Europe 2009: Mile 2591

27th April 2009

Mr Teddy playing cards

Mr Teddy winning at cards - again!

Woke to grey clouds and light rain so we decided to go back to sleep – we are on holiday after all :). The rain put a slight dent in our plans to ride around but nothing serious. We had breakfast of rye rolls, cheese and some very nice smoked Black Forest ham in the tent. We then played cards to while away the time (together with some real coffee from the camp shop which was most welcome). There is, for me, something very soothing about the sound of rain on a tent (well about rain on the outside of a tent anyway!).

Eventually the rain eased up although the sky remained grey and cold. We decided to use the internet terminal at the campsite reception (2 Euros/hour) to update this blog and search for the best Black Forest gateau around here – apparently there is a cafe in Freiburg that does a good one. Since it is on our way to France we decided to visit on Wednesday. After that we took our stuff back to the tent and went for a walk in the woods. Initially we went down to the lakeside via some very boggy ground but then we headed up the side of a nice mountain on a path that wandered its way up and to the side of the campsite.

At first we walked through pines but then we entered an area of deciduous trees which gave a completely different feel to the path. Not better but definitely different. It was all very beautiful but, of course,neither of us had taken our cameras with us :(. Oh well, it will have to remain a private memory for us both. We wandered as far as the path kept rising and then turned back towards the camp now far below us and seemingly hard up against the Titisee. As we made our way slowly back we looked at the mosses and ferns and fallen trees around us,all of which made a magnificent accompaniment to the tall tall trees of the Schwarzwald.

Black Forest Road

Black Forest Road

On arriving back at camp we decided to take the bikes and go and look for something to eat this evening. On leaving the site we turned left and headed for the town of Feldburg. We rode through some nice roads and then started climbing. We negotiated a hairpin at the entrance to the town of Bärenthal and turned onto more of a main road climbing all the time through more pine trees. It started getting noticably colder and there were patches of snow alongside the road. These increased in density until we reached the ski town of Feldburg at an elevation of 4093 ft (a record again for us).

Waterfall, descent from Feldburg

Waterfall, descent from Feldburg

Since we didn’t see any shops we decided to keep going. We were then confronted by about 5 miles of steep (10% gradient) descents along sweeping roads. We both did this very slowly because neither of us felt completely confident and because the scenery was too stunning to miss.

Church in Todtnau

Church in Todtnau

Eventually we came to the town of Todtnau where we turned off and parked the bikes up in front of a very pretty church. We went to the local bakery to get some bread and then had a wander around town before stopping for coffee and ice cream at the local Eiscafe (I may have said this before but I think they are such a civilised idea 🙂 ).

Ice cream, eiscafe, Todtnau

You are never going to finish that are you?

After that we headed the local Penny Markt (directed by a very nice waitress at the eiscafe) to get something to eat for this evening. We purchased some pork with onions ready to stir fry and some fresh white asparagus (which, while not as good as fresh English asparagus is quite superb in its own right). We then headed back to the campsite (OK we actually headed in exactly the opposite direction – sometimes the GPS is correct!) up into the mountains again. Going up a 10% gradient is much easier than going down. Upon our return we parked up on the grass again and I had a shower – mainly because animals downwind of me were beginning to die in unacceptable numbers. After that we put our tarp up, moved the kitchen under it and went and did some much needed washing of clothes. Whilst waiting we had a coffee then tumble dried what needed to be tumble dried, made food and went to bed.

Isabel and ice cream, Todtnau

Oh yes I am!

Lessons Learnt:

  • If the weather is against you stay in bed – it is your holiday after all
  • Be adaptable
  • Staying for a couple of days in one place actually increases your freedom
  • Kriega US-10 bags make very good shopping bags

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

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