Monday, 23 April 2012

23 April Stage 14 Engelhartszell - Grein

Dep 8.50     Arr 5.00     Dist 120.2 km     Total 1539.2 km

I looked out of the window first thing and could only see mist on the mountainside just above the roof level of the house. I had been listening to the church bells for a while as I dozed and had worked out the code so didn't need to look at my phone for the time. Breakfast was AT 8.00 the old lady had said. Not FROM 8.00 or UNTIL 8.00, so I emerged into the breakfast room at exactly 8.00 to see the smiling face of the old lady's daughter greeting me. I had a thimbleful of orange juice and only one cup of coffee and a few cheese and ham sandwiches. I also made some butties for later while she wasn't looking. She was very nice and told me the weather was going to be very nice.

I made my way down the river with spectacular views again although I was taking it for granted now. The Danube bike route is VERY well signposted with very little chance of going wrong because there is always a river there alongside. If you go off track you know the general direction needed to get back. This idea had given me confidence in following the cycle path and so it went until the track stopped at the river bank and indicated a ferry to be taken to the other side. The ferry was at the other side of the river, about a quarter of a mile away and with no sign of moving in the near future. I decided to try my luck on the road which looked quite major but quiet. There was then a sign for a detour for cars and some indication that the road was closed at 5km ahead. I did the usual, took a chance and went on the road. As expected there were roadworks about 5km up the road but the lorry drivers and machine operators let me go past with a bit of mumbling but no real trouble until I turned a corner and there were two guys up a huge cherry-picker lopping braches off trees alongside the road. There was another chap on the ground who went spare when he saw me. All the ranting and raving went on again but then I explained that there was no other way for me to go. Amazingly he seemed to understand but wanted to make me wait. He said fifteen mintes. I said thank you. He then shouted up to the others to stop and I walked past. I said Danke again but he didn't say Bitte, which meant I was not welcome.

It got a bit sunny later on and I thought I should give my arms half an hour in the sun. I took my gloves off as well. They are more for cushioning than for warmth anyway, and I knew I couldn't be wearing them all day in the warmer weather I would come up against further South. It got cooler an hour or so later and I reached round to the back of my jacket but couldn't feel my gloves there. Disaster! I got off the bike and there they were balanced on top of the pannier. They could have fallen off, or been blown off, at any time but no, there they were. I felt as if I was being looked after. Spooky.

The road then met the cycle path again but after a while the river did a sharp left turn and the path followed it around a large radius. The map showed a straight road which followed a river valley which joined the river later so I had a go at this. I realised later that there was a reason the river had turned. There was a mountain in its way! Also, the river valley I was following would have been ok but the river was coming downwards, and pretty quick too which meant I was going upwards, and quite steep. It was in the Saddleworth category which I have dealt with before and managed ok this time. I really enjoyed coming down the other side though, standing up out of the saddle for about ten minutes.

I then had to contend with Linz which is a major city with traffic lights all over the place. Traffic lights where the average time you stand there is two minutes or so. After Linz I crossed the river again and was soon bowling along the Donau Radweg. This is the name of the cycle track which follows the Danube for miles and miles. All along the route there are Radstations, which are like motorway services with information areas and cafes specifically for cyclists. There was one which had a spring where you could fill your bottles and I saw a woman there filling crates of bottles with labels on. Now there is a businesswoman.

I made it To the campsite in Grein which was run by a very nice Rumanian chap. I mentioned guides and maps and he gave me a tremendous little book showing all I would need to follow the Danube cycle trail to Vienna. I also mentioned wireless access and he said he would give me wireless access if I "liked" his campsite on facebook. It took me all my time getting onto facebook on my kindle and the wireless was useless anyway but we had a laugh. I had a wiener schnitzel for tea and a beer. I had a long trip in prospect the next day to Vienna so turned in early.

Today's Route

No comments:

Post a Comment