It rained a lot last night but once again by the morning it was dry and we had another good forecast for the day.
Our Tour has made the news section of ligfiets.net, http://www.ligfiets.net/news/5538/vrijdagbericht-281.html
We went for breakfast and it was once again very tasty with lots of choice.
We had a good chat with the Guest House owners as they wanted to look at the bikes – they were so friendly. I would give Gästehaus Schulz a 10/10 rating. They were friendly, helpful and the room was great; the location was also very good.
We ended up leaving at 9:15 and this was our planned route for the day.
ThIs would be our hilliest day to date by quite a large margin, and in fact the hills started rather early on… within 3km we were climbing and there were quite a lot of cars.
This was rather the theme for today. I guess Saturday is changeover day on Usedom and an awful lot of cars were trying to leave the island. So were we, and there weren’t always usable cycle paths for us, so we did hold up other traffic a bit. This seems to be one of our less positive take-home memories from Usedom – just simply too many cars there.
And then suddenly he saw, across the road, a giant bird. It is a dot just above and to the right of the white post in the pic below. He recognised it as a Seeadler, sea eagle.
Seeing this bird really made our day and it was good to know that the stream of traffic leaving the island was not frightening the eagles away.
We crossed the bridge on the cycle path on the right hand side.
Directly after the bridge the path crossed to the other side. It took us ages to be able to cut across both lanes of traffic to get to the continuation of the path. They really should put a pedestrian crossing or central refuge or something in. There is no point in having cycle infrastructure if it introduces additional dangers to the user.
When we finally made it onto the path we found it was very good. It was built up separately to the road in a marshy area.
And very soon I realised there were lots of baby coots! They were really sweet.
As we reached the end of the marshy area we saw this thicket of dead tree trunks. According to Klaus they are dead because the cormorants land on them and their guano kills the trees. It was very odd-looking!
We were now on the mainland again and unfortunately sharing a very busy road with all the holiday traffic. The cycle paths disappeared and we had to ride on the road. We maintained a very high speed all the way to Anklam but Klaus paid the price for this as he wasn’t feeling so fit today and his heart rate was very high.
I missed a turning and ended up cycling part-way round a bypass of Anklam but found my way onto normal roads and headed to the town centre. Klaus was approaching from the opposite side of the square – our Cake Radar is well calibrated!!
The day was warming up nicely so we sat outside.
I ordered a piece of cake, some Frankfurter Kranz, and for some reason it was a tiny portion!!
Klaus wasn’t feeling 100% which for our hilly day was not ideal but we were ready to press on after half an hour.
From Anklam we changed from the main Usedom to Berlin road to a quieter one, although the traffic did slowly build up on this too. We found a few more hills also on the way, and also a lot of bad and impatient drivers. Car drivers of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, please note that when there is no cycle path we have to be on the road. Hooting at us and overtaking in no-overtaking zones does not change that fact.
We rode through Friedland which is where a lot of doorbells in the UK come from, I think!
On some of these sectors I was faster than Klaus (very unusual) but he was trying to keep his heart rate a bit lower, and was also suffering from the performance difference between Celeste and Millie in side winds.
We had stopped for the small cake after 45km and at 94km we reached Neubrandenburg which seemed like a good place to stop for lunch. We saw a cafe built into the town walls and stopped there.
We ordered hot food from the menu the lady gave us but then she announced hot meals were only available from 18:00, but she did have cake. So we had some of that, although some soup or a jacket potato would have been better for energy.
We only had 36km to go after Neubrandenburg but Klaus had seen on his Garmin that we had some significant hills in that sector. And he was right, straight out of Neubrandenburg we had a mega hill which was a 50 metre increase in height over maybe 1.5km and he saw a 12% gradient at one point on his Garmin. I winched myself up the hill in my lowest gear, cheered on by a family who had seen Klaus ride past and were all watching me as I crawled by.
It was a good feeling to reach the top of this hill but there were many others to come and we were riding on roads with no cycle paths and the car drivers were being antisocial as before.
There were good moments too though, of course. After the Seeadler on Usedom and a super-friendly fledgling sparrow in Anklam we saw a stork nesting on a special nest pole in one village.
With about 5km to our destination the road levelled out a bit and we also turned onto smaller local roads so there were fewer aggressive car drivers. We were on our way to Jagdschloss Waldsee Hotel which was in the middle of nowhere. There had been no other choice when I booked our hotels, although this one was more expensive than all the rest. Anyway, they had emailed us a few days ago to say there were roadworks on one of the roads leading to the hotel but that it would be OK for bikes.
We arrived at the road closure with just 1.4km till the end of our track. There was no way we could ride along it, there was no tarmac only a deep layer of sand.
Plan B, after consulting the Garmin, was a detour of 4km but should do. For the first 1.7km it was ok but then we found ourselves on an off road gravel track. We decided to carry on as it wasn’t too bad.
Unfortunately very soon this turned into a forest track with lots of sand. It made for a very swervy journey but Millie also got bogged down several times and I had to get out and push.
Her front tyres are too narrow, they just dug in.
Klaus was mostly able to ride but I was doing a lot of walking and trying to fight off the mosquitoes at the same time. Hot, sweaty cyclist = tasty meal!!
Finally, finally, we arrived, both feeling pretty pooped. The hilly ride had worn us out enough so the off-road shenanigans were definitely unwelcome. I was a bit grumpy with the receptionist but kudos to her, she was always polite and friendly.
The Velomobiles were stored in a garage and then we went up to our room which was in an old country house style. It had this plaque on the wall.
A rather unusual feature was a glass wall between the shower and the main bedroom so if someone is in the shower you can watch them from the main room. I am not sure why they did this but hey ho.
Here is Klaus’s Strava upload for the day. Despite the hills and him not having the best day we still averaged over 27! And this with me walking most of the final two kilometres.
Klaus’s max was 68.8km/h, I saw 72.1 on my Garmin,
Here is Klaus’s short report on the day:
Nachdem Ruhetag war heute richtig Arbeit angesagt. Keine Ahnung an was es lag…gestern 2 Gläser Wein? …der Seitenwind? Jedenfalls musste ich heute beißen. Das Gelände war mir wohl bekannt
…vielleicht hatte mein Kopf einfach andere Ideen. Anyhow…ausser ein paar nervenden Autofahren und die unzumutbare Anfahrt zum Hotel (Celeste ist nun mal kein MTB). War es wieder ein toller Tag mit sehr schönen Eindrücken. Es ist immer wider spannend zu sehen, wie sich innerhalb wenigen Kilometern die Landschaft ändert.
This was our longest day riding, we weren’t up in our room until 17:30, so this meant that after the shower and clothes washing we went straight down to dinner in the attached restaurant. And it was very nice indeed!
Klaus finished off with a grappa.
He was asleep by 21:00, and I hope that he feels a bit more normal tomorrow. We have 120km to ride (plus a different and hopefully less sandy detour to leave this hotel, maybe another 6km) and it will be almost as hilly. But tomorrow evening we will be in Spandau, Berlin – hurrah!