Friday, 8 June 2012

The Elephant

Tuesday  05.06.2012    Ehingen – Dillingen   69.5 kms
I feel obliged to start today by extolling the virtues of our hotel. Should you ever travel this way, the “Zur Linde” Hotel and Restaurant at Erbach, provided us with a warm welcome, excellent accommodation, a drying room and all for a very moderate cost. Our hostess must have come top of her class in client care! Even the wifi was the most effective we have so far encountered, which meant Al could post three blogs before breakfast. On that subject, the blog I mean, I must apologise to you, our readers, for the errors in spelling and punctuation (except the intentional ones) of the last three blogs. I wrote one late at night and the other two very early in the morning.
One or two comments have suggested that my elephant must have been rejuvenated after all the munching that went on last year – You surely didn’t think he was real? Just to reassure our readers that all is well, I am posting a photo of him in his entirety. He is looking mighty fine don’t you think?
Today has been a thoroughly pleasant ride and the river has changed from this titchy stream to a full blown, brown, swirling real river. We have passed through Ulm and glimpsed some of its former medieval glories and found peaceful gardens in which to dine. (See, no elephant required)
Having made the decision that today was a dry day, we spent some time searching out a campsite. As ever in the towns, the cycle signs, if they exist at all, become a bit ambiguous. We resorted, therefore, to asking in our best English. Waved vaguely in the right direction, we chanced upon the entrance and tried to find a person who might tell us if, and where, we could pitch our small tent. Seeing our confusion, a very nice man explained in excellent English, that a pitch might be possible tonight, but for just one night. He warned that there would be much activity this evening, as they would be erecting a marquee for some jubilant celebrations which were to take place the next day. Once agreed on a spot which would not get run over or in the way, we pitched and made the tent look as small as possible. Then the evening entertainment began. An army of folk turned up with a truck load of metal spars, drills and a great deal of good natured banter – I think? The man in charge, and probably, the owner of this massive tent, took to shouting orders and established a routine which ensured the safe erection of the scaffold. Then the flooring arrived along with the table and chairs – another huge truckload. By this time, we were wondering if there would be enough room for us to weave our way through all this construction in the morning. The bar was moved at least three times, but by 10 pm, everyone seemed satisfied, quaffed a final beer and left. Ready to turn in, we were hailed by our English speaking receptionist who arrived with two beers. A gift from himself.   There are some lovely people in this world.                       
Did I say we camp only in fine weather……………………It rained! 

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