First 250 km - Rain, heat and pain
Km on the clock: 250
It was still raining when I woke up in the guest house in Durach. I felt well rested and was happy that I could catch up the missing sleep from the previous nights train ride. I took my time at the breakfast buffet hoping that the rain would stop anytime soon. However, it did not stop. So I started to pack all my stuff together, put on my rain jacket and rain pants and got ready to roll.
After some time I passed the town where I have been already the evening before. I tried to follow the signs for the bicycle trails. It seemed like I was sometimes either blind to see the signs or there were just none. Hence I got lost a couple of times but gladly found right ways to go after short amount of times. The landscape started to change slowly. As the landscape was shaped by mountains on the first day of the trip meanwhile more and more corn fields characterized the countryside of the Allgäu area.
Luckily it stopped to rain in the afternoon and the sun came out. At some point I passed the town Bad Wörishofen. This placed seemed to be occupied just by elderly people. I think it is a sanitarium. Generally I noticed that the people on the country side and in the small towns were very friendly. Literally everyone was saying hello, some even stopped for a short chat asking where I am going to. Flensburg! I always answered. There were usually only two kinds of reactions to my answer. It was either laughter or shaking the head. Usually they answered: That is crazy! but everyone wished me good and safe trip.
While riding I decided through my last night’s experiences to watch out for a place to stay earlier than the day before. It is turning dark quite early in the south of Germany. You really should be settled around 8:30 pm otherwise it will be dark and finding a good night spot is way more challenging. In Flensburg it is still light at that time in summer. Even at 10 pm. That was definitely a new experience to me.
However I found a great spot to wild camp on the country side approximately not too far from Königsbrunn. So I camped that night between a corn field and a small forest just 200 meters aside the road. I got great sleep that night thanks to my new sleeping pad. It is incredible comfy and makes me not to miss my bed at home too much.
The next mornings breakfast was rather Spartan compared to the one at the guest house the day before. I only had a handful of crackers with jam that I took from the guest houses breakfast buffet, some lunch meat and a half way mashed peach. It was time to restock my supplies again. So I stopped at a small store in the next town. After a few minutes browsing in that store the owner started to talk to me but I did not understand a single word cause of his thick Bavarian accent. I guess he realized that I did not understand him very well cause of my face expression. So we kept our conversation short. It is incredible that accents can make such a huge difference. Although we both spoke German it was very difficult to hold a conversation.
I made my way more up north, went through Königsbrunn and finally entered Augsburg. It felt like a first little milestone to make it to a bigger city. However, after a short period of time I felt already a little bit annoyed of this place. It did not have anything to do with Augsburg itself. The city is beautiful. Especially the historic city center where I spend a few hours is very beautiful. It is more about the fact that there are obviously lots of traffic lights in the cities. Thus you have to stop every few hundred meters and wait for the green lights. That means you do not really progress in sense of distance. I guess I rather cycle through the country sides and villages. Also, I realized that no one said hello anymore or stopped for a chat. I assume that is a general difference between cities and villages. In the villages everything is more personal because everybody knows everybody while life in the cities is more anonymous.
After browsing over the Stadtmarkt and having a delicious healthy lunch I left Augsburg after a few hours and pedaled further up north in direction Donauwörth. After some time I realized that my legs felt really tired. I thought: I really need to rest. I looked up the next camp site on my map and asked Google Maps for the shortest way to get there. That was such stupid idea. I should have stayed on the roads even if it was one kilometer more. So I ended up on some bumpy and rocky gravel roads which seemed like no one ever used it. Maybe a farmer with his tractor uses it once in a while. I had some serious doubts if this camp site even exists. Most of the time I had to push my bike. It was almost impossible to cycle it. I was really glad to see the camp site at the end of the road. I checked in and set up my tent right before it turned dark.
The next morning it was already incredible hot when I got up. I took a quick shower, had some breakfast and packed my stuff together. I was already sweating really badly after packing. I left the camp site and realized that there was a proper tarmac road if you enter it from the other side. I thought: I really should have stayed on the road yesterday. Then I would not have had to deal with that shitty gravel ‘road’.
The first part of that day was really challenging. My legs felt still tired, it was incredible hot and I had to go through a very hilly area. Seriously, that is a really shitty combination of circumstances! However, I kept cycling. Slow, very slow. And I did lots of breaks…a lot. I passed Donauwörth and headed in direction Nuremburg. Up a hill and down a hill. Again and again. Very exhausting! At some point I stopped at a farm in a small town to ask if they would refill my water bottles. The very friendly farmer did not just refill my bottles he even gave me an additional one. Some people are just wonderful. I stood there to chat with him and his parents. He told me that the land would become flat in a few kilometers. I was relieved to hear that. After leaving him and his parents and cycling a few kilometers the land became flat and I finally made some progress in sense of covered distance. At this point it started to rain again. Of course! I did not really mind the rain because I was kind of distracted by the beautiful nature around me. I plugged in my IPod and cycled on a gravel trail through the woods alongside a creek. This area seemed like some kind of canyon.
The rain got worse so I started to ask myself again where to stay that night. I thought it would be a good idea to stay at another camp site because there I would have the chance to dry my clothes over night. I gladly realized that there was one right on my way. So I headed there and checked in.
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