Lessons learned?

Today we had a 45 km ride to do, so we weren’t in a hurry to leave. It was a beautiful morning at the winery and we had a relaxed breakfast and caught up on some internet-related chores. After drinking a bottle of their delicious wine last night, we ordered a whole case of it to be sent home this morning! Then it was 11am and time to get going.

It was getting hot and we set off along a paved farm track, both feeling slightly cranky for some reason. (Perhaps the late night, bottle of wine then sleeping in a tent?) We’re planning on finishing the cycle tour early and heading back to the UK sooner than originally intended in order to help out family and friends on a project that Dave co-owns. This means trying to find affordable transport back and deciding whether we’re going to travel together and whether Dave is going to miss the last rewilding project. The debates got heated as we sweated up a few hills in the midday sun but cleared up after our lunch stop.

Enjoying a nice paved farm track

Enjoying a nice paved farm track

Then Google had some more delights in store for us on our route. Most of the farm tracks had been paved so far, but a few of them were becoming gravelly and then the ‘route’ went along a field boundary that was barely a footpath, let alone a cycle route. We followed a detour along a minor road to rejoin the route, carried on along it for a while before it disappeared into nothing once again. Then we abandoned Google in favour of Maps.me and planned our own route along minor roads through fields and villages, which was very pleasant in the end, a lot faster and a lot more direct!

At this point we're supposed to turn off.... into the field?

At this point we’re supposed to turn off…. into the field?

Suspect but still doable (slowly)

Suspect but still doable (slowly)

Let's find a detour

Let’s find a detour

That's better!

That’s better!

When we made it to the edge of Hochspeyer village, it was somehow almost 5pm. We went to find an affordable hotel in the absence of any campsites in the area. We rode down a steep hill into town and found one of the two hotels, looking very much closed. So we rode back up a steep hill to the other side of town and found the other hotel. This one at least had a doorbell, but there was no answer. We met one of the guests outside, who said it was open, so we just had to wait. We sat around in the garden in the sun for half an hour then checked into our room.

Not feeling excited about having to go shopping and cook, we went for dinner and then watched a movie, which was all very nice and relaxed. Tomorrow, we visit the Lynx project!

– Anna

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