Day 4 – Wednesday 27th May
Distance: 48.35 miles; time: 04:39:32; Average speed: 10.4 mph; Max speed: 19.9 mph; Calories (according to Garmin): 3011
Breakfast of cold meats and cheese with a boiled egg set me up for the morning’s ride, although I eschewed the black bread (I ate the two white rolls instead!). Had a refreshing cup of tea (3 down, 77 to go).
I set off at 9am and was pleased to find that yesterday’s headwind had dropped considerably. The path was good, running mostly alongside the river. However in places the path was quite rough as tree roots had lifted the asphalt. These weren’t always easy to see with the blossom/sunlight so my poor trike had quite a bumpy time. I wonder if it will ever be the same again after this tour – and the gears at the back aren’t as precise as they used to be!
Passed this strange obelisk with distances on them. Not sure what measurement the distances are as Koblenz was about 30km at this point.
I reached Andernach which was rather industrial and necessitated a significant detour around various construction areas and a mini container depot.
After Andernach it wasn’t far to Koblenz and I stopped for a few minutes to look at the statue at Deutches Eck, where the Mosel flows into the Rhine.
The preferred cycle route crosses over the Mosel into Koblenz so I followed this but missed the turning to join the Mosel Radweg (badly signposted) and ended up stuck in a cycle lane as part of the main road into Koblenz. I couldn’t turn around for a few minutes and still struggled to find the cycle path, locating it eventually.
My Garmin had a Mosel Radweg route courtesy of the German tourist board and I followed this – it was mostly right!
Lunch was Spargelcremesuppe in a very quaint Weinstube in Winningen. The ladies’ loos had lots of posters of semi-naked men on the walls!
What was rather ironic was that as I turned westwards along the Mosel I suddenly found yesterday’s headwind! Fortunately the river twists and turns a great deal so there were some periods with shelter.
The Radweg was quite up-and-down for the first ten miles, following the terraces of the vineyards and separated from the river by the road and railway line. There were some quite steep inclines but they were short enough that I didn’t have to resort to the granny ring.
In fact, I’ve noticed that I spend 99% of the time on the middle chainring, only using the big chainring very occasionally. At home I use the big chainring 90% of the time but they are much faster roads.
The landscape of the Mosel is very different from the Rhine – so far the north side (along which I’m riding) is planted with vineyards on the very steep terracing. There are occasional things that look like ladders or drainpipes but are actually tracks for little dollies used to transport things (or people?) as part of the viticulture. The hills are very steep-sided with all towns and villages huddled at the bottom of the slopes.
The other side of the river, the south bank, has so far had much more forestation with only a few vineyards. I remember from the cruise last October that in most parts both sides are completely covered with vineyards.
After a while the Radweg turned into a lane on the main road – the river-side lane, thus I was cycling towards oncoming traffic. It was wide enough for me and my panniers to pass another pannier-laden bike – just!
At my lunch stop in Winningen I had looked at the guide book and discovered that hotels are cheaper in Treis-Karden than Cochem, 10km further on and a real tourist spot. I had visited Cochem last October and liked it but decided to go for the economy option in Treis-Karden instead. I arrived at 3pm, found the Hotel Moselblick and checked in. The price was 30€ B&B, the cheapest so far, and it was noticeable – the room had all that was necessary but looked a bit tired.
I had my shower – clothed again – although I struggled to coax hot water out at a decent pressure although cold was fine! I hung the clothes to dry on a line stretched between the TV and the radiator – whoever recommended me to bring some short clothes line was a genius!
I then went out to have some tea (4 down, 76 to go) and cake and to see if I could find an internet cafe, which I couldn’t (and various people I asked said there wasn’t one). I had a slice of nut and cream caike which was lovely though!
I then went for a wander and found the local supermarket. I was on the hunt for my usual chocolate rations although would have preferred a smaller overall amount. With the daytime temperature on the bike I can’t take it with me but eating 100g a day just seems too much (did I really just write that????) Anyway, I found a family bag of smarties which will hopefully do the trick.
The supermarket also sold books and lo and behold they had copies of ‘Der Vorleser’, one of the set books for next term at Uni, so I bought it. I will have something to read on the journey now when the talking book on my phone isn’t appropriate.
One very good thing on this tour so far is that there doesn’t seem to be any problem getting accommodation. I imagine it would be quite a problem in late July or August though.
Had dinner in a local pizzeria that had a TV screen above my head with a live feed from their stone oven – an ovencam!
Slept OK although the room had no curtains so once it grew dark I felt I couldn’t have the light on else all those sailing the Mosel would be able to see in.