Saturday 22nd August
We had decided that a laid back day of cycling was in order, so set off at the leisurely time of 9.45.
We followed the Rhine on the French side and spent the day cycling through little French villages and cycle paths surrounded by fields and forests.
Sunday 23rd August
We set off early and cycled until we found a picnic table overlooking the Rhine for breakfast.
It wasn’t too long before our route took us back to Germany. We took cycle paths through forests, farmland and alongside the Rhine. The section of the river we have seen so far has been fairly industrial, but there are still some nice views.
We came across what looked like a local band playing in the afternoon. I stayed and listened for a few minutes until Eric (who was grumpily still sitting in the saddle) said that we had a long way to go and we should keep moving. He also pointed out that they were a terrible band. I wouldn’t have picked that word myself, but… it was kind of true.
Every supermarket we saw was closed today, but luckily petrol stations around here seem to act as little supermarkets, selling things like fresh bread, eggs and tinned food. In the evening I cooked a basic dinner at our campsite (which was cheap but rather dismal) which we ate in the tent as it was raining.
Eric complained that I am not feeding him enough. We had a protracted debate about his nutritional requirements. My chief argument was that he is too greedy.
Monday 24th August
We were up and out of the campsite early, and were soon enjoying some cereal on the curb of a delightful Lidl car park.
We took to the roads to get some miles in until we reached a town called Worms (hehe) where we then joined the cycle path network once more. This turned out to be a bad move. 12 miles into the cycle path it disappeared, forcing us onto some grass. Here’s Eric looking annoyed (always the perfect time to shove a camera in someone’s face).
We joined the roads again. The road we needed was closed. The alternative route was for cars only. We found an alternative alternative route. Eric complained that Germany was not as efficient as he had been led to believe.
We stopped at a campsite which turned out to be free, which was an unexpected treat! Two other pairs of cycle tourists joined us as well, one of which had camped next door to us yesterday too.
There had been on and off rain all day, but it really started in earnest as we arrived at the campsite. We were fairly sheltered underneath some large trees, so it wasn’t too bad (though all of our gear is now wet again). Here’s our soggy camping spot.
After dinner the weather cleared and I took a little walk along the Rhine.
Tuesday 25th August
This morning we debated whether it was worth joining the cycle paths again, or just taking the roads. We decided to try the cycle paths. They took us through some pretty towns and vineyards.
However, the signs were often ambiguous, or sometimes just missing! We gave up when, after following signs to Mainz, we came across another sign to Mainz which was pointing back the way we had come. Frustrated, we joined the main roads again.
They took us uphill, exposing us to a strong headwind which slowed us down. We cycled through farmland, battling the wind.
We rejoined the road only to find that another cycle path we needed was closed too.
Anyway, by mid afternoon we actually did find a really good cycle path along the Rhine, with some beautiful views. Finally, this was the kind of thing I had envisioned when we decided to cycle the Rhine Valley.
Rhine, we finally found you. Considering that it’s a massive river it was surprisingly difficult!