Cycling the Rheine saw us rounding corners to view castles growing out of a stoney cliff face, tiny towns with winding cobblestone streets and dragons - ok there were no dragons but we expected to see one as the scenery was straight out of Merlin!
Completely lost in strawberry fields we decided to race up the first hill we had seen in a week (Curtis won if your interested), when Andreas was on his way home from a ride and after chatting about the trip invited us to his place for a beer. Our rule is that we can't say no to offers (within reason of course) but Andreas seemed like a nice decent guy and ten minutes later we were sampling all sorts of tasty beers on the Schweizer deck. Beers led to dinner, which led to the rains coming, which led to the offer of a warm bed, which led to a drive into town, which led to wine and tapas..... it was a truly wonderful night that we will be forever gratefull for. In the morning we were met with a breakfast spread fit for kings, a beautiful gift from Andrea (Andreas wife) and water to see us off towards Mannheim. Thankyou Schweizer's for your outstanding hospitality!!!
Then things turned a little pear shaped when Cara got bitten by a hornet and her arm blew up continuing to itch quite bad for the next several days - Curtis particularity enjoyed Cara's constant rendition of the bite in action and long lasting pain (he was more than impressed with her pain threshold). Curtis at the end of each day looked as though he had been rolling around in poppy seeds from all the bugs his large frame seemed to collect. Actually the both of us looked like Jim Carey out of Me Myself and Irene, we are quite confident our protein levels are good for the next two years!
Bad luck continued as we had our first stack and came up ok considering it could have or should have been alot worse. Our handlebars interlocked as we rode side by side and Cara tried to jump ship first but got her leg caught and Curtis followed suit doing a fabulous rendition of a salmon swimming upstream over the handlebars landing beside Cara. The poor english guy following us who had best seats in the house was particulary concerned when we lept up to check the bikes were ok before checking ourselves or each other. This type of travel is so strange as you constantly need to "not care" about things like weather, campsites, food, warm showers, however the pressure to keep all the gear safe and working is absoulte in order to continue at all.
Summer is now in full swing which means festivals of all kinds, to date are the festivals we have seen;
Comments need to made here on the Medieval festival - as we were sipping our Viking beer from horns we noticed a hot tub across from the bar. On further inspection it turned out that you could pay 5euro for a dip in the tub with some massive naked guys. Things got out of hand when the hot tub was full of naked drunk folk who had dropped to the side there medieval costumes and started to yell at the three piece folk band. *** The camera had no battery as I accidently left it on so we have no photos of the festivals ***
Other memorable moments include but are not limited to;
Thinking we lost the garmin and curtis doing a 30km round trip to realise it was still in the tent rolled up.
Curtis thinking a soft looking tree was good to wipe his hand on... only to realise it was a thorny little skin slicing bush.
Another couple of spokes pop.
Cara's front rack ripped off the bike.
Cara's inablility to turn corners on the bike (you'd think after two months she'd get it).
Curtis' failed coaching efforts - trying to teach Cara how to turn a tight corner on the bike.
Flipping coins when we were lost on which direction to take.
Eating black forest cake in the black forest.
Finishing this leg of the trip in Bonn was bittersweet, as we said goodbye to the Rheine and a big hello to Berlin.