The weather held nicely for another day, although it was 11 degrees in the morning. But more importantly, the sky was clear – that means another wonderful day of riding. After one of Eva’s great breakfasts — smoked fish and baguette, I was ready to hit the road. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my trip than these few days of staying with a German family in a charming little German house eating real German food and generally enjoying warm German hospitality.
Eva, Aljoscha and Mavin – you guys are the best 🙂
Even the tailor next door joined in my sending-off
To get to the other side of the Rhine, I had to take a quick 1Euro ferry. The guy with the gadget is collecting the fare.
Bur more importantly, the sun was out, warming the day
The ferry approaching Bingen
I didn’t go in to Bingen but it sure looked like a charming little German town
Today, I would be riding the 70 kms to Koblenze, and all the guide books pointed out that this was the best part of the Rhine – burgs (castles), vineyards, beautiful German houses and of course, beautiful German people along the way. I was not disappointed.
Although I didn’t see many fully-loaded tourers, there were plenty of cyclists along the Rhine cycle route – and they came in all shapes, sizes and colours. Pretty amazing too, to come across elderly aunties and uncles happily riding along, nicely dressed in their summer best and very fit-looking as well.
All along the riverside where patches of open ground were to be found, people were taking advantage of the warm weather – sunning, fishing, BBQing, frolicking with their dogs, and generally chilling out. Even geriatrics in wheelchairs were out in full force.
Markers along the Rhine. 529 is Bingen
Castle ruins in the distance, framed by fresh autumn colours
Vineyards, castles and lovely German houses dot this section of the Rhine
2 aunties checking out my LHT
At this point, I couldn’t help noticing the fact that there were 4 modes of transportation side by side — train, highway, cycle-path and the river.
The scenery also blended in with the many forthcoming election billboards
Campers were out in full force
Passing by the touristy town of Lorelei
..and where I treated myself to a hearty meal of sausage and fries. Love those big bangers…
‘Weingut’ means winery. This one looks like its been around for a while.
At times, the cycle path would wind its way in front of houses that fronted the Rhine. Pretty prime property.
Nearing Koblenze, the cycle path is busier, shadier and with more things to see
I arrived at Koblenze at about 3.30 in the afternoon. Here, I’m looking down from a vantage point of the statue of the Deutches Eck See pic below)– the Mosel on the left and the Rhine on the right, both meeting at this important and historic point. The campsite is just across the river on the left.
The famous landmark at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine – the Deutches Eck, another one of many monuments erected to honour Emperor Willhem Kaiser, as well as the colonization of the region by the Order of German Knights.
The campsite was on the other side of the river-mouth and the tents section commanded a wonderful view of Deutches Eck.
It was still a bit early as I rode in in to the campsite. The sun was still quite high and hot so I decided to treat myself to a cold beer while I waited for things to cool down.
Choice location… just across the river is where I had just come from
My neighbour, fellow-tourer John, an Aussie now living in US. He was on the legs of his Moselle tour.
On the left is John’s tent, on the right, some Scottish bikers were just packing up and ready to leave.
When the shadows became longer , I pitched up tent and then got ready to cook dinner. Dinner was wholemeal buns, Maggi’s porridge with Abalone (yes, I brought some all the way from home), some really sweet grapes from the nearby discount supermarket and another beer. I also found out that in Germany, they don’t seem to give out plastic bags anymore, you have to provide your own bag. Very cool, I must say.
My first night camping out in Europe. It felt great to be finally doing this. I’m cooking my first meal of the tour with my trusty multi-fuel stove; this one is running on unleaded fuel. A real blast to use…literally, cos it sounds like a jet engine when turned turned up on full heat.
Tomorrow, I head for Bonn, the former capital of Germany, and where Beethoven was born, lived and held court for a while.
Distance today :: 75km
Distance to date:: 158km