Black Forest - Day 4 : From somewhere near Kappel to Trippstadt
We woke up to the whistle of birds. My sleeping bag was still wet. We ate breakfast outside our tents before backing our gear. We noticed a tractor drove by and turn onto the forest path we were camping next to. That wasn't necessarily bad, but we preferred that the driver wouldn't see us as we were camping in a public forest. Suddenly the tractor stopped and the driver started walking around and breaking of twigs. Meanwhile Bram crawled behind the tent to help take it down. We were almost done when the tractor driver moved on, without seeing us. After packing the tent as clean and dry as we could - which was not very - we went on our way. We realized the farmer had stopped to fill a hole in the dirt road with twigs. Back on the main road, we continuously cycled up and down really steep hills.
We would get to the top, eventually..
We bought some food and were happy the sun was out. We bought very tasty bread. It was called 'tresse brioche' and was a mix between cake and very light white bread. Only after cycling for 20 km did we pass the first campsite of the day, so it definitely had been a good decision to camp in the forest. It became ever more hilly while we approached the road to Kaiserslautern.
Another view along the way
According to the traffic signs Kaiserslautern was still 40 km away, but we knew those were usually not trustworthy. It turned out to be 4 km more. Soon it started to rain like crazy. We took shelter in a bus stop together with a motorcyclist and talked about our trip. After 10 minutes the rain stopped and we went on our way again. The motorcyclist honked when he overtook us. About 20 km before Kaiserslautern we stopped to eat chocolate chip cookies. A man who thought we were lost started explaining in great detail which routes we had to take, while we weren't actually lost and were heading in the opposite direction. We passed a few large breweries, in Kaiserslautern we did lose our way for a while.
Bram didn't understand why people looked at him
While Bram was doing groceries I asked a few people how best to reach the next village. One lady had already explained it clearly when an old man walked up to me. The guy said he was planning to cycle to Santiago in Spain next year and asked what we thought of cycling with a backpack. We said it would be better to use panniers, so his back wouldn't hurt. He was very friendly and repeated the directions to the next village. Meanwhile Bram had bought a jar of Isostar powder to make sports drink. That supermarked was the only luxurious one we had found in entire Germany. There were mostly Aldis and Lildls, which were cheap but didn't sell any tasty food.
Somehow we still managed to take a wrong turn upon leaving the city, but eventually found the right road. It ran through a very nice natural area called the Pfalzerwald. The nearby campsite was also clearly marked. We followed the sign but didn't see a second one even after 5 kilometers of cycling. For some reason Germans never seemed to post more than one sign to give directions. You just have to keep going no matter how far any how many sideroads there are.
We passed the village Stelzenbergen, which lies on top of a very steep hill. I estimate the climb went up at around 15%. On the way down I again reached 60 km/h. We asked directions at a house with a Lamborghini on the driveway. We continued climbing and finally found a second sign for the campsite. It was only a few kilometers away and was perfect. It was clean and the showers were nice, it was also in a valley with nice views. The owner there wasn't very nice tough. I am not sure if it was because my German was bad, but he hardly responded to anything we said.
We cooked dinner in front of the tent. During the evening we heard a lot of Andre Hazes and other really bad Dutch folk music. We took a very long shower because it was too cold to get out of the stalls.
Left: The first part of the fourth day.
Right: The road to Kaiserslautern was a long straight road which made finding directions a lot easier.
The last piece of the 4rd day. It took some searching to find directions because the villages were small.
Distance cycled : 110 km