Today, or rather yesterday, was tough. The hardest day yet for me. So hard that I actually fell asleep just as i was about to start writing this. Definitely need a rest day!!
The mission today was to get from Basle to Donaueschingen – the “Donaue” in the town name is what the Germans call the Dnaube, not sure on the meaning of the rest of the name, perhaps someone knows? It’s a significant day for many reasons. A new country, a new river, indeed the one we will follow all the way to Budapest, and indeed for me, onwards to the Black sea next time out. And the final day of real climbing. Also the first day riding with Matt.
Since last Sunday I have cycled 485 miles and climbed somewhere in the region of 12,000 feet on the bike. So I could have done with yesterday being easy – it wasn’t. The day started well and for the first 30 or sdo miles we were following the Rhine. Those miles being punctuated largely by the fun experience of enetering Germany, wheen we crossed the river, then entering Switzerland when we crossed back, and repeat!
For the main part, those first 30 miles were flat and enjoyable. But the previous 6 days cyccling was beggining to take it’s toll and to be honest, I was struggling. We stopped for lunch on the banks of the Rhine, German side, near Koblenz. Then headed north into the Black Forest.
The geography changed immediately andd we were climbing. it got very very tough and I think both Matt and I were suffering. I’m afraid I didn’t take many pictures as it wa literally survival time – focusing entirely on getting each pedal down one after the other – it went on for hours. Our scheduled arrival time into the campsite was around 5:30, and we were still climbing a hill in the Black Forest at 8:30! Eventually we reached the top and could finally see signs for Donaueschingen. Thank God! A decision was made to abandon the campsite and head for a hotel in town. We got the last 2 rooms! and that is where I am at now after a proper sleep and some rest thiss morning. Feel a wee bit down that the elation of seeing the 2 rivers that form the Daube was somewhat muted by my absolute knackerdness – but weill go oout now and get involved! There will be better pictures this eve. Cheers.