become a little annoying. Every menu choice you make is “awesome” and every waitress says they’re “super excited to serve you“ Hmmm 🤨
A few beers then bed. Flying to Kamloops to see Hazel tomorrow…
Slept well in the Canmore Hostel – didn’t hear the live band in the hotel next door. We’re up by 8am to put a new ticket on the car. A ticket was needed but was free – work that one out ???
After making tuna mayo sarnies we headed out to Banff for a day’s eMountain biking. We were both looking forward to exploring Banff.
When we arrived the bikes were hybrids rather than mountain bikes. We ask for routes & three were provided. It transpired there were no mountain bike trails locally so the routes provided were on road.
The thre routes were ” Golf course”, “Tunnel mountain” and “Lake Minniewanka” loop. Being quite childish the name Minniewanka made me snigger…
Anyway some photos…
After riding we had an hour or so before a wildlife tour. The tour started from the same spot we hired the bikes from – simples…
The tour was on a small minibus. Our tour guide was Ray, a young girl with multicoloured hair and a loud voice.
We all got on the bus (12 people) and Ray told us the route for tonight’s wildlife hunt.
Sarah & I looked at each other as Ray said the exact route we’d eBiked earlier ! We laughed…
Anyway the tour was good and Sarah got to see a Wolf. No photo – it ran off.
I woke at 3am and ventured out to the loo. Half way there I suddenly became aware I’m in bear country & not at the top of the food chain – I woke up quickly ! Luckily for me no bears were hiding in the kharzi
Breakfast was coffee and boiled eggs on toast while chatting with the snory French guy.
First activity of the day was a trip on the Jasper sky tram. This is a cable car that takes you half way up Whistler mountain. The plan was to walk to the summit which is just over 8000ft high.
We were lucky it was a clear sunny day which allowed good views.
After Whistler mountain we went into Jasper for a cool beer and a look round. It reminded us of a very spread out Keswick – outdoor shops surrounded by mountains.
We went into a bar for a cool beer. Nice beer but expensive – just like keswick ! Now I don’t normally take photos in public toilets but I had to take this one of the gents urinal.
After the pub we drove to Medicine lake & Maligne Lake.
After Medicine Lake we drove to Maligne Lake to see a friend of Hazel’s. Sadly the 60 mile round trip was in vain as she’s in Jasper on her one day off a week ! Meline was too busy so we moved on quickly.
The drive home was interesting as we saw this fella wandering buy…
After our encounter with Yogi we did a walk down Maligne canyon. For this walk we were lent some bear spray by the hostel warden.
I was excited about a wilderness walk where bear spray may be needed. Dont get me wrong I didn’t want to go around pepper spraying bears. I’m well aware of what the outcome would be and I don’t want to harm them anyway. (I’m a vegetarian don’t you know) It was the thought of being in such a wild and untouched place we don’t really get in the UK.
The sad truth was it was a really popular walk. Hundreds of screaming kids… No self respecting animal would be withing 5 miles of this place.
So I felt a bit of a nob being armed like Rambo on a “family” walk. It was a beautiful place so here are some photos.
The Internet a little slow today so only two pics….
We were woken at 4:30am by a phone call from the uk – I’d not turned my phone on silent. Doh…
Todays plan was to get the bus back to the airport & pickup a hire car. Then drive, via a Walmart for food to Jasper. Simples.
We said goodbye to the hostel at about 9:30 after another hearty breakfast. We caught the 300 bus to the airport.
We’d picked the cheapest car we could with a company called VIP. What could go wrong…
…well nothing really. After some admin mixup VIP had booked us with Hertz for the same price. Hertz were nice and allowed us to take the car early so we were on the road by 11:30.
The roads out of Calgary Airport were busy but we managed find Walmart. I was looking forward to this because of the Facebbok group “People of Walnart”. If that’s to be believed the place will be filled with very “Special” people. Check it out. Just search FB for #peopleofwalmart you’ll love it.
The drive to Jasper was a long one – 440km and 4.5 hours according to Google.
After a couple of boring hours the scenery started to improve with big mountains on the horizon. When we got on the Icefields Parkway the scenery was just stunning.
Now the speed limits on this road are low and between 50 and 110kph at random sections of the road. The locals just ignored any limits which lead to some sketchy overtaking.
We came round one right corner to see a groupe of cars on the opposite carriage way all stopped in a group by a turning. I had my eyes on them looking for any stupid overtakes that would put us in danger.
What I didn’t see was they were looking a a bear on my side of the road by bushes on the hard shoulder. So we passed within 12″ of the bear at 50mph !
On passing the group of cars we could see they’d stopped to look at the bear. Given Paddingtons size I think our Hyundi would have come of worst.
We laughed at the thought of these people admiring this beautiful animal only to see us run it over !
As we drove on, I said to Sarah she should get her good camera ready. She laughed and said they’d be no chance of seeing another. Five minutes later we passed another smaller bear coming out of the tree line at the side of the road ! Again no photos ☹️
The hostel we’d booked is basic but in a beautiful location.
Mixed dormitories, no showers and compost toilets.
Tired, we cooked pasta & went to bed after chatting with some of the other guests and Scott the hostel warden.
Luckly we were only sharing with a nice Spanish cycle tourist.
The day started well. Sarah got an email saying our bags had been delivered & I got an email from NS&I 😁
Last night we arrived in rain so I opened the blinds to see what sort of day it was and saw this fella…
On the way to the hostel I saw squirrels as well. Amazing wildlife for a city centre.
We retrieved our bags, showered and went for breakfast. The hotel breakfast was a help yourself buffet of coffee, juices, bread, waffles, boiled eggs, yoghurt & fruit. This was served in the communal kitchen which had chairs & tables. We ate with youths – we’re definitely the oldest swingers in town here !
Today we wanted to see Calgary. Given the size of it we were only ever going to see a small part so we picked on the Downtown area which seemed to have interesting stuff. I’m trying a wordpress gallery below – tell me if it works !
We then went for some lunch at the River Cafe on Princes Island Park. We just wanted a drink & a quick snack so we ordered a coffee, a beer and a mixed meats and cheeses board to share between us.
We got a shock when the bill arrived 😭😭😭 Seems the River Cafe is 28th out of over 3000 Calgary restaurants on TripAdvisor !
We walked further down the river & saw some eScooters. Sazz downloaded an app & 5 minutes later we were off…
I was sceptical, but I have to say these are a great laugh & a brilliant way to get around. They’re especially good on smooth dedicated cycle paths. I think we did about 5 miles & cost us £10 each.
Decided to go back to our room & have a cheeky snooze before the evenings festivities. On the way back we nearly got pepper sprayed by druggies who were fighting in the street. Never a dull moment in Calgary !
So drug addicts, and by drugs I mean opiate based not just blow. There’s loads in Calgary & they’re everywhere. They’re totally fucked – it’s so sad but makes good people watching.
Anyway we rested. I watched the Tour highlights and we were out again by 7:30. We were both hungry as we’d only eaten a starter between us for lunch !
We ate cowboy style tapas & drank beer at a local bar. Calgary is lit up well at night…
Stayed at my old uni friend Kal’s place in Brum on the 3rd. He’s looking after the car – thanks Kal 👍
Woke at 2am to get an Uber to the airport. Uber arrived on time, but roadworks meant the driver took us to Coventry & back to get to the airport. Not good but still arrived in plenty of time.
Tipped our friendly driver and walked into the terminal when my banking app pinged. I looked expecting to see the £30 somthing bill from Uber. The Uber bill was £96 ! Apparently because the ride was longer than expected (road works) they can charge more. Not happy – has anyone had this happen ?
We checked our bags no problem & still had time for a pint in Spoons
We arrived about 30 minutes late into Frankfurt but still made our connection OK. The next flight was the biggy – 7 hours to Montreal. An OK flight & got a few hours kip.
In Montreal we were delayed by nearly 2 hours for thunder storms. That wait in a cramped holding area was joyous – NOT. If we don’t get covid after that I’ll be amazed.
The final leg from Montreal to Calgary was 4 hours. We arrived OK but our bags didn’t appear on the carousel !
We talked to a very nice man on the Air Canada desk who tracked them down – they were still in Montreal. Joy…
The nice man promised to have them delivered to us tonight and gave us an emergency travel pack each. All we could do was leave our details and set off for our accommodation, which was a hostel in Downtown Calgary.
The hostel’s better than expected & even includes breakfast. I’m just writing this while waiting for our bags – I’ll let you know tomorrow if they arrive…
This is a little late because we’ve been on the beer last two days 🍻
9:30 start from our ripoff hotel. Because its a Dutch Bank Holiday prices were sky high and there was limited availability. Its not as if we were ripped off but the room was nice – it wasn’t. Very tired and dirty, just like us.
It was relatively easy to navigate out of Rotterdam and we made good progress on what was the last section of our route.
Soon we were out of the suburbs & back by the Rhine.
We were both feeling mixed emotions – Happy to be completing our challenge but also sad it’s coming to an end.
Our route, 933 miles through 6 countries…
Now how to get home 🤔
…a plan was quickly formed. Metro to Haarlem, night there before short ride to the ferry.
The plan worked easily. The metro/train we got was easy to get fully laden bikes on to (unlike UK trains who have a big step). The service ran every 30 minutes, even on a Bank Holiday. It was cheap.
The hotel in Haarlem was a good choice as well. Great room at a fraction of the Rotterdam price.
We then went out for a celebration beer. The beer we liked turned out to be 6.5% and a good night was had in Haarlem 🤪
It was a cold clear night but I slept well cuddled up in Big Agnes. Sunshine again today. We had another brilliant breakfast of stale pitta with cheese and tomatos.
The campsite had some old military style buildings. When paying we found out it was an old Fort constructed pre ww1. It was one of a chain of waterline fortifications.
With a tail wind we made good progress on quiet roads. Most drivers were great, only one van gave us poth a close pass 🤬
Quick roads on the polders linked beautiful villages.
There was one area with 19 windmills.
At Kinderdijk we had to get a ferry to get round various bits of water. We took this ferry into the centre of Rotterdam.
I have to mention the ferry terminal. We all had to walk past this to get in the waiting shelter. If you’re pissed, stupid, not looking or a child you’ll end up in the river. In the UK H&S natzis wouldn’t have this. That’s why I love Europe.
Our hotel was shite for the price but very central so we had a walk around to see some of the wacky architecture.
We had a lovely sleep in the Holiday Inn & we’re reluctant to get going today. On the road by 10:40 – the latest yet.
The route took us out of Arnhem via parks and forest. Super route but slow going with twists and navigation stops.
Stopped at a restaurant by the river for a latish lunch. I ordered what I thought was a cheese and beef sandwich & Sarah got egg on toast with cheese, soup & a cheese croquette.
Her choice was way better than mine – the beef on my sandwich was raw ! I’m sure it was beautifully prepared but I like beef cooked. 😬
After the lunch stop the routevopened out onto cycleways on top of polders. Our speed increased & we even had the wind behind us at one point 😁
We used the lunch stop to look for camp sites for the night. Google maps was showing nothing in the area we wanted but Sarah had the Archies camping app. This showed one site at a reasonable distance. I was doubtful (if it’s not on Google…) but Sarah called and it did exist ! Result 👍and good learning that not everything’s in google.
Our route passed through this windmill. Apparently, it’s the only windmill that you can drive through – wonder why 🤔
We stopped at a Spar about 2 miles before the campsite to get some dinner. Outside the Spar was what looked like a mobile fish & chip van.
No fish but deep fried cheese, croquettes and chips for tea 😋 …with mayo of course !
We arrived at the campsite full so just sat in the sun & chilled. I watched the Giro highlights. G still in pink with two days to go – come on G 🏴
It was a cold night but we woke to bright sun. This dried condensation on the tent quickly while we had breakfast and packed.
Breakfast reached a new culinary low – cold veggie donner meat in day old naan bread washed down with instant cappuccino.
The campsite was lovely & we had the tent field to ourselves.
The only downer for the site was that the toilet block was miles from the tent. It was so far we rode our bikes there. It was on one such trip that I noticed a rattle from my front rack.
Investigations showed that one of the bolts holding the rack to the base of the fork was missing. No problem I thought – I’ve packed spares.
Problem was that the bolt wouldn’t tighten into the fork boss thread more than 3 to 4 turns. This left the rack loose – not tight to the fork boss. Don’t know the reason. It wasn’t mismatch threads – tried three different bolts. Maybe the thread was damaged as the old bolt worked lose. Who knows… Anyway to stop it moving on the bolt I used trusty cable ties. 🤞 it lasts the ride else Arnhem could be a bridge too far…
More pretty villages, now with windmills.
Even saw an old nuclear plant that had been turned into a theme park. Check out…
We were sad to leave the flat. It was warm, clean and full of chocolate!
So we had chocolate for breakfast and hit the road by 9:30am. It took about 20 minutes to get back on route which followed the river quite closely.
Once out the town we made swift progress on cycle paths on the flood defences.
We made good time covering over 20 miles before lunch. This brought us to Duisburg. I have no pictures of Duisburg for two reasons…
1. I thought if I got my camera out I’d get mugged.
2. There’s nothing worth photographing in Duisburg!
Duisburg is very industrial but unlike Mannheim (BASF) it looks and feels poor, rundown and dirty. As we passed through the city we saw some very shady characters hanging around on the streets.
This was a side of Germany we’d not seen so far. We got out as quickly as possible…
Out of Duisburg we came back to dedicated cycle tracks in beautiful countryside. Save as above really so no photos. We stopped for a snack at a country pub. Apart from that we just pushed on to Xanten and our campsite for the night. It was a 50+ mile day.
Good night’s sleep snuggled into Big Agnes. Woke to a grey day. Over breakfast chatted to a French guy who’s turned up late and camped next to us.
He’s a retired high voltage electrician who’s on a solo cycling trip. He’s playing a game where you have to find mosaic images hidden throughout Europe. Can’t remember what it was called but it had an app !
The route closely followed the Rhine. Firstly through countryside but this changed to heavy industry as we approached Dusseldorf.
Not much to photograph except the sign below. Not sure if it was a joke ?
It was a cold & grey day when we reached Dusseldorf. We sat by the river and decided we’d had enough cold for the day – hotel time. This proved difficult with many hotels stating not having bike storage. Also prices were high.
To cut a long Google and booking.com story short we ended up with a flat. Turned out to be a lovely flat & the best thing about it was the amount of chocolate in bowls around the place 😋
We showered and went to the nearest veggie restaurant. This was Sattuni, a middle Eastern restaurant. We were the only people eating in. Had lovely food and chat with the Palestinian owner.
We talked about travelling and learned he was off to Palestinian for a 2 day visit to his parents. He was very worried because they were trying to arrange a wife for him !
Back in the flat, we watched Giro highlights 😁 before bed.
Disasters: No cheap hotels in Cologne and shower trauma…
We had a good night’s sleep in our funky design hotel room. For £50 it was a bargin. We were feeling lazy today so paid for the hotel breakfast, which was good. Considered stopping another night but the rate was £150 now.
Before leaving I had a fiddle with Sarah’s front break. I think I’ve improved it so it should work till the end of the trip now. If it fails catastrophically & Sarah ends up in the Rhine I may be under investigation 😬
Todays route was mostly industrial with some nice parks thrown in.
No wonder the German economy is faring better than ours – they do stuff and make stuff.
We stopped in Cologne for lunch. The cathedral is stunning and big ! Would have stopped the night but couldn’t find a reasonably priced hotel with bike storage. The cheapest we found that would look after our bikes was €250 for the night ☹️ …so at that price we peddled on.
Ended up at a small campsite near Chorweiler. Lovely pitch but the showers are lacking for two reasons…
1. Control is a nightmare – the difference between freezing and striping your skin with steam could be measured on an atomic scale.
2. There were no shower doors or curtains. You’re just standing there freshening your bits while blokes are wandering by with their washing up ! Good job they’d eaten else I could have put them off their wurst !
Despite ear plugs, it was a noisy night with broken sleep. Trains and boats run all through the night. Their noise was added to by a large French cyclist in the next tent down who was snoring loudly. 🙉
To add insult to injury, some birds craped on the tent badly enough to require a cleaning operation before it could be packed away.
We were on the road by 10am and fighting our way through the many weekend cyclists.
Not long after starting we had to stop to adjust Sazz’s front break. The miles are starting to take their toll on both bikes now. While stopped we were passed by a Canadian couple we’d seen the day before.
We caught and passed then a short time later. This started a bit of a race which I’m glad to say we won but it took about 6 miles to drop them.
The cycle paths were quite rough on todays section. This, along with sunday cyclists, made for what felt like slow progress. We actually managed 20 miles before lunch !
We stopped for lunch at a village fete where I tried curry wurst mit frites.
Back on the road (at a slower pace), todays target was Bonn. The views on route wèe again wonderful.
We used booking.com to find the cheapest hotel which actually turned out to be good ! The colours and design are a little wacky.
Beautiful campsite with a chilled vibe. Sun shining. Hot coffee while watching giant barges float by. The only thing that spoiled it was that some bafoon cannot read German and got two pots of herby cheese spread instead of healthy bercher for breakfast !
First World problems & we had a laugh about it. It was funnier at the time than it sounds now.
It’s a German long bank holiday so we were a little concerned about campsite availability in koblenz. …so we hit the road at speed. After being held up by a group of ebikers who wouldn’t let us overtake, we covered the first 20 miles in under 2 hours ! 💪💪💪
The only campsite in koblenz is big and busy but they had room for tents 😁 we pitched quickly and headed off for a look round Koblenz. We got from the campsite to koblenz via a small ferry over the Moselle river.
“Moselle, don’t you mean Rhine ?” I hear you cry… The Moselle and Rhine join at Koblenz. The Moselle separates the campsite from koblenz.
A few wines before early bed. Ear plugs needed tonight. Trains, boats and kids noise 😬
Got sidetracked by some nice wine last night so this is gonna be a short one.
Lazy start on a lovely camp site.
Mannheim is home to BASF factories. They are massive & employ over 30,000 people. The picture below shows company bikes for employees to use around site. This is just one of many !
We had high hopes for Worms – it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe. Hopes were dashed – its a dump !
We did find a nice restaurant and ordered tarte flambé. We thought this would be like French tarts & there was a choice of savoury fillings. So we ordered one a piece and a bucket of chips cos we’re hungry.
Oh what a mistake that was. Tarte flambé in germany is a pizza and they were huge – see picture below…
We only ate half and asked for a doggy bag for the rest !
Despite a nice hotel room we both didn’t sleep brilliantly – don’t know why. Breakfast was some leftover bread thing with custard and icing + a yoghurt. I think the yoghurt was on the turn but it didn’t taste too bad.
The sluggish start meant we hit the road by 9:30am. It was a cold and windy day. The first problem was to navigate around a section of the cycle path that was supposedly flooded. We managed not to get lost and found a route around.
It was cold and windy. Jackets, hats snd gloves were needed. We brewed up on a bench to warm up.
The route up till now was cycle path along the flood defences. The route today wasn’t inspiring- don’t get me wrong it was lovely but just not up to the previous days.Also we were tired and cold so not feeling the love today.
We stopped at a cafe for Scooby snack – chips, cake, and a coffee. Whilst there we chatted with an interesting German and a Spaniard.
When we finally got to our camp site there was no-one in reception. We were reading the signs on the reception when a German turned up on his ebike. He told us he’d spoken with the site earlier today and they’d said you pitch up and pay tomorrow.
So we head into the tent field – which is empty. Thing is the German also follows us and attempts to pitch right by us.
We weighted till he’d pitched then moved ours 20 yards away – wierdo !
Then I had a look at Sarah’s gears while she cooked tea. Her chain gad fallen off several times. Tea was pasta, tomatos, tuna, kidney beans and olives. This was OK but not going to win any awards.
Edna. Just heard from Sarah you’ve been in the wars recently. Best wishes for a speedy recovery 💪💪💪
Mileage today: 44 miles.
Total mileage: 434 miles.
Disasters: Finding campsites that are open ☹️
It was hard to get up today. We were in a lovely hotel with a super king size bed.
So a later start than normal. The first 40 minutes riding was to get out of Strasbourg. The cycle lanes took us past beautiful bits of the city. We’ll definitely be coming back for a city break here.
Then back to situation normal – dedicated cycle track through stunning countryside.
I have to say the sinage on this leg was poorer than normal and we did lose the path a few times. Also there were a few route closed signs. Luckily both times locals said we could ignore them 👍
We stopped for lunch at a cafe by a marina. It was definitely a locals place & no English translation on the menu. With poor mobile signal we were struggling to work the menu and thought about going else where. We didn’t mainly because Sarah had chomped through all the free pretzels on the table already. Glad we didn’t because the food was great though a tad expensive.
Then the rain came – well rain with thunder and lightning. We sheltered under a willow tree in someone’s garden until it passed.
I wore a helmet cover which Sarah found hilarious. She called me Mr Condom head – don’t know why.
We’ve done well with just rocking up at campsites and getting in. Today our luck ran out. The three we tried were shut or not taking tents.
This left two options… 1. Continue another 12 to 15 miles to the next town with camping. 2. Get a hotel nearby.
Being hard core cycle tourists we were up for the extra mileage but then the rain started again. …so we’re tucked up in another hotel tonight 😁
Here’s a little map showing where in the world we are..
Woke to the patter of rain on the tent. It was very light but we decided to get the tent down before it got soaked.
As we packed the rain stopped but disaster struck when Sarah discovered she’d lost a pair of pants somewhere on our travels. Also an ant infestation meant that everything needed brushing down before packing.
Living like a king with coffee, Danish pastries and profiteroles for breakfast.
We said goodbye to the nice but wierd campers we chatted with last night and hit the road about 9am.
I woke early, about 6am. It wasn’t a woodpecker but my bladder to blame this time. It was a dry but overcast morning with little rain forecast 😁
Breakfast for me was Danish pastries & a pot of profiteroles washed down with instant Cappuccino.
On the map the route looked easy and straight alongside the canal de Rhone. The route ran along side the campsite but after a couple of miles there was a diversion for maintenance work. The diversion was poorly signed so we made our own route up using the many cycle tracks in the area.
Back on route there were intetesting WW2 memorials on route.
Lunch was the usual…
Fuelled with fine French cheese it was an easy ride to Neuf Brisach. This is a wallet town from 1700’s. The town is a UNESCO world heritage site because of the fortifications. Wikipedia’s got some good info…
You can ride your bike round the fortifications and see this…
We had a quick beer in town at a very French bar. Shopping & back to the campsite to make tea…
While our washing was drying we chatted with other campers on the site. There were Rome interesting characters. A Swedish couple in their 70s who had big shopper bikes and a road atlas. A German lad doing a PhD in AI and an Aussie girl who just seemed a bit weird.
OK it’s 9:55pm & I’m knackered so this will be a short one.
Woke early because a bloody woodpecker started hammering at 5am. Bastard… Don’t get me wrong I love nature but 5am puts me in a grump.
We got up at 7am and started packing – rain was forecast & we wanted to get the tent away dry. It doubles in weight if put away wet.
We breakfasted with our Dutch friends in a covered area near where the tents were. We seem to meet a lot of Dutch cycle tourists and they’re all going to Rome !
I smelt a strong smell of gas while we were both using our stoves which was worrying. So myself & the Dutch guy had a good sniff around. We concluded it wasn’t our gear leaking & it must have come from upwind on the campsite. Phew…
We started cycling about 9:30am. Again lovely cycling on cycle track or quiet roads.
For lunch, yep you guessed it bread, crisps, cheese and tomatos. Food of the God’s 😋
We were in Switzerland for most of the day. Everything is so perfect here – even the graffiti is nice…
The idea was to do about 40 miles today but weather & campsite availability conspired against us. We we ended up only doing 29 before finding nice site for the night.
The site had a covered ebike shelter with electric sockets we were allowed to use. We parked the bikes and made a brew. While relaxing with my brew I could smell gas again. That’s two much of a coincidence!
The stove was checked and checked again – no leaks. Then I remembered Sazz had a spare canister in her bag. I opened her pannier & got a huge blast of gas. The canister valve had broken and was leaking. This was in the pannier that was about 18″ from the stove I’d used to make a brew 💣💥
To celebrate being alive we ate at the site restaurant before a walk to the shops for bedtime chocolate. Night all x
…oh and I spotted one of Switzerlands four nuclear power stations.