0013: Europe - The final countdown...

photos Apr 28, 2014


I'm tired.
Not so much I want to give up already, but enough to want to take a break for a few days.
Perhaps I have pushed myself too hard? Dived in at the deep end.
Maybe so, but from what I can tell of what is coming, I need to be prepared.
The ride through Europe has been great.
Tiring, eyeopening, liberating, testing and I am glad I did it.
It hasn't been cheap. And I haven't played by the rules entirely. But still, I have set out to achieve what I came to do.

After leaving my friend Claire in Brussels, I headed east over to Hasselt.

By chance, someone I met briefly in Leeds was visiting her sister there and so I cheekily asked if I could sleep on the Sofa.
Tran and her family not only treated me to a Sofa, but a fantastic Vietnamese meal too.
I guess, my reward for also helping with a little gardening at the end of the day.

Tran Cooking

It was a brief visit, but I'm glad I passed by and the following morning I set off early to Maastricht and then a small campsite near Aachen.
It was a cold, windy day. The headwind not letting up and I didn't have much breakfast. I stopped in Maastricht for a Burger in a restaurant and several cups of tea to warm me up.
Then onward into my third country of the day.
Here I came across my first Touring cyclist.
An old chap cycling back to Turkey and heading to Bonn that day. We chatted and followed each other for a few km's and I was about to suggest stopping for a drink when he turned off and I lost sight of him.
At the end of the day, the terrain started getting hilly and I finally arrived at the messy but cheap Vichtertal campsite stuck between typically German forested hillsides.

Saturday cyclists

Aachen, twinned wi'Halifax

From the dusty campsite in the forest, I set off towards Bonn. The day started with a huge climb, then very slowly descended towards the Rhein over the rest of the day. The headwind now coming at me sideways, and I had to avoid several swarms of bees which appeared to be migrating on the wind.
A break for lunch at Obermaubach and I continued with some final steep climbs then down to the Rhein campsite at Mehlem south of Bonn.

The next leg will be the Rhein path south...


Matthew Hopkins

An avid cycle tourer and Bicycle Mechanic, I also enjoy cycling, cooking, camping, cinema, computers, internet and tech.

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