|Muhlhausen - Straubing (using bikeroutetoaster.com)|
I was on the road that morning before nine o'clock. It was cooler, and the sky was cloudy with the distinct threat of rain. I headed south on the road as it followed the canal as the surface was much better and I made good progress, averaging over 12 mph. As it was a Sunday, there were a lot of people out on their bikes and I was grateful that there were no articulated lorries rushing past me, sucking me into their wake.
The big target for me at the start of the day was the town of Kelheim. This was significant because it was where the canal joined the Danube, and from there on I would follow the Danube all the way to my apartment in Budapest.
Seeing more of the Danube had always been a big appeal about this bike ride. For the last two years in Budapest I had walked, cycled and jogged up and down the river and wondered what happened both upstream and downstream. I had read several books about people who had travelled along its length and was keen to know more firsthand, so arriving at the Danube was a big moment for me.
By the time I reached Kelheim the skies had cleared and it was a warm and sunny day. I found the bridge over the river and stood there looking at it for some time.
|Crazy guy on Danube bridge at Kelheim|
I could now join the Donau Radweg, the German stretch of the cycle path that follows the length of the river. This makes travelling down the river is so much easier and enjoyable.
It is signposted all along the way and is mostly on good quality surface, so full of excited anticipation I headed downstream. As far as Regensburg the track was mostly good quality gravel, but after that the quality improved and it became a smooth well-surfaced track following embankments, leafy lanes and hikes through fields of wheat, barley and corn.
I ate at the campsite restaurant and fell into conversation with an English couple who were staying there in their (absolutely enormous) mobile home. They were retired and had just bought this vehicle, and were now setting off to explore central and eastern Europe. Their eventual destination was Keszthely at the end of Balaton, so I was able to give them some information and advice about things to do in Hungary.
I also managed to talk to Rachel, who had this day run the Edinburgh Marathon and was on her way home to Newcastle. Girl done good!
I had done another 92 miles today and had now completed 704 miles.