Sunday, 22 April 2012

21 April Stage 12 Ingolstadt -Mamming

Dep 1020     Arr 730     Dist 132.9 km     Total 1325.5 km

I only had four pints! I felt rough when I woke up in the hostel. I didn't know what time it was and didn't really care. I woke again for a bathroom call so had to get up and it was 7.20. I gratefully got back in bed again and eventually surfaced for breakfast at 8.45. It was a lovely sunny day so I put my lenses in and donned my sexy cycling goggles.

I got out of the town ok and made good progress considering how I was feeling. Then came the dreaded sign of a car in a blue square, which I know now means motor vehicles only. I got off and zig-zagged across from village to village ending up on a straight cycle path which looked like it would get me back on course. It went through a forest but it was dead straight. What could go wrong? Remember Hansel and Gretel? Well, every now and then there would be a fork on the road. One track went at 20 degrees, the other went at 21 degrees. One was 8ft wide, the other was 8ft 1 inch. I made a number of decisions and I think was on course and I came to a clearing with a little monument to the loggers of old who were logging on and off before we were born. There were a number of tracks branching off, one being the obvious choice, but there was a red and white plastic barrier across it from tree to tree. I could hear lumberjack work going on further down this track. Surely they would let me through. I had a sit down and something to eat while I pondered my next move. I decided to walk to where the work was happening and there were tree fellers chatting (sorry). One big fat lump, and that's being kind, with a grizzly beard flew at me ranting and raving while the other two just looked on. I calmly apologised and explained my situation and asked if there was another way. The answer was an emphatic no with more ranting. Basically they couldn't be arsed explaining. I turned and walked back with Bluto shouting after me. I knew what I was going to do. I had another snack and took off my high-viz jacket and then saw the fat guy in his van coming up the hill to the clearing. He's going, I thought. No, he just turned round and went back. Maybe it's the only place he can turn and he's going the other way. Anyway, I set off walking down the forbidden track which was quite muddy with lots of branches about. Fortunately, it was downhill so I got on and started pedalling. I went round a bend and saw his van. OK Tom let's go. I tried to accelerate but got stuck in the mud. Just then a twig got caught in my front wheel and started making more noise than all the chainsaws in the forest. As I slowly and noisily went past the van I expected the worst but it was empty and I rode away into the clear and with the welcome sight of a village ahead. I had to chuckle to myself. Here am I, a pillar of society in my own country, acting like a naughty schoolkid, or, better still, like popeye, and without the spinach. Back to Hansel and Gretel and other fairy stories. Weren't the woodcutters always the heroes who rescued people?

I got back on course but the day was dragging on a bit. One of my lenses was giving me a bit of jip and I was on a long straight road with a slight headwind. I had run out of water and felt the need to get to the campsite at Mamming before 8.00, which is when the receptions tend to shut. I got to Dingolfing and experienced verbal abuse for the first time from some teenage kids. I then asked another kid the way to Mamming and he deliberately tried to send me on the wrong side of the river. A cyclist put me right. He said the cycle path will take you straight to the camp. I set off, thirsty and hungry with my eye watering, getting close to the 8.00 cut off time. I made it to the camp before 8.00 but not only was the reception shut, the camp was shut. It was a sort of activity centre for kids but the website said it did cater for individual campers with tents. There was nothing else to do but set up camp in a quiet corner. I went into the village to ask for water and got a take-away pizza from the only place with a bit of life. The chap filled my bottles for me and I went back to the camp and enjoyed my evening meal and settled down for the night.

Today's Route

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