Friday, 26 August 2011

Day 5: Grein - Ybbs - Pochlarn - Melk - Spitz (76 kms)

Charlie and I left early to get a little cycling time together, but mainly to avoid the 38 degree heat that had been forecast. We expected people to catch us up, and it was actually very cool in the shade of the trees on the south side of the Danube.

However about 8 km away from Ybbs, Charlie ground to a halt as he realised the bolts had broken on his saddle and it had come off. Unsurprisingly, Greg and Matthew were not too far behind us (by far the best/fastest cyclists of the group), so Matty suggested someone else donating their saddle to Charlie as he had the trailer to pull, and Greg agreed ... and cycled into Ybbs with no saddle!

So, we did not make the headway we were expecting, instead we set up camp at a very hot garage while issues big and small with the bikes (oil, more air in tyres, new saddle bolt etc) were sorted.

Also the lady at our guesthouse in Grein had said that there was a ferry from Melk to Spitz, which I was quite keen on Penny and I catching to avoid the heat (and as 75km was a long way to go anyway, never mind on such an excruciatingly hot day). But unfortunately we got the times wrong and so I missed it and had to cycle along the whole way.

But it was a pleasant cycle, stopping off to see the Venus of Willendorf (of which a small replica is now proudly on our fridge) and starting to see that we were now cycling through the wine region of Wachau.

Up another hill to our hotel in Spitz, and as we pushed our bikes tiredly into the garage, we saw a very happy looking Matty in the pool at the back of the hotel. It was still early, so most of us had a plunge to get the heat off us.

I was now coming down with the cold that started with Alex, then went to Charlie, then me. Waterfalls of snot and general grumpyness with throbbing head seemed to be the theme, but fortunately it didn't get to Penny and I seemed to manage it ok.

Spent the evening doing the traditional Alex quiz, which was won by Matthew G and Jason ... lots of fun thinking of red/white EU flags and the links between the answers (like the Harry Potter theme).

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