Saturday, 2 June 2012

My Ding-a Ling

 Friday 01.06.2012    Waldshut – Wangen (on Lake Constance)  74.6 kms
Our modestly priced hostel accommodation provided us with the best breakfast we have enjoyed since leaving home. Excellent value, and primed us for the journey today.
If anyone tells you that this track follows the Rhine, it has to be a very loose description, either that, or this is the first river to have developed major ups and downs. I am amazed that the Swiss, a people so technically talented, have not spotted the fact that equal parts of ups and downs means FLAT. So what is their problem – just an adverse topography! ( You have to feel sorry for old elephant today; very well munched.) But……………… and it is a big but, the wind was almost whizzy and the odd push from behind was very welcome. We also experienced today, our first encounter with steps! Alan had assured me that we would meet the EV6 today and we did – at the top of the steps! After ten minutes of denial, it was inevitable that we must descend these steps in order to follow said route. Having finally accepted this inevitability, another kind gentleman indicated, in passing, the lift which, in our angst, we had failed to notice. So bikes down steps, trailers down lift and we were off on our route again. Hoorah!  More ups and downs and then to the granddaddy of them all!  Now, we have visited Rhinefalle in the past, and spectacular as it was, we were not aware that our cycle route would take us on a second visit. This time down a very steep hill – fabulous waterfalls – then up the other side! Not nearly so fabulous! Don’t know what the incline measured in percentage terms, only in puffing terms – lots and lots! The buses don’t go down there! so why did bikes?
Some of the paths we have had to negotiate have often been quite narrow, especially towing Herman and Sherman, so I finally got around to fitting a bell which had been provided with the bike whenever it was that we purchased them. It has not been very useful for warning people of an overtaking manoeuvre unless they are stationary, but it has provided me with a pleasing tinkle. Instead of wind chimes, I have gravel chimes- very soothing, if somewhat confusing, as I don’t know if it is my bell tinkling or a bike trying to overtake. Nothing like a little ding-a-ling!  
One last hill of indeterminate steepness and we arrived at our overnight stop, and not a moment too soon. Now, fed, watered and very tired, I can finish tonight’s blog just before it is dark! Tomorrow, I am assured, we will reach the Danube/Donau. This is the river which will take us the rest of the way to the Black Sea – or rather following it, will. Not planning on a long swim!


  1. Deborah and Brendan2 June 2012 at 16:14

    Enjoying the blog. Brendan would have gone into one of his red-faced laughing fits if he had been greeted at breakfast by the organ player! What a great anniversary, better than any posh or romantic hotel.
    I had packed my bags to join you at that ranch! I didn't know you were such a good fibber Mary.
    Enjoying the blog when I get the chance to log on. We are Chez Wilkinson. Battery charging on the mower - fingers crossed.
    Keep safe, lots of love D & B xxx

  2. Does the elephant grow bits back after you've taken chunks out of it then?? Let's hope those hills run out or the poor thing might lose it's sense of humour and run away!

    Speaking of losing ones sense of humour how's the shoulder Dad??

    Lots of love as always

    PS Thanks for the postcard, S was beginning to worry you might have forgotten...