Thursday, 19 April 2012

20 April Stage 11 Aalen - Ingolstadt

Dep 9.00 Arr 7.00 Dist 130 km Tot ???

I had a couple of bowls of Frosties with muesli for breakfast with the usual lovely soft but crusty cobs and as much coffee as I could drink. There were no town plans available so I looked at a map in the reception of the hostel and tried to remember my way out of the town. It wasn't difficult but I managed to get it wrong and FARTED AROUND (yes I'm shouting) for an hour or so. I made it to the main road and there were no further dramas, just decent progress, firstly along a main road with decent cycle tracks at the side and later on very minor roads where there were more tractors than cars. This second road was cutting across river valleys which meant a lot of ups and downs again. I just got into the granny gears going up and flew down the other side.

I made it to Neuburg an der Donau which was a bit emotional for some reason. Maybe because I had made it across the South of Germany to another major river valley which would be with me for a long way. I had the choice of camping here in Neuburg at the Englischer Garten or going on to Ingolstadt where there was a hostel. I decided to go the extra 25km or so to make the next day easier and also maybe because I'm getting soft and enjoying the clean linen and European breakfasts in the hostels. I made it and here I am at about 9.00 on a computer in an activities room with a group of teenage drama students making as much noise as possible.

Here I am later after a few drinks in this nice town. All was looking quiet as I walked out near the hostel until I turned a corner and it was the Ingolstadt equivalent of King Street. I went in the first bar and was happy to pay a euro for my wristband. It was a youngish type of place but I needed a drink. I got one down me and felt good. The lad next to me at the bar looked like me 100 years ago but I couldn't say anything for obvious rerasons. Then a big black lad came and bought a drink, did one of those deep throated chuckles and offered me his glass for a clunk, and likewise with young Fabien next to me. All was then well and people around us all started to talk, all because of one unsolicited friendly gesture. I had another drink with my new mates and then wandered off. I called in to a Turkish place and had a great doner and another drink and then one on the way home. All in all a great night out for me. I enjoyed it but I'm still focussed on the next few days and what I have to do.

I will be leaving Germany in a couple of days but I must record that right now I have the utmost respect for the way they live, the way they treat each other and the way they treat other people. So many little incidents over the last week or so have made me think this way.

Today's Route

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