Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 5 Mannheim to Mainz

Our bikes were still safe this morning, thank goodness for that! Although the youth hostel has opened their new building in February, they still haven't got their act together. Their was no bike store room last night and when we got to our room, we had no curtains. Hmmm.
Breakfast was early at 7am and we set off just before 8. All along the promenade until we got to the bridge or Rheinbrücke as they call it, where we had our first of the day disagreement. Stephen went off straight and was convinced that's the way although I had the route on my Garmin. I just stopped and waited for him to find his senses! I think I know why his Garmin doesn't want to display the route. It is complaining about too many tracks which means its memory's full. When I bought it for him, I also bought the Europe Navigator map with it. Four years ago, I got mine and that was the map I bought with it. The Garmin does come with a base map but it is really useless. You need a better map which you can insert via the SD card slot. Stephen's Europe Navigator map was a proper one whereas the one that I got 4 years ago, I suspect is a pirate copy (bought on Ebay). Mine just look like a normal SD card (2GB ) so it has Europe Navigator on it plus some spare capacity. Stephen's map is probably write protected so the only place for him to store his history and his routes is on the base unit. Obviously both takes up too much space, pity.
This has now resulted in only me being able to view the route whilst we are riding.
Breakfast is where the Germans get their chocolate kick! At each of the places where we had our breakfasts, there were chocolate spread and hot chocolate available. I struggled this morning to get black tea (normal ceylon, Assam, or English breakfast tea) at the youth hostel. There is coffee, but I don't drink that, and there are all sorts of herbal teas available. The Germans like their green and lemon teas. Then there are lovely fresh buns with a variety of cold meats ad cheeses available plus cereals and yoghurts.
Whilst we were in Strasbourg doing sightseeing, I saw that there were lots of memorabilia available about Storks. It seems that this is Stork country. I've seen several today, quite an imposing bird! I also saw a black squirrel.
We saw a few Ferries today but didn't go on them although we nearly changed our route and thought we will but didn't in the end. We cycled for a long time along vineyards and almost every town we went through had wine estates where you could buy some wine. Pity the bottles weigh so much! The rain eventually caught up with us but luckily there was a shelter along the way where a few other cyclists were hovering. This was the first time we had rain since leaving England!
There was along stretch today which was off road along tracks again today. Not really my cup of tea as my bike wheels are thin. Generally the German cycle paths are well marked but in a town they suddenly vanish and then you find yourself along a road with cars just to see the cycle path suddenly appearing alongside. Several times today we had to either make a u-turn or dash across the road to get on the path.
Mannheim to Mainz is 46.89 miles, I burned 2295 calories and we arrived at 2.15pm. Not too bad for time! We do try to get at least halfway by lunchtime.
My body is holding up although the nerve in my left hand that runs up from my wrist into my palm has gone dead. It has been stinging the last few days and since yesterday, it is totally numb.
Tomorrow we are off to Koblenz. A much longer day with 63 miles planned. Hope you enjoy the photos.

The cyclists are seeking shelter!
At Kornsand Ferry having lunch
The Mannheim Youth Hostel - still very much a building site
Our accommodation tonight
Miserable off road path along the Rhine!
Vineyards galore!
Only 14 kilometres to go!
Big river cruise boat going past
Lovely morning
Figs at our destination

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