I had got everything out of tent and was preparing to dismantle tent when I heard a car pull up and doors slam – just below where I’d camped, on the lane. I could vaguely see white down the bank through the hedge/trees. Fortunately my tent is green and well camouflaged. I hardly dared breath as I didn’t fancy trying to explain to an irate German farmer what I was doing on his land, squashing his meadow hay. (Nuffink what a good dose of rain wouldn’t cure, officer!). Shortly after the car arrived (around 7.30am) an engine started up – probably a tractor and the sound moved further away up the lane. I quickly packed up the wet tent (no staring off into space now) and brought Rowenna and the bags further down the lane to pack up, feeling like a thief. I was very relieved to zoom away with no confrontation.
I stop off in Groß Osterheim to have a coffee and milkshake – which is the best breakfast I can find - and to blog a little. A little while after that, I sat on a bench within sight of a pair of nuthatches (I presume) busily feeding their chicks (I presume) in a man made nesting box tacked to a tree. I took some very bad photographs of them both.
Not much later – after a wee diversion across a field (of course), I come to Aschaffenburg and stop for lunch. A guy in a phone shop shows me how to get my prepaid credit onto the phone and puts a new plastic protective covering across the screen. I met another guy called Tony up the road, raising funds for a rescue organisation very like the one that Barry Sessions works for. This is a dog rescue organisation with two kinds of dogs – field dogs, who find people in earthquakes etc and water dogs, who can sniff out people at risk of drowning. Dogs have such brilliant noses! This guy had cycled to Austria and we discussed routes briefly. After this, I ended up having a Thai meal for lunch – I’d missed having many veggies with dinner, and it was lovely to have crinkle cut cucumbers, carrots and fresh green broccoli florets stir fried in a peanut sauce. Iced tea with lime slices to follow and I am replete.
Of course, I took a wrong turn coming out of Aschaffenburg: I was wanting to head North, and ended up on a road which veered slightly more east-south easterly and instead of Hoßbach, I ended up in Haibach. It was a lovely ride down hill – with me thinking all the way, oh dear, there’s probably an ‘up’ after this! So, what’s in a few letters? A few hills I think.
I still wanted to go to Lohr a Main, but a gentleman came up and said it would take far too long as there was a gurt mountain in the way- and pointed towards the hills in the distance. What, no camping locally either? It was getting a little late so I was easily persuaded to take the train which he said was regular and would take the bicycle too. Ha! I shouldn’t have listened! The next train to Lohr wasn’t until 22.23hrs (and it was only about 6pm at this stage). I’d bought the ticket though, if only just for the experience of using the electric trains.
I ended up in a bier garten with wifi across the road from the station –where the waitress was dressed in Bavarian costume and I got cheese and ham (with pineapple, so they called it Hawaii!) on toast for supper while I waited.
Observations: There are an awful lot of ‘Fahrts’ around. I’ve since googled it and find it means ‘way’ or ‘direction’ but I can’t help feeling slightly juvenile as I giggle. There was even a ‘Wolf-fahrt’ (slightly longer ending but you get the gist) which I took note of, especially for Rafe as I thought he’d like that one.
I also note that only the German nation could make sure that every single one of their public clocks are in full working order.
They also have dog-poo bag holders attached to all their dustbins – and they are full! WE’ve had the same idea in Britain – but I don’t think I’ve EVER seen any dog poo bags in one of those dispensers.
While I was waiting for the train – I contacted the Youth Hostel in Lohr, only to discover that it is full – a special weekend for Algerian/Afghanistan folk as far as I could make out. There is a campingplatz not 5mins away from the station/Bahnoff – so I decide to head for there instead.
Getting the bicycle onto the train was a palaver I could have done without – even with the assistance of the conductor. The train had nice wide doors but was a huge jump up from the platform. Getting Rowenna off was equally difficult as the conductor wasn’t around. Then I had to get her down one flight of steps and up two to exit. Rowenna is very heavy fully laden.
The campsite wasn’t far – but packed with motorhomes and static caravans and family sized tents. The Germans have bagsied the best pitches all along the riverside – marked off with little fences and fairy lights. They bring everything with them on a camping holiday it seems: I saw trampolines, fully stocked bars, sun loungers, tables, chairs – puts even the Ravelry Happy Campers to shame.
In the end I squeeze my wee tent in between a parked car and an obviously empty large tent.
My wee tent is still soaking wet from the quick get away this morning. Eugh. I wipe it down as best I can, and sleep well. The sun wakes me up as it’s very hot again today –