Posted by Max on Tuesday, September 7, 2010
5 days in and all is well. We're in Ulm at the moment, chilling out after the first push over the black forest and on to the Danube. As my fellow science geeks out there will know, Ulm is the birth place of Einstein so I'm considering the journey so far as a kind of pilgrimage. I may even go to his actual birthplace tomorrow where I expect to find a gaggle of bespectacled nerds paying their respects. For all of you antí-sciencers out there, Ulm is also the home of the world's tallest church steeple so there's something for everyone! (I walked up this 2 years ago and had an asthma attack at the top so I'm steering clear ths time). Fortunately, I can't give you any more boring cultural factoids because I left our only guidebook / map in a kebab shop a couple of days ago. This has caused problems.
Anyway, apart from the lost map everything's going smoothly so far: sunny weather, flat[ish] terrain, and a light smattering of bratwurst sausages. One fantastic thing about this bit of Germany is that the agricultural produce is mostly of the kind that can be stealthily picked and scoffed as required, e.g. apples, plumbs, grapes, tomatoes, pears. Much better than the wheat fields back in blighty. The cycle paths we're following go right through a lot of this farmland and we've been taking full advantage!! When we've not been scrumping, we've been plodding along making the most of the good weather, camping every night, and learning the basic do´s and dont´s of cycle touring. One lesson I can share with you - in case you ever find yourself trying to fill a half-litre camping stove fuel bottle with petrol at a gas station - is that the pumps are a lot more pressurised than you might think. I shoved one into my bottle, squeezed the handle and ended up instantly covered in petrol. It was like when you put a small glass under a really really powerful tap to get a drink. This was seriously alarming, both for me and the old lady in the petrol station. When I stumbled in asking to use the bathroom I she looked at me like I was an environmental activist about to set myself on fire. Another lesson: If you're cycling, for God's sake get a map with contours.
That's all till Austria.
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Stats so far:
Days on the road: 5
Fastest speed: 56kmh
% of total distance done: 1.95%
Meals including at least one bratwurst sausage: average 1.5 per day
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