Despite the cold autumn morning that presented itself today I was up and at it early, the morning sun soon dried the excess of dew laying all around us and I was a man on a mission. I informed Tom that this was his one and only lie in and was even kind enough to present him with tea and porridge at the door of his tent.
I do feel as though I've kind of thrown him into this whole touring thing and have to remind myself from time to time that it took me a while to get used to the early morning starts and even more so the wild camping. However being thrown into the deep end is sometimes for the best.
We had a late start to the day and it was proved to be a day of hard hard climbing; while our route to Regensburg is much more direct it does now take it some pretty significant climbs.
The morning started with a twelve kilometre pull up a pretty steep incline and if we weren't fully awake when we set off we soon were as we breathed heavily uphill.
We crossed over from Zelezna Ruda and into Germany at Bayern Einstein just after lunch. It is now country number eight and another step closer to home for me. Both Tom and I immediately cursed our lack of German language ability and perhaps wished we'd spent a little more time concentrating on things when we were back in school.
We rode over some simply stunning mountains today and reached the highest point at over 1000 metres. We took a short detour down a rocky path to Lake Abersee and initially I was a little sceptical at wheeling the bikes down such a rocky track for two and a half kilometres but was glad when we finally arrived there to see a beautiful lake surrounded by dense green forest.
It was only when we climbed back up to the main road and cycled a further three kilometres down it did we find a bend in the road with swarms of people all milling around the lake we'd just worked our socks off to get to.
We made a snake like pattern back down part of the mountain and picking up some serious speed in the process before eventually making our way through the towns of Bodenmais and Bobrach. It was beginning to get a little late and the huge climbs we'd encountered earlier in the day were beginning to take their toll.
Wild camping is technically illegal in Germany but most people I've spoken to have said it's not a problem in practice. With the sun going down rapidly we found ourselves in the unenviable situation of not having a place to sleep. I decided to try and knock on a few locals doors to a) enquire if there was a camp-site near and b) could we use their field? Nobody seemed to speak English and we were directed in rapid fire German to a whole variety of different locations none of which we could actually understand.
I don't like to but I even tried to pull out the “I've cycled from China” card in the hope that someone might offer us a garden or better still somewhere inside but alas it produced nothing.
We were so tired we just decided to pitch the tents in a field on a small hill behind the cover of some trees. If someone came to move us along then so be it now was not the time to be looking for an 'official' camp-site I managed to boil up some pasta and vegetables just before the sun fully set and with that we went to bed unsure of whether we'd be woken by an angry farmer prodding us with a pitch fork.