A Travellerspoint blog

Regensburg to Ingolstadt 110km

semi-overcast

I've come to the conclusion that it's now near impossible for me to sleep in my body just seems to automatically wake up anywhere between five and six. I knew I had to be up early this morning to make sure I had time to part with six Euros (yes still a little bitter) to upload my blogs and photos. Perhaps I should have made this blog subscription only, judging by the amount of hits each entry gets 1p per read should cover the cost!

There were also a number of other cyclists at the camp-site who all seemed to be up and at it very early today but Tom and I settled for a much more leisurely leaving time of ten o'clock.

It was another gloriously sunny day and thankfully the weather forecast which had predicted rain and thunder proved to be widely inaccurate at least for the mornings ride.

We picked up where we left off yesterday on the Euro velo 6 route and looked forward to a day of uninterrupted riding beside the river. All was going swimmingly well, we'd eaten a hearty lunch basking in the sumptuous midday sun on the banks of the river and then set off following the river and planning at what time we too were going to dive into the clear fresh water like many other people were doing to cool ourselves off.

IMG_3428.jpgIMG_3430.jpg

large_IMG_3429.jpg

We then hit our first problem; we were in fact following the river in the correct direction but we were on the wrong side of the river. The path which we followed came to an abrupt halt and we faced a rather large chunk of rock which jutted out into the river blocking our way. We were lucky in the fact that we hadn't gone too far and that it was relatively easy for us to backtrack the 5 kilometres or so but all the same a little annoying and time consuming.

IMG_3431.jpg

What with our slightly late departure time, our lazy lunch by the river and now our unfortunate misdirection we were now behind schedule. I say schedule in the loosest sense of the word. We don't really have a schedule but each day you kind of make a mental note in your mind roughly where you'd like to end up. We'd very much set our minds on reaching Ingolstadt and probably heading a little further than that but at this point that looked highly unlikely.

large_IMG_3432.jpg

The hot weather, added to the car free bike path meant that for comforts sake we both decided to ditch the helmets for part of the ride. I as I've done many time before simply strapped my to one of the bungee cords on the back of my bike and thought nothing else of it. We finally managed to work our way back to the correct route which coincidentally took us past a McDonalds. It gave us the chance to fill up our water bottles and also grab a small ice-cream.....well you would wouldn't you? It was at this point that I noticed that I was no longer in possession of my helmet! Resigned to the fact that it had fallen off somewhere back along the trail and that it had served it's last duty on the trip we rode back out of the entrance of McDonalds and onto the road. It was there on a small patch of grass neatly placed next to the tree that sat my helmet, how strange, a miracle perhaps or a sign that I should never take it off while riding?

IMG_3433.jpgIMG_3434.jpg

large_IMG_3436.jpglarge_IMG_3438.jpg

It did seem a real age for us to reach Ingolstadt and by the time we had done so we were both pretty beat. Despite our best efforts to locate a hostel or cheap hotel (almost impossible in Germany) we were forced once again to ride through the city and head for the forests on the outskirts.

The rain that had been promised began to rear it's head and things looked a little bleak by the time we finally pitched our tents off the bike trail in amongst some trees.

When I've been travelling by myself it's obviously been me who has made all the decisions and this was something I was very much looking forward to having someone else here to do it for me. However that said it's also made me somewhat stubborn I guess at times and I have to say there was some minor disagreement over where best to pitch the tents for the night. I think it was a combination of a long day on the bike and the fact that it was drizzling with rain which led to this but travelling with another person is something I also have to adapt to but like I said to Tom before heading to bed it's great to have him along for the ride.

Posted by Ontheroadagain 02:29 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Ride to Regensburg 106km

Mixing it with the happy campers

sunny

It may have been our 'illegal' camping activities last night or the fact that we slept on a slope, behind some trees and near a road but either way we were both as you might expect up early this morning.

It was certainly not the kind of place I wanted to hang around and cook breakfast so with this in mind we packed up as soon as possible and headed to the nearest café Thankfully this was only a short ride down the road and we were able to fill ourselves with German pastries aplenty and hot tea.

IMG_3416.jpgIMG_3417.jpg

The ride was still very much up and down in terms of terrain and without being to put a precise figure on it we were still quite high up in the mountains. We seem to follow the pattern of a slow drag upwards followed by a pacey descent the other side; sometimes though I just wish for a nice flat piece of road. The other thing we do seem to be facing is a constant headwind and this appears to have been the case ever since we left Prague. Nevertheless we are in good spirits and everything bikes and bodies are holding up well.

IMG_3418.jpgIMG_3419.jpg

IMG_3423.jpgIMG_3424.jpg

We picked up the river about 20 kilometres outside of Regensburg and made our way towards the centre. It was getting late in the afternoon and both of us were really just focused on finding a place to sleep for the night. What with us camping all the way up to here it's been much harder for us to arrange a place to stay before we arrive but we've seen plenty of camp-sites in Germany and thought we'd have no trouble finding another one on entering the city, this however didn't prove to be the case.

large_IMG_3425.jpg

We have now began to see specific signs for the Euro velo 6 bike route which made working our way around the city much easier. Germany is full of cyclists and after flagging down a few locals we finally found one extremely helpful guy who rode us ten minutes directly to a camp-site right beside the river.

This was the first 'official' camp-site I've stayed in since starting my trip and while I was really happy to find it the whole concept of paying to put my tent on a piece of grass confuses me somewhat. I suppose you get to use the showers, running water and have the added safety of being around others but twelve Euros does sound a little excessive for that don't you think? Or perhaps I've just become the worlds biggest cheapskate! Mind you I changed my mind a little after my first hot shower since Prague which felt amazing.

Tom celebrated our arrival as I checked us in with a pint each of top notch German beer. It was a great idea after a long day on the bike but as I pointed out to him it's probably better served after we pitch our tents, cook and wash as the whole process after that cool refreshing beer becomes much much harder and not to mention slower.

With the tent up and food cooked it was time to set about writing this very blog; the only problem was that the camp-site now wanted six Euros of my hard earned money to get online for an hour!

The camp-site was mostly full of caravans and some pretty plush looking camper vans. Tom and I both looked rather enviously at some of the set ups people had as they set about eating their deliciously barbecued food off their pristine clean picnic tables while sipping glasses of wine and beer. Lots of people appear to have brought satellite dishes with them so I assume they can watch their favourite TV shows. Imagine that going on holiday to watch TV from a camper van?

Tomorrow it's back on the bike and heading a little further south-west hopefully along the bike path that runs along the banks of the river that we picked up today. That's all for now, enjoy your comfy houses!

Posted by Ontheroadagain 01:56 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Susice – Geirsthal (Germany) past Bodenmais 75km

sunny

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.

large_IMG_3387.jpg

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.

IMG_3388.jpgIMG_3390.jpg

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.

large_IMG_3391.jpg

large_IMG_3398.jpglarge_IMG_3401.jpg

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.

IMG_3402.jpg

large_IMG_3408.jpglarge_IMG_3409.jpg

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.

IMG_3403.jpgIMG_3404.jpg

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.

Posted by Ontheroadagain 23:45 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Drahenice - Susice 77km

sunny

I had a strange nights sleep and was pleased to also find out that I hadn't been dreaming in hearing the strange noises outside our tents. We camped on the edge of a forest overlooking a field and hadn't really thought too much about our location at the time. We had obviously missed the signs informing us of deer in the area as both Tom and I were aware of the sound of hoof steps very close to our tents in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if one of us moved to frighten them but they shot off at a rapid pace once they realised there were others present. Subsequently I spent the next half an hour in fear of being trampled by more passing deer during the night; thankfully that wasn't the case.

It was porridge for breakfast on a slightly damp morning before we hit the road and our first stop of the day in Strakonice.

IMG_3353.jpg

We've changed our route slightly and instead of heading directly south in the Czech Republic and picking up our cycle trail in Passau Germany we have decided to head West and a more direct route to Ratisbone or Regensburg as it seems to be in German. This also looks a very scenic route which takes us through two national parks one on either side of the border.

large_IMG_3356.jpg

The upside to taking the more scenic route away from the main highway has been some quite stunning scenery but with every upside there is always a down. We find ourselves doing a lot of climbing and in this heat it is quite strenuous. Also because we are now off the main drag we need to be more focused on making sure we take the right turns. Each small village presents us with a whole variety of options and we need to make sure we get it right. It would be awful to find ourselves heading in the wrong direction especially in this terrain for half an hour or so.

We are taking it very easy though and it's been a real pleasure just to take the foot of the gas a little. In Strakonice we took the opportunity of a nice café to rest up a grab a cup of tea. We have a little Czech money left and want to obviously use it up before we leave the country. The café was very nice and set in the main square of this small town. I took this rare opportunity to test out my very limited Czech on the waitress serving us. If truth be told limited is stretching my language ability somewhat and one of the few sentences I can always remember is that of “One more beer please” The waitress obviously not realising I was just attempting to show off appeared five minutes later with a tray containing not only two pots of tea but also and ice cold pint of beer! Well it would have been rude to send it back so it was supped back with consummate ease. The combination of ice, sugar and ubiquitous Czech hops made for a unexpected treat in the afternoon.

large_IMG_3360.jpgIMG_3362.jpgIMG_3363.jpg

Both Tom and I can't quite believe how quite everywhere is, granted we are riding through small villages but everywhere looks totally deserted. Some of the villages have wonderfully curious names such as Laz, Dom and Lom or always seem to end in 'vice' or 'ice'

IMG_3364.jpgIMG_3368.jpg

We hit Suscine late in the day and soon found a decent place to set up camp right by a river at around 5:30. With the late evening sun still shining down on the river it meant there was enough time for a short dip and wash in the cool water.

large_IMG_3371.jpglarge_IMG_3372.jpgIMG_3377.jpgIMG_3379.jpg

Refreshed and more importantly clean it was back to the camp for a feast of pasta , garlic, tomatoes and olives. With my time in the Czech Republic coming to an end it was only right that part of our daily shop went on two 'original' Budweiser’s. River chilled they certainly went down an absolute treat and aided our 8:10 bedtime.

large_IMG_3385.jpg

Tomorrow we will head out of Czech Republic and into Germany. I've loved being back here, spending time with old friends and more importantly rolling through the magnificent Czech countryside. If you have a bike and a couple of weeks to spare there surely can't be too many better places to come with you bike

Posted by Ontheroadagain 23:36 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Prague – Drahenice, South of Pribram 102km

sunny

Well I'm back on the blog and you'll be glad to know at the time of writing we now find ourselves in Cham, Germany. Blogging has been a little difficult of late as we've mostly been out in the countryside and have camped for the past three nights. So apologies for the lack of blogs. I had expected what with now being in Germany that WiFi access would be easy but this is not proving to be the case. McDonalds for example require a German mobile number to access their free WiFi, it has been a tad frustrating and not what I expected of Germany.

It was nice to be out on the road again riding. I loved being back in Prague but for me I tend to lose the sense that I'm bicycle touring when I'm in these big cities and while one has all the comforts that come with large cities I actually much prefer being out in the wild as it were.

IMG_3340.jpg

large_IMG_3341.jpglarge_IMG_3342.jpg

We got up early to leave Prague on Friday morning and no sooner had we left the hostel did we run into the inevitable early morning traffic. I wrote earlier about how entering Prague was difficult due to this heavy traffic and needless to say this proved to be the case as we negotiated our way out.

We've made a joint decision to keep away from the main roads as much as possible and really head out into the countryside; after all we're not in any great rush. With this in mind and having successfully worked our way out of the city we made our way West to Karlstejn a monumentally impressive castle some thirty kilometres from Prague.

large_IMG_3344.jpglarge_IMG_3346.jpglarge_IMG_3350.jpg

We rode through some stunning countryside and we're blessed with some truly great weather as we weaved our way through one small pretty Czech village after another.

One of the great things about being out in the countryside as mentioned previously is being able to feast on the endless supply of apples, plums and occasionally pears that line these small country roads.

IMG_3352.jpg

As we're now camping it's important that we carry a little more food with us and as I've assumed the role of chef it's my job to go into the supermarket to pick up supplies. Thankfully there are Tesco superstores on the outskirts of all major Czech towns and we were able to get all the necessaries in Pribram.

We rode a little further south of Pribram before setting up camp for the night. With 102km on the clock Tom celebrated his first one hundred on the bike and we found a small forest off a country road to settle down for the night.

I cooked up extra rice the night before in Prague so it was simply a case of boiling up some carrots, parsnips and onions and throwing it a bit of stock and hey presto a meal to end all meals, although I'm not sure Tom would agree with that! I'll soon have him on my diet.

I kept back some chocolate and pulled it from deep down in my panniers much to the delight of Tom and the day was complete. I'd told Tom that I usually head to bed around 8:30 when I camp and I don't think he really believed me until it actually happened and at 8:15 with the sun having set over the hill it was time to sleep.

Posted by Ontheroadagain 23:24 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 20 of 163) « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »