Sunday, 22 April 2012

22 April Stage 13 Mamming - Engelhartszell

Dep 900     Arr 430     Dist 103.5 km     Total 1429 km

I never thought I could get fed up with silence apart from the sound of small free birds singing. I lay in the tent wishing the little creatures all sorts of harm but they woke me up and got me going. Without them I may still be there. It was very cold when I emerged and although it warmed up a bit as the day went on, there was a definite chill in the air.

For planning the route I have used a website named bikeroutetoaster. You click on one place and then another and it gives you the best route between them by bike. It has got a few things wrong in Germany but only a few. You can then look at the profile and see how hilly it is and make adjustments and you can check out camping places and hostels and make further adjustments etc. For this next stage I had it starting at Dingolfing which is the other side of the river Isar which I would have to cross later. I decided to take a chance, not go back to Dingolfing, but stay this side and use the cycle track and see where it took me. It seemed to be in the right direction. You know what's coming don't you? Wrongggg. Before long I saw a sign for Osterhofen which was on the original planned route and a lot earlier than I would have been as well. I got back on track and followed the chosen route and was soon back on the Danube. The skies were looking threatening but they had done a number of times previously without rain coming. Not this time. the heavens opened and I just had time to get my cape on and my waterproof boottees before it started. I was in the middle of nowhere with no shelter and panicking, yes me panicking, but got to a single isolated tree by the roadside before the heavens opened. I stood there like a lemon, literally until the rain eased and I set off again.

Soon after Passau I was actually in Austria. I then saw a funny thing, a cat. I don't remember seeing a cat in Germany. Dogs rule there ok. The scenery began to become spectacular with a steep forested hill on the opposite bank, mountains in the distance and the wide river bending with barges and tourist boats sliding by. I was pedalling along enjoying the views but wanting to get my belly filled and head down. As I got nearer to Engelhartszell there were lots of houses advertising "zimmer" which means room, but I knew there was a good campsite here. I eventually found it but again, it was closed. I decided to look for a zimmer nearer to the centre of the town but I soon found I was going out of the town which consisted of about 20 houses. I settled on, and then settled in, a pension in a really old house with a really old lady only just capable of opening the massive door to let me in. She asked if I wanted the heating on. I said yes and she nodded. There was no visible sign of heating anywhere but the room soon got warm. I threw my stuff around the room, lay on the bed and slept immediately. I then had a shower, washed some of my clothes in the sink and and went for a walk, or that should be, went for a limp, to find some food. I realised that I must have cycled 100 times more than I had walked over the last week or so and had got out of the habit of pütting one foot in front of the other. I soon got used to it again but again the town was desolate, except, again for an Italian restaurant. I had a pizza again and a couple of beers. The chap said a few things in German which I didn't understand so I told him I was English. He then told me he was Italian, which was pretty obvious to me but maybe not to him. I suppose you could say it was a conversation after all. I got back to the room and did some blogging by kindle and had to stop because I was falling asleep in the chair.

Today's Route

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