Monday, 20 August 2012

22. July 17th- We become part of the Passau- Vienna crowd.

We thought that we might give ourselves a break and ride the mile or so into Passau and leave the tents and the panniers at the campsite. Unfortunately, it was raining in the morning so we  packed up as normal because there didn't seem any merit in adding to our mileage in the wet.

We packed up and cycled into Passau. The town was a lot busier than I remembered it from more than ten years ago - it must have been that long because it was pre euro when Anthea and I were there. The bulk of the population seemed to be made up of parties from the Danube river cruisers- this meant they milled about a lot but slowly and erratically. At the other end of the scale there were  countless parties of schoolchildren. They milled about quickly and were also noisy with it. We felt that the charm of the city had been rather trodden under by these two different hordes.

After pushing the bikes around the town for a time and inadvertently spending some time walking along the bank of the Inn, we were very good and settled town under and umbrella and wrote postcards for about half an hour solid. There was a fair degree of smug satisfaction emanating from our corner, although to the schoolchildren passing by [ noisily] it probably looked as if we were writing lines.

Obviously not from a river cruiser or a schoolchild.

Fred had been given the duty of taking pictures of Barney Bear throughout the trip. He was very conscientious about fulfilling this duty.

We had decided that we would not do very many miles because we wanted to get to a very picturesque campsite on the Schlogen Loop. This plan proved to be both fortunate and sensible  because we spent most of the day sheltering in bus shelters and in cafes waiting for the very heavy bouts of rain to subside. One unintended outcome of this was that we met and spoke to a number of people who were doing the Passau to Vienna route and were staying in hotels along the route- now where's the fun and challenge in that?

There was a very pleasant Dutch family and an English father and son along with others who stopped to shelter and remark upon the weather. As all of these people had just set out from Passau this was their first day of the trip. When they found out where we had cycled from and camped all the way they did tend to regard us with a degree of respect and looked upon us as hardened veterans. We did very little to dispel their image of us. In our defence I must say that we did nothing to deter their admiration but we did so with our natural  modesty and grace.   ahem.

Although we only cycled twenty nine miles I had found it very hard going and my bike didn't feel right. When we got near to the campsite and had to take a ferry to cross the river, I looked at my back wheel and found that it was completely bald. This probably accounted for the poor handling but it also made me nervous about doing any great distance because of the weight on that tyre. However, that was now a problem for the morning and we set up in a beautiful spot and treated ourselves to a meal in the on site restaurant. We had three courses and, as I had been longing for a fish dish since we entered meat laden Germany, I had zander, a river Danube fish. And very good it was too along with the bottle of wine we  also felt we deserved. Because it was raining and not particularly warm we opted to eat inside and therefore spent the next two hours indoors- the longest we had been inside since we left the ferry. All in all despite the weather and the small mileage we felt very content and civilised.

Take my word for it- the views were impressive.

Sunshine and warm weather would have helped but the campsite was a good place to be and it was an excellent spot with the river twisting around the folds in the mountains.

Although the weather had not been good the scenery was very impressive and it is obvious why this Passau, Vienna tour is so popular.

My Yul Brynner back tyre. Didn't fill me with confidence once I realised that instead of having a little tread, it had none.

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