Day 3 : Hills and mountains
The following day the weather was pretty much the same. Just as on the first day, we had arrived after the campsite had closed, but we could still pay in the morning. The weather would improve according to the owner. We bought some food in the next village because the next 40 km would consist of only mountains, cols, hills, cols, and more mountains. That wasn't an exaggeration. We cycled over quiet roads through the Vosges mountain range the entire morning and early afternoon. Before we had fully descended the first col the second would already start. It was really pretty everywhere. Everything was green, and most villages only had ten houses. There were few cars and eventually the weather did get better. After yet another climb we arrived at 'Mont st. Odile'. That was a kind of monastery on top of the highest mountain in the area. We also got another stamp. Here is a picture of the view toward the West:
View towards the west from Mont St. Odile.
From there on we needed to take a long descent over a minor road. The route continued towards Saverne, the official start of the 100 cols route. That section was relatively flat. In Saverne, we got another stamp. On a hill, on the way out of Saverne, we saw some other cycling vacation people. There were two of them, and each carried about three times as much luggage as we did together. They had two panniers in the rear, a bagagerol on the back, a saddle bag, two large panniers in the front, and a handlebar bag. We passed them while they continued climbing in a "coffee grinder gear" and swaying across the road at 4 km/h.
Later we weren't sure if we were on the right road, so we stopped to look at the map. The other people passed us again. One of them asked where we would stop to camp. They were Germans. They would stop in a few kilometers, but we still "needed" to do about 30 km. At one moment he asked 'ist das alles gepäck?', while he pointed at our two panniers. When we said 'yes' he scratched his beard and seemed to consider if he wasn't carrying a little bit too much gear. Eventually, we found the right direction, but during the next climb again missed a road.
The next camping lay behind 'Rocher de Dabo' which is quite the mountain. It took us almost an hour to get over it. The campsite lay in the descent. It was 8:20. Bram wanted to continue for a while because we 'only' had cycled 147 kilometers today and therefore were already 100 km behind our original - totally unrealistic - schedule. I didn't really want to camp in the wild, especially because there wouldn't be any level ground. Eventually, the discussion took so long that it really didn't make sense to continue cycling, so we stopped at the campsite anyway. That way we could at least shower.
Showering wasn't all we had hoped for, as the front desk was closed and we needed to pay for the showers with tokens, which we could only buy at the front desk. For us that was the worst thing that could happen on a campsite, because we didn't use any other amenities. We went to bed without showering. Fortunately, it hadn't been too warm today, so we didn't sweat much.
Distance cycled : 147.54 km