Day 5: Wednesday 2 June – Cochem to Spay (44.72 miles)
We were woken up by the binmen at 5:30am emptying a dozen bins right under our window. The roadworks started at 7:30am and there was lots of noise and vibration. Breakfast was good, despite the vibration from the asphalt-flattener outside.
We checked out at 9:30am and extracted our bikes from the underground room and set of.
My route was on the right hand side of the river but the ‘official’ route is on the left hand side. I couldn’t remember why I’d routed us different from the official route so decided we ought to follow the signs… and I fairly quickly discovered why. It was right beside a busy road and not very pleasant, whereas we could see the route on the other side going through fields down by the water, away from the road. After about six miles, at Treis-Karden, we found a bridge to cross over. There was a weird ferry earlier we should have taken as it was a very clever piece of machinery; a guide wire is strung across the river and the ferry is attached to this wire to stop it being washed downstream.
The route on the unofficial side of the river was much better as there was a grass verge between us and the cars. We stopped for cake in Brodenbach – we all had a wonderful strawberry-topped cream cake and a cuppa.
We continued on and saw some giant carp in a lock and a woman with ‘off-road lady’ on her jersey. There was a family of three people each with identical panniers to each other (and to James) which must have been a nightmare when they put them down in a pile – six identical blue panniers. We kept seeing this family, passing them on the road and they would pass us again whilst we were stopped to eat or look at something. This happens surprisingly often – that you see the same people several times.
This section of today’s ride seemed quite into wind but was picturesque, particularly going into Winningen where you climb up into the wine terraces and look down onto the Mosel and to Koblenz.
We were overtaken today a couple of times whilst going along, but never by someone with luggage. Our average speed had slowed considerably to 8.7mph but we were still faster than almost everyone else out there.
Lunch was in Koblenz at a rather unusual outdoor seating area with self-service food. There was a pond with incredibly noisy frogs in it. There were a whole stack of bicycles outside this place and at one point the wind blew and they all fell down like dominoes, which was rather amusing. A lady also asked us to look after her baby while she went to the loo, which doesn’t happen every day; we obviously looked trustworthy types.
We fought our way around the building site that is the Deutsches Eck, the corner where the Mosel flows into the Rhein. It’s not very picturesque with JCBs and piles of gravel in front of it but we took the requisite photographs anyway.
The cycle route had been temporarily moved from the riverside so we set off slightly away from the river. I decided to find a bank to get out some cash so I left the others in a pleasant plaza whilst my Garmin took me to a Deutsche Bank. When I got back they all had ice creams so had used the time wisely.
We joined the Rhein Radweg after some faffing around more building works. This bit of the path is quite rough and is cobbled in many places which made it less comfortable travelling.
We saw a KD-Line boat (the major pleasureboat company on the river) being towed alongside a barge – it had clearly broken down. At one point they passed another barge towing a smaller barge alongside it and did some kind of foghorn-sounding competition.
We arrived at Spay just after 5:30 and put the bikes in the garage. The fluffy saddle Pippa and I had laughed about last September was still there.
Alter Posthof is a lovely hotel and we chilled out and washed our clothes before having a fantastic meal, including even a dessert.
Oh, and James wore pyjama shorts to dinner under his trousers!