Day 7: Friday 4 June – Spay to Bad Breisig (31.17 miles)
Today is the short day of riding – just 31 miles.
We checked out of the hotel in Spay and set off, retracing our route to Koblenz. The cobbles were as irritating as they had been last time round.
At Koblenz we stopped to look at the Rathaus with its amusing fountain and then decided we felt like we hadn’t yet expended enough energy to stop for cake so we’d push on. We crossed the Mosel and started northwards along the Rhein.
I remember this part of the journey having less good surfaces and this memory was correct – it was bumpy with tree roots, cobbles and crumbling asphalt. Some bits were good, then you’d get a dodgy bit again. Some chaps we saw yesterday in St Goar saw us today and they kept trying out their English on us with rather variable results.
We planned to stop for tea and cake at about the fifteen mile mark but found an unexpected dearth of cafes so it wasn’t until Weißenturm at 19 miles that we stopped. The place I had eaten at before was closed so we ended up in a Kneipe, a bit like a pub, which didn’t do food (well, they gave us a bowl of Pretzels). However it was cheap – two small beers, an apple juice, and orange juice and the bowl of Pretzels came to 6,10€.
After Weißenturm the surface improved a bit, including cycling through some fields away from the river. We also had to wind our way under some elevated roads and over railway lines so there were a few obstacles to negotiate with the trike and the tandem, but we managed it.
We arrived at Bad Breisig at 2:15pm and were all tired and thirsty, despite doing just 31 miles. Rather than checking in we decided to eat lunch first so put the bikes in some racks and sat down opposite them.
The waitress had just taken our order when we heard what sounded like a gunshot – and was my inner tube exploding in my right front tyre. I fixed it whilst awaiting my salad lunch (much to the amazement of a table of ladies next to us), rather wishing I’d stored the trike out of the sun. Anyway, the food was good and we checked in to the hotel without any problems.
I went out in search of an internet cafe (I have found this computer in a different hotel) because we decided we’d rather get the train from Bad Breisig tomorrow and do our riding at the other end, in Holland, if we have time. I’m glad I check the train times as there are engineering works in Holland so we’ll have to take four trains there, rather than two, although it fortunately doesn’t add too much extra time onto the journey. The German train bit is OKish – Bad Breisig to Düsseldorf (an hour and a half), then Düsseldorf to Venlo which is just over an hour but which involves a change of train at Kaldenkirchen (just by the border) as they still haven’t validated this new train in Holland. It might be worth us riding that bit rather than catching the train – I think it’s only about 3,5 miles. Mind you, we might just be lazy and hop on the next train…
After I visited the Internet Café James and I walked to the supermarket to buy a few supplies for tomorrow and we went to the railway station to watch our train come past to see where the bicycle carriage is (right at the back, it turns out).
We had a very nice evening meal at our hotel (Hotel Anker) with an ice cream dessert (I had Apfelstreusel as I hadn’t had quite enough German cakes yet). We agreed to get started early tomorrow morning in order to facilitate things for our 6-7 trains – we want to catch the 09:33 from Bad Breisig.