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Published: August 10th 2015
Dare I start with another moan about the hot weather? Yes! We barely slept during the night as it was too hot to move. Totally hopeless sleeping conditions without a fan or air con. Yes, it’s another 35+ day.
Today was our first day of cycling and we only have to bike 35kms. We took our time around Passau and sat in a café where we could observe the many dozens of cyclists outfitted in the ordinary and extraordinary gearwise. Some just shouldn’t be seen in bike pants. Lycra is just a trifle too revealing to say the least and it shouldn't be expected to stretch endlessly.
Later in the morning we cycled over the Danube and off down the north side of the river for the first leg of our journey. It was lovely and serene biking on a mostly flat, tar sealed surface. The bike path runs between the road and the river and has guards on both sides. It makes our Great Taste Trail look rather inferior but then it has been established longer and has many 1000’s of cyclists using it. The path is situated in a deep river valley with steep rocky sides occasionally
We thought beer mats were for under glasses
It is common to see beer mats on top of glasses of beer. They make excellent covers for keeping out wasps. Wasps were a problem everywhere when sitting outside
opening out to narrow flat areas. The steep sides are covered in forest and parts are in National Park. Every now and then we would come across large carved mermaids and I’m not sure of the significance of these. The river is very silt laden and looks the colour of the Wanganui River. Surprisingly people were sunbathing and swimming in the river so it’s not as bad as it looks.
We made a stop along the way for a lunch stop where Neil managed to bite into a bread roll with a wasp in it which stung the inside of his mouth. It soon had him lisping as you do after a visit to the Dentist. It settled down after a few hours fortunately. He then fell off his bike ever so gently – shades of our cycling trip in France a couple of years ago except then it was a thorn and a fall! At this same stop there was a very small chapel nearby and a couple tending the garden. They opened it for us to go in and look. It was beautiful and they told us the story of a huge flood hundreds of years ago
that washed out the memorial to the Madonna. It was washed up on a floating log and since it wasn’t destroyed they built a chapel in the same spot and reused the plinth and the Madonna statue. They considered it a miracle and love to tend to it.
At one of our stops for a drink we discovered that the Danube has whales. Truly. Check out the photo.
Further down the river at the power station we had hoped to have crossed the river but couldn’t get through the gates. At this spot there was a Fair happening a little like the school fairs at home. There was a lot of activities, music and food. One man had brought along a huge owl and a huge eagle. I have never seen birds that large before. They were tethered to logs with water available. It must have been fairly stressful for them.
Finally onto Neideranna which is our stop for the night. In the last few kilometers it got extremely hot with a short uphill section and heated tarmac. I arrived at the hotel extremely hot and red in the face. It took ages to cool
The hotel was right on the river with constant traffic of huge tour boats, barges and sciffs.
down. The family run hotel is very comfortable and full of cyclists with bicycles stacked outside and in the garage. Our day finished with drinks outside fighting off wasps and dinner inside followed by a slow amble along the river.
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