Thursday, 30 August 2007

Tuesday 21st August (Day 35): Vienna to Krems (95kms)

Back on the bikes. We got started at a reasonable hour, found the post office, sent a large parcel off to NZ full of prints and posters, and then headed off. The wind was a little kinder this time, and assisted us some of the time, and made the overcast start a little more pleasant. The huge clouds gave way to a glorious sunny day and we bowled alongside the Donau on a fantastic cycle path that passed through towns with amazing, 'powerful' buildings that spoke of the wealth and priviledge around Vienna as once was....

The variety of people who cycle around here is superb. Ages range from 5 years old or younger on their own bikes (some with panniers that are approximately the same size as ours'!!) racing up and down the hills all day long. Others were are younger still and sit in trailers, or on 'helper' bikes. At the other end of the continuum there are the 'oldsters' who spend the whole day out on the bike, often in packs of 20 plus - it's excellent to see!!

The route took us along willow-lined paths, flower meadows and woodland galdes, all backset with huge cumulus clouds - all very picturesque. On the other hand, campsites were proving somewhat of a problem. The first was only 30km away, the second didn't exist anymore (it was now a mini-golf place), and the third was a rather vile 'city' of cabins built about 6mm apart from each other. As such, we ended up cycling another 20km to end up at the site at Krems (expertly found by John) which was squeezed between a main road and the caravans on the site, and cost the rather large sum of 32 euros (it only costs about 34 euros each to stay in a B&B). We did meet a lovely zech guy there though, and had a chat to him in an eclectic mix of English, German and Czech (all aided by the phrase book).

It was also a day for gear failure. John's Ortlieb rear pannier needed the tag tie on the replaced to make sure that it does not fall off; the front Carradice pannier lining has started to come away at the top; 2 spokes on my rear wheel snapped; our MSR spatula snapped, John's sunglasses gave up the ghost when the arm snapped off; and the John's sleeping bag stuff bag split at the seams. John, ace mecahnic :-) mended my spokes, and my mission was to mend all the stuff that could be sewn up. I'm also going to be sending some letters to various manufacturers and suppliers. I mean, some of the stuff is only a few weeks old. Ah well....

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