Km on the clock: 55
Finally, I arrived in Oberstdorf after a 17 hours train ride around 10 am. Although the train was about 2 hours delayed in Hamburg I arrived on time. It seems like these ICE trains have lots of horse power.
As soon as I left the train station I was surrounded by tons of hiking groups - mainly middle aged and elderly people. Everyone was getting ready to tackle the mountains. My first stop was the tourist information center to get some information and a free city map of this place. Equipped with a map I started to explore Oberstdorf. My first stop was the local farmers market. This rather small market smelled incredible good like cheese, smoked meats and fresh fruits. After browsing over the market it was time to get some breakfast. I had some sandwiches which I brought from home on a square right behind the farmers market. I had a really good view on the mountains. While eating my sandwiches I was thinking: From now it is more than 1.000 km that I have to pedal within the next two weeks. Now there is no return. That is kind of scary! I never cycled such a long distance in my whole life. While I was all alone just with my thoughts I watched people paragliding through the mountains. They seemed weightless and were flying like feathers in the wind. Note to myself: Learn how to fly.
My next stop was the Nebelhornbahn. My plan was to take my bike on top of the Nebelhorn and then roll downhill – if possible all the way to Flensburg. Well, unfortunately the Nebelhornbahn does not transport bicycles and there was also a long line. So that plan died. The only alternative to experience the mountains is to push the bike uphill and that is what I also attempted to do. But to be honest, I gave up after some time. It is such a pain in the a** to push a heavily loaded bicycle up a mountain. I just stopped at some point and enjoyed the view for a while.
Going downhill was amazing but also a little bit scary. I had no idea that I possibly can go so fast with my bike. Back in the city center of Oberstdorf I restocked my supplies knowing that the next day is Sunday and every supermarket will be closed. Loaded with enough food for the next day it was time to leave this town and start Expedition 1000GER. From the Illerursprung I went direction north just alongside the river Iller. The more you go up north the fewer tourists are on the river trails. There were almost none after passing the town Sonthofen. I was told that the Iller trail goes all the way to the city Ulm.
I made my way more up north direction Kempten im Allgäu. I passed this town and started to watch out for a good spot for my night camp. While pedaling a really bad thunderstorm came up. It started to rain heavily from one second to another. Before I could even take my jacket out of one of my panniers I was incredible wet and the thunderstorm got worse. I started to think: Maybe it is not a good idea to camp tonight!? I should probably try to find a room for the night. I stopped at every single Hotel or guest house that I could find but they were all fully booked. I was about to get desperate I planned already to stay the night inside a bank. I already found a possible bank to stay in for the night right next to another guest house. I asked the guest house guy if he possibly had a free room. Of course, he did not. However, he made some phone calls and found me a room in another guest house. It’s just three kilometers from here, he said. Well, it was more than five and I had to go to another small town direction the way I just came from.
It was already pitch dark and I was the only person on the streets. Not even a single car. The moon was covered with heavy dark clouds. The only light came from my front light. The roads were misty through the rain volatilizing on the sun heated roads. The only thing I could hear were cowbells coming from the hills around me. Cycling on this country road to the town Durach reminded me on a scenery of an old Hitchcock movie.
After this bike ride through the dark I finally arrived at the guest house – relieved to have a place to stay for this stormy night.
If you enjoy reading this blog then please support my fundraising campaign for Doctors without Borders and make a small donation. Cheers!
Click here to find out more about Chris.