Tuesday 28 April 2015
The Hotel Alta Villa in Eltville is very nice indeed and the staff are most friendly – but unfortunately if your room is on the side of the railway you may not have a very good night’s sleep. The trains run throughout the night and can be very noisy!
So when I headed down to breakfast I felt pretty tired as I hadn’t slept well. The excellent breakfast choice soon perked me up, however!
We settled up the bills for our rooms and went out to the trikes. After drying overnight they were looking pretty mucky.
Here’s Joyce’s seat – it’s clear that her mudguard (now removed) had its uses!
I spotted a hosepipe in the area where the bikes were stored so asked the Hotel owner if we could use it to wash down the bikes. Of course, she said, so we rinsed all the bikes off (although we should have really done this last night) and Simon oiled all the chains.
We had a good look at Klaus’s front right hand side wheel too. Before the trip he noticed that the bearing was clearly not right but yesterday’s ride in the rain clearly showed that there’s a leak in the seal somewhere and a lot of rust was coming out.
He has already ordered 20 inch wheels (rather than the current 18) as he wants to try those anyway so will put those on and then replace the bearings in the old wheels in case he swaps back to those (the other bearing is also showing some signs of rust). Interesting that they have failed after 10,000km – perhaps a duff batch or someone forgot to do some kind of sealing.
At 9:30 we were ready to roll. Klaus phoned home to chat to his family whilst we faffed and a man came to inform me that I should be flying the German flag above the British one on my flagpole. I pointed out that I am a Brit but he said that Germans who move to Canada still fly the German flag above the Canadian so I should do the same here (which rather contradicted his point). He said his piece several times, and I replied that I like the Union Jack to be at the top, and then he said “but then who cares!” He clearly did!
Today’s route was one that I have done once or twice before so I was pretty confident that it would be a nice ride and that we shouldn’t have any significant detours to add to our 70km. I looked like I might be wrong as right at the very beginning in Eltville there was a partial closure of the cycle path which was too narrow for our trikes so we had to ride around Eltville a bit. It’s a lovely little town but we wanted to get underway really.
Soon we found our way onto the Rhein path and headed west, into wind, towards Rüdesheim. The weather forecast was for rain late afternoon so we hoped to get to Spay before that.
Along the path we saw a yarn bomber had been at work.
We also saw these cormorants and this reminded me that yesterday, when Klaus was wearing his black waterproofs and occasionally shaking his extended arms to shake the drops of water off, he looked like a cormorant. He’s got that rangy look about him. So we have a new nickname for him. We also yesterday called him the Grim Reaper as he looked a bit like that too.
Looking back along the Rhein you can see that we had a very good day for cycling, albeit a bit cool at times when the sun was behind a cloud. I think it was about 15 degrees generally.
We saw a large wooden crane on the path so stopped for a closer look.
We liked the English translation of the information board – people referred to as ‘menials’!
Another cyclist was there so we asked him to take a photo of us all. Poor chap had to rummage in his rucksack for his glasses but eventually was able to take the pic.
We continued on and enjoyed a 2km stretch where there were loads of geese and ducks with their goslings/ducklings. So sweet!
But they sometimes decided to cross the cycle path when we were coming.
We rounded a corner and had an excellent view of Bingen, which we would cross to via the ferry. You can see Hildegard of Bingen’s convent at the top of the hill.
When I took this photo I looked back at the path we had all ridden on and you can see the four trike tracks and trailer tracks.
We arrived at Rüdesheim after 17km and as it was now midday (we had stopped for lots of photos etc) we thought it time for cake.
After a nice half hour break we headed towards the Rüdesheim ferry, stopping at a bike shop on the way for Simon and Joyce to get some supplies – including inner tubes for the trailer tyres.
We made our way onto the ferry and settled down for the short crossing.
This was the priciest crossing though – 2,50€ each!!
Once in Bingen it was a very easy ride back northwest along the Rhein towards Spay.
You often see these height markers for the high water times when the whole area is flooded. The heights can be very impressive!
The ride from Bingen was lovely – we got into our Chain Gang routine once or twice (although Simon with the trailer was unable to participate as it was too hard work). It was pretty windy so Joyce and I were lazy and let Klaus lead most of the time. We were able to do a short section at 28 km/h which was pretty good for us with that wind.
We arrived at St Goar and decided to stop for a late lunch.
After St Goar it was just 22km to Spay. We headed off, battling rather against the headwind and hoping to avoid the rain that looked like it was coming. As we rode through Boppard I spotted an ice cream stand and decided to get one (Simon and Joyce thought this was a good idea). Klaus took the opportunity for a nap – his room, too, had been on the railway side of the hotel last night.
An American man came out from the hotel opposite and chatted to us. He said “I’ve always wanted to try out driving one of these” but none of us went with the unspoken request to give him a go. We wanted to get to our hotel before the rain.
We whizzed along seeing building clouds. There was a brief holdup at a bit of roadworks on the path. On our outward journey we had all got through OK, even Nigel with his trailer. This time the workmen had obviously crept the barriers to give them more room and it was now not wide enough for Joyce’s trike so she had to do some lifting.
One of the workmen did grudgingly move some of the barriers so that those behind Joyce had an easier ride.
We arrived at the Alter Posthof hotel before the rain and put our bikes in the garage there. I have stayed seven or eight times here so am very familiar with this hotel and like it very much.
After showering and chilling out for a bit it was time for dinner. Here are some pics of what we had. Very tasty!
Tomorrow we head to Koblenz and then cross the Rhein to cycle further up the east bank – not a route that I have ever done so should be fun! We are overnighting in Bad Honnef, a place I have also not visited. The weather looks good and hopefully after a better night’s sleep I will feel more awake!