Thursday, May 19, 2011

Romantic Road (IV): Pfaffenwinkel District


Are you exhausted, alone and your bike is squeaking because the overnight rain washed all the oil off your chain? Well, try Mezzo Mix, available across Bavaria. It's a drink made up of Coke and orange, and you know what? When you're bike touring, it's pretty good stuff. Mezzo Mix: It's colakusstorange.

I got away earlier this time, but with the previous day's deficit, I needed to do over 100kms today, just to get back on schedule. I was off to a bad start when, 10kms down the road from the camping ground, my rear tube exploded. This was actually the first puncture I've had on this bike, so when I opened my spare tube, the rubber was suspiciously white-looking. But it held air and I plodded on through the Pfaffenwinkel district.

James, I hear you ask, are bicycle shops open in Bavaria on Easter Sunday? No, no they are not. Nothing is.

Along the way, I encountered the Lech river for the first time.

Here, a couple of other cyclists had also stopped. The guy said something about shitty photos (Foto schiessen), to which I giggled immaturely and nodded. It was only further down the road that I realised that schiessen is the verb for taking photos. The word I was thinking of was, of course, "scheisse".

I made it to Landsberg am Lech for a late lunch. I can't remember: some sort of spiced sausage? Mmm, more pickle.

Landsberg has a lot to see, and I was disappointed to only have time for a meal there, before jumping back on the bike.

Leaving Landsberg to the north meant riding along a bike path beside a motorway. I got lost here quite a few times; the signage was very confusing. At one point I went through an area with signs telling me to keep away because it was a Germany military test site. That can't be on the official route - it's not very romantic.

God knows how many people I asked for directions on this trip. The Germans are very patient and forgiving of people butchering their language.

It took ages to ride through Augsburg to the camping ground in the north of the city. It's a bloody big city. It was pretty dark when I arrived, and I had my lights on. A couple gave me directions on how to cross the autobahn, saying that I would need the footbridge. I was thinking that I would just whip across the road when nothing was coming, like usual. Apparently you don't do that with autobahns. Those are 3 foot high walls on the median strip and fences along the sides. Okay, I'll use the foot bridge.

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