Sun 18th Sep 2011
Start: Trier, Germany
End: Landstuhl, Germany
Distance today: 115k
Distance so far: 765k
Today was another difficult one, but not from a purely physical point of view.
It rained all night so I didn't sleep so well. When I got going there were a couple of frustrations, first I made a hash of navigating out of Trier, then the road I planned to take was marked as private. As it went steeply up hill I didn't want to risk not being able to get through.
When I did finally get up to speed, something like 25 of the first 30k was climbing, though this was rewarded with a largely downhill day thereafter. The weather was unpleasant, light rain on and off and a persistent cold wind. Not enough to cause real discomfort but enough that it wasn't fun. The scenery was forested but not dramatic. As it was a Sunday, and I was in Germany, everything was closed. A combination of fatigue, homesickness and the general lifelessness of the day started to get me down. Then it really got me down. For a while all I wanted was to stop and get off the bike. I was tired but not exhausted, I just wasn't interested. For the first time the idea of getting to Munich and going home became a seriously appealing idea.
It probably didn't help that my plans were vague: I would cover as much ground as I could along a route and then look for somewhere to stop when the time came. The time came in a place called Landstuhl. This had a campsite marked on my map, but I'd not verified any details. I was already worried after someone asked me where I was going when stopped at a service station, and he didn't know of the site.
Sure enough I couldn't find it, because it's not there. Apparently there is a motorhome site, but I couldn't find that either. It was too late to get to the next marked site near a lake, and I knew no more about it. At least I was in a town so I could find something to eat on a Sunday. So I decided I'd have to get a room. There were lots of signs to hotels, but I couldn't find them either, I just kept going round the one way system. I realised one was out of town up a hill. After cycling ten minutes there I buzzed the door twice before a detached voice told me they had no free rooms. Dispirited I returned to town and followed another sign down an unlikely residential road that was being dug up. The hotel had a room where I am right now. It costs 68 euros, compared to a campsite that's normally less than 10, but today I think it was worth every cent.
This one is going down. Not all of them are.
Feeling a bit better about things under a roof and after a proper shower. Still going to take a view when I reach Munich though, if I'm not enjoying it I'll come home.
I've been able to replan the week a bit. Seems like every time I deviate from campsite I've looked up in advance then things go wrong. It's remarkably hard to plan without full pc web access. I managed here with my phone a moderate WiFi, but it took me an hour to sort out three sites. Beginning to think that some sort of campsite guidebook would help, with the 95% of pages you don't need torn out.
Upshot is that tomorrow I have what looks a long and tricky to navigate route to Bad Herrenalb (which will put me a day ahead of the original schedule again) but at least it looks from the web that the site exists and it is open late. And I'll be fueled by my hotel breakfast.