Tuesday, 24 April 2012

24 April Stage 15 Grein - Tulln

Dep 8.15     Arr 5.45     Dist 123.1 km     Total 1672.3 km

I didn't sleep well at all. The traffic was really noisy all night. It didn't say that in the brochure. I was tired before I started but had felt that way before and got better as the day went on. One massive bonus was that I was straight onto the track without any of the FARTING AROUND I had been doing when leaving towns or cities. The slim nature of my prospects of decent progress became obvious after only a couple of minutes when I felt the breeze in my face. I would be heading East all day with only minor diversions and it looked like I would have to contend with this wind all day. This is much worse than hills. At least you have the relief of freewheeling down the other side after climbing up. I had the brilliant map of the cycle path to follow, which was nothing like my planned route using the toaster website, but wasn't much longer and would certainly be flat.

Cycling is a major source of income to the villages along the Danube. There are lots of houses advertising "zimmer frei" and cafes specifically aimed at cyclists. There were lots of smiling cyclists coming the other way. They would be smiling with the wind behind while I was battling against the elements. I stopped occasionally to chat to them, mainly to give myself a rest. The map showed a cycle path both sides of the river and I decided to cross at Melk where the other side may be more sheltered and should be shorter being on a smaller radius as the river turned. The path left the Danube a few times but there was always the confidence of knowing the river was there not far away and you couldn't really go far wrong. I saw a middle-aged couple walking hand in hand along the path at the edge of one of the many villages. they had a pretty little dog and called it over as I came near. I thanked them and they smiled gracefully back. I then turned a corner and saw an old man in distress. His bike was on the grass at the side of the track and he was crouching forward. As I got closer I noticed his kecks were round his ankles and he was having a crap. This was confirmed when I rode past and he grunted and strained and farted at the same time. I chuckled a bit and then burst out laughing thinking about the sight awaiting the respectable middle-aged couple walking their dog.

Progress was difficult and I knew I hadn't eaten enough. I called at a Spar in one of the detours and got some muesli, biscuits, bananas, milk and orange juice. I was stopping every half hour or so and eating but there was just no energy. I was determined to get to Vienna but my fate was sealed on a long straight road outside Tulln where the wind was in my face and stronger than earlier. That finished me off and I decided to look for a campsite or digs in Tulln. I sat under a tree and consulted the kindle which found me a hostel 5 minutes away. It was a beautiful place, a bit dearer than others I've stayed in but I had a room to myself and, to be honest, would have paid anything, the state I was in. I had paid for an evening meal as well so, after a shower and a little lie down I went to fill my belly, and my boots. It was mainly pizza (again) and salad, buffet style so, basically, all you can eat. The young lady said "beer?" and I said "go on then" only to find it was included in the price. I ate as much as I could and took some more up to the room for later. I tried to do some blogging on the kindle with limited success. There was a computer there but it was painfully slow. I went out for a walk looking for a telly to watch some football but there was nothing doing so I went back to plan the next few days travelling.

Today's Route


  1. Hi Tom, Glad to know that you are well and progressing with your trip. Been away in Dubai last two weeks, rang your hse spoke to young Tom who gave me an update.Wishing you Good Luck and safe journey. Drink with you on your return!
    Cliff D'S.

  2. Cliff
    Really appreciate your comments and support. All going well now. Not long to go. Will enjoy a pint or two with you when I get back. All the best to Caroline too. Cheers