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Day 17 : Three passes

In the morning it was dry. We had breakfast in the village, on a bench in front of the bank. Afterwards Bram went back to pay for the campsite. The old lady there had said she trusted us to come back. There were three passes on the program for today. We weren't sure how tough it would get exactly. Until now all climbs had been tough and we also had encountered three passes that weren't even on the map. The first climb was on a busy road that wasn't very steep. A kilometer before the top a lorry had flipped over and there was a long traffic jam. Some people waved at us. What people in Austria and Switzerland say when they overtake you is not clear to us yet. In France it was 'Bonjour', 'Allex', 'Bon courage' (my personal favorite), or 'Salut' when you got close to Spain. Here I couldn't understand anything. In one part of Austria they also spoke some strange incomprehensible dialect of German. There was so much traffic on top of the Fernpass that we couldn't take a nice photo.

Fernpass

The Fernpass.
 

We were both tired from the past few days. Luckily the first pass was easy and we didn't descent much after that. That was nice, because it meant we needed to climb less for the next one. Instead of a main road we followed a bicycle path. The length of those was always indicated wrong. A sign said it would only add one kilometer compared to the big road, it turned out to be at least 5. Nonetheless it had some nice views.

 

The next climb was not more than a hill. We could tell by the type of cyclists. Most had a hybrid bike and no real cycling clothes. That was nice for us as it meant today might turn out easier than anticipated. We stopped for lunch. The entire trip we had been eating chocolate. Chocolate spread, granola bars with chocolate, snickers, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate bars, and a lot more. We really didn't want to eat chocolate ever again. Eventually we still bought two chocolate Magnum ice creams and cookies covered in chocolate. We always tried to buy the food with most calories. A normal person needs around 2000 calories per day, but during our cycling vacations we eat about 3 times that. The cookies, which were only part of my lunch, already contained 700.

 

Today's third pass was also simple. There were no signs on top, which was a pity. Today we both felt very tired which resulted in some very poor jokes. The amount of rain we have had thus far really made the whole trip a lot tougher.

Isny

Just before Isny.

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Pringles with cheese get stuck behind your teeth.

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Gravel road
 

We ate Pringles and Tuc-cookies with slices of cheese. That was a surprisingly good combination. In Isny was a campsite. If we would stay there we would get behind on schedule. If we would travel 150 km over the route each day for 4 days the last day would be 200 km. Cycling 150 over the route usually meant cycling 165 km in real life because of unavoidable detours. If we would cycle less on one of those days it would get very hard to be home in time.

 

Completely worn out we continued. We spent some time searching for the right road before passing through Isny. It would be 30 km to Ravensburg. That was a big city that might have a campsite. As it was late that probably would end up being too far, meaning we would have to camp in the wild. In Wangen we found a map. There turned out to be a campsite closer by. I felt very energetic again but Bram was nearly asleep. Of course the kilometers to the campsite were all uphill. I can't remember a campsite this vacation that wasn't on top of a hill.

The campsite was pretty full, but they still had room. The showers were a real disaster. First, you had to pay with a 50 cent coin. That is better than using a token as you're not dependent on the front desk. I had to walk back to our tents to get somes. Back in the stall I organized all my stuff in a way to prevent them from getting wet. I put in the coin. The shower gave ice cold water. There was a knob to adjust the temperature but it didn't seem to work. Suddenly I got water with a normal temperature, a while later it changed to near boiling. Then it turned cold again. I tried to adjust the beam but was only unscrewing the shower head. I washed myself under the, now again boiling, water. Normally you can only shower for about 5 minutes for 50 cents, but this one was still going after 15 minutes. There was no way to turn it off.

 

Bram also had lots of luck while showering. The first one didn't give water at all, while the second only let him shower for 3 minutes with lukewarm water. We wanted to go to sleep but there were a lot of sounds around us. Someone was playing a harmonica, someone else the guitar, and next to us was a baby that didn't stop crying the entire night.

Distance cycled : 158 km