Tuesday, 14 August 2012

18. July 13th- Rain on the Main.

I emailed Bruce to ask him if he wanted to put anything on the blog. He very graciously said that Fred and I were doing a good job and he trusted us to put in all the salient details. He did end his email with this message which encapsulates what it was all about.
' I won't add add to the details of the trip but I would like to say there is something
magic  in travelling when you do not know where you will be that night, you don't know what's around the next corner, it's like being a child again everything is new,
life is not so programmed.
                               life can still be an adventure
                                    Here's to getting about.

Unfortunately we didn't get about that morning because it was raining. They served breakfast on the campsite so we ate indoors and hoped that the rain would stop- which it eventually did. However, waiting for a break in the weather meant that we didn't set out until 10.20- a late start.

Unfortunately the weather had second guessed us and we spent 28 miles cycling, getting wet, sheltering under bridges and even going across a bridge to gain some shelter from the rain because we thought, with the wind in the direction it was, we might get some shelter from the trees on the other bank. good in theory but we seemed to get equally wet whatever side of the river we were on.

After twenty eight sodden miles [ read that however you will], we ended up in the large town of Aschaffenburg where we did our usual trick of finding an upmarket cafe and sitting outside lowering the tone as we had coffees, hot chocolates and pastries.

This was on one of the bridges we cycled over to try to negate the effect of the rain bearing wind. I took the photo because of the padlocks that you can just make out on the figure. Apparently there is a custom that, if you declare your undying love for someone you seal this by putting a padlock on the bridge and then throwing away the key. The bridge in Cologne is reputed to have a million locks upon it. So many, in fact, that engineers had to do a study to see if the weight of the padlocks were damaging the structure of the bridge.I am unaware if there has also been a study of apprehensive suitors diving into the river to try to retrieve keys to unlock the padlocks.

After our customary lowering the tone exercise we set off and were blessed with a good run in the sunshine- it's amazing how this does raise the spirits. However this didn't last and we did another thirty two miles in sunshine and rain. It was fairly late when we reached a campsite in Borberg just outside Freudenberg. This didn't have catering facilities but there was a restaurant just outside the campsite gate. I forget what we ordered but it came with salad from a salad bar. As ever, we were given small plates to put the salad on and so I piled up my plate, ate the salad and then piled up the plate again. Bruce was just about to do the same when the proprietress swiftly came to our table and told us we were only entitled to one plate of salad. Luckily, I had defeated the system but Fred and Bruce were not so lucky.

I think I proved Gordon Gecko right, 'Greed is good.'

And so to bed after a fairly damp day.

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