It was an extremely damp start to the day and upon waking one would have been forgiven for thinking there had been a downpour the night before. It meant that we had to hang around a little in the morning while the morning sun dried off our tents, nobody likes putting away a wet tent after all.
Our rather paltry meal the previous evening meant that we set off with our stomachs rumbling. What with this being Sunday nearly every shop and more crucially every bakery we passed was closed for business.
You really need something inside of you when you start the day and the bananas we had just before setting off proved to be wholly insufficient.
We became so desperate in fact that after riding round a small village for ten minutes at the start of our ride for the day Tom took it upon himself to go into a beautiful five star hotel. This was a stunning hotel set at the end of a flower lined boulevard and one should remember we'd only just woken up an hour or so ago. I decided to wait at a distance with the bikes and have no idea what they most have thought of the sight of a rather dishevelled looking man walking through their front door. Nevertheless he returned five minutes later with a beaming smile and a bag of six bread rolls.
The pretty little village where we managed to secure the mornings bread!
We cycled on through the morning but our lack of food continued to effect us. We almost jumped for joy as we passed through a small town to see one of the many discount supermarkets that are so prevalent here in Germany. Our joy however was short lived when we realised it was closed for lunch and wouldn't open for another forty five minutes. We decided that due to our almost zero energy levels it would be best to wait and promptly sat ourselves down on the small patch of grass opposite the shop.
Going over the big one four.....not much further left and I guess the trip overall will total less than 15,000km
It was also the chance to get out the tents and some clothes once again to not only give them a vital airing but also a chance to dry off any remaining wetness. It's funny how after a while you stop caring what other people passing by might think it needed doing so we did it simple as that. There is nothing worse that getting into a slightly damp tent the next night.
After a massive stock up on food we hit the road again but by now it was already 2 o'clock and we'd really made very little progress for the day. It was another magnificent sunny day and we managed to pick up a good rhythm for the afternoon burning off the piles of food we consumed for lunch.
The terrain continued to be very much up and down and our original plan to enter Strasbourg France went well and truly out of the window. It didn't matter and by the time we entered Freudenstadt we were both able to look back on a really enjoyable ride through some simply spectacular scenery. France could certainly wait until another day.
First French signpost sighting
We knew there was one big final climb out of Freudenstadt but on leaving the city saw a camp-site and decided it would be stupid of us at the end of the day to try and tackle the climb all for the sake of just covering a further ten kilometres.
This was by far and away the best camp-site we have stayed in and our early arrival really gave us time to enjoy all the facilities on offer. It had a kitchen for a start which meant we were (sorry I was) able to cook up a gigantic bowl of spaghetti basically throwing in nearly all the other ingredients we had. It's amazing how well these kind of meals actually work out when you just put everything in together; or perhaps it could just be that after so much riding we are constantly hungry.
The cherry on the cake as it were came in the form of the camp-sites wash rooms. These had obviously been recently renovated and by the time Tom and I came to use them the upstairs section which had two private bathrooms were completely empty. They were incredible and we both took full advantage of them and emerged from our respective showers some forty minutes later feeling like new men.
So it is my final country tomorrow that of France. It almost doesn't seem real that after all these thousands of kilometres tomorrow will be the last time I conduct my small ceremony of changing the flags over and having my picture taken at the border. In the past I've felt a certain sense of excitement when crossing a border now in some ways it's more a sense of relief that I've nearly made it home.