21 Jul Regensburg to Vienna: things are looking up
After leaving Regensburg a little late due to a leisurely Breakfast and lots of logistics catching up, we continued along the Danube Bike path towards Austria.
But before setting off, we had been joined by some friends in Regensburg: Ben’s dad and baby sister Holly had come out to say hello:
The german for bike path is ‘radweg’, but all things considered, we thought that ‘Hillweg’ and ‘Cornweg’ were better descriptions of the early phases of the Danube Bike Track. The first day out from Regensburg we also hit our next real problem. Heat. Cycling in 40c is not fun. We found out our first rookie error. Don’t do your admin in the morning, as cycling through the mid day sun is really not fun.
As neither of us where greatly prepared for the heat, our target for the day rapidly decreased, and as we stumbled upon a German festival in Deggendorf, we decided to stop. We ended up camping along the river next to a circus, and although we weren’t quite camping with the circus, we did get to enjoy Deggendorf’s national day with fireworks along the Danube.
At this campsite we also made our first cycling friends, three Germans who we were happy to beat out the campsite in the morning- making us feel like proper cyclists for the first time.
An early start took us into Passau. We also quickly discovered that without our morning coffee the first hour of cycling is somewhat more subdued then the hours that follow the Espresso.
After lunch in Passau we headed over into Austria and the Danube began to live up to expectations. Over the first few days in Germany we had become slightly confused, because whilst we had enjoyed our tour of the German agricultural industry, it didn’t seem to be the danube bike track that we had anticipated. We had tried to appreciate the scenery, but whilst we’d see lost of fields and lots of corn, the beauty of the Danube itself remained a hidden mystery until we crossed into Austria.
Getting into Austria was a big morale boost because it felt like we had been in Germany for ages. The bike track started to look a lot more like this:
That night we set up camp just before Linz right next to the river. In the morning, we were feeling quite proud of our camping efficiency (we cooked porridge and coffee on the stove and still beat our previously record for getting up and out in the morning!) when who appeared on the horizons…The Germans.
Having cycled ferociously since 5am, they had caught up with us. Our competitive edge began to flare and the Tour de Danube cycling race began. After having a quick coffee we were off, and we were pleased to beat them into Vienna by a full 24 hours.
we’ve also found that challenges come from unexpected places. Like feeding Ben the 5000+ calories he needs to maintain his energy levels. But Erin has come up with a plan. Waffles. Waffles coated in peanut butter with banana. The perfect treat; they can have 500 calories each, so they are ideal to stop him complaining.
Once again the heat continued but we still managed a 140km day. The afternoon was tough, and it was probably the first time neither of wanted to be on the bike. By the last 30km into Melk, everything was aching.
Having been eaten alive by ants and insects after our tent had abjectly failed to repel them, we thought the last 120km into Vienna would be a breeze.
We were wrong. We had run out of waffles, the GPS was down, and the signs didn’t show how far we had to go. The air in front of us was shimmering from the heat and the tarmac started to haze. After 400km in 3 days are bodies were on autopilot and pedalling without thought. The first glimpse of high rise buildings lifted our spirits as we knew we were close to the city, but navigating through inner city suburbs is a challenge in itself…
After getting lost once or twice, we finally made it it into central Vienna, exhausted and extremely dehydrated as we had had to push quite hard to get through the last 30km. Having reached the imperial palace, Erin stopped to take some photos…
whilst Ben had some emergency cake….
We had made it to Vienna!!
The Adventure continues..next stop Bratislava.
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