Day 15 Tuesday 7th June 2016 – Bodenwerder to Reiffenhausen 65 miles
At first when started camping in Europe, I always thought it was a bit odd how everyone cycles around the campsites. People were cycling to the toilets, to the water taps and so on. However, today when was at the far end of Bodenwerder campsite by the river, I realised why. Some of these campsites are acres wide, here it takes around 10 minutes to walk to the toilets!
I thought this would have been a noisy campsite, as I could see a big road on the other side of the river. However I had a solid nights sleep, even on the slightly bumpy ground. Before I set off on this trip, I bought a birthday present for myself of a sleeping mat! It’s a Exped Synmat UL 7 M and it’s one of my best purchases. Rolled up it is very small and weighs around 400g. Once blown up, which takes less then a minute, it is an excellent bed, around 7cm high. Although it was about double or more the price of a normal foam mat, it is like the difference from sleeping on the floor to a comfy sofa! It smooths out any lumps and bumps in the ground, you could even sleep on a gravel path and not feel a thing!
Planning routes now takes longer, all the hillier terrains makes it harder to estimate how far I can travel in an day. So far, I would say the amount im now climbing a day has doubled since north Germany. And it will only get more mountainous from here!
I left the campsite and almost straight away started climbing. I could see from the Jilly, the garmin that there were three main climbs of the day. On the first one, I had just clicked down to my easiest gear and panting away when Willie smoothly cruised up to me. Willie (Wilfred) had an electric bike (I knew there must be a reason he was bearly sweating!) and was a wildlife photographer. His English wasn’t the best, but I managed to get the basics of what he was telling me! Sometimes I wasn’t sure if he was speaking to me or thinking aloud in German!
Willie had retired recently after turning 60, and decided to take up wildlife photography. He was on his way to the ‘jungle’ as he called it, a smal area 4km off the road, where wildlife thrived. On his camera he showed all of his pictures of kingfishers catching fish, Canada geese flying and close ups of small insects. He was a fascinating man and was enthusiastic about the wildlife. He was also very keen on me sending him a postcard once back in the UK, maybe his other hobby is postcard collecting!
Since the very windy day, with 40mph winds back in Denmark, I dont think ive really seem many wind turbines, moving. The wind has seemed to have stopped, whilst the sun keeps on shining strongly. On the bigger hills heat sometimes overthrows me, causing me to stop while I can cool down beneath a tree and rehydrate.
After a very tiring, hot and hilly day, came to a campsite in Reiffenhausen, just south of Gottingen. For those keen eyed, you will have seen my course slightly change from south west to south East. I have decided instead of going into France and finish in Spain, I’ll going to Austria then probably finish in Italy. Another change in the plan!
I was remembering back to when I was thinking of going traveling, and Austria and Italy were botu top on my list. Also, I’ve already cycled through France and visited Spain before where as Austria and Italy are completly unknown territory to me! Part of cycling touring is that you have to be open to changes and go with the flow!
The recent sun has brought out all of the insects and mosquitos, meaning sitting outside in the evenings is harder, even if I spray myself with Incognito insect repellent every 10 minutes! Still, it gives me more time to write about the days events!