12th Cumulative total : 1436km
We woke with legs not too stiff from the previous day and free-wheeled from the campsite down to St Peter. This was a pretty town with a Benedictine Monastery and amazing baroque church. Luckily the caretaker (we presumed) had just opened the doors and we were able to see the interior – a plethora of gold, paintings, artistry. Completely different to what we had seen so far. A great start to the day.
We then “upped and downed” to St Margan (more up than down) with magnificent views over the Black Forest. Just after St Margan we had a magnificent downhill run down an emerald green valley dotted with the occasional farm to Neustadt. At the bottom we opted not to turn the few kilometers up hill to Titisee, in-spite of the town being one of the ‘tourist destinations’ of the Black Forest. Much more usefully we turned to Neustadt and luckily found a great bike shop.
David had been having problems with his gears and asked them to check them. They found the gear cable completely frayed and ready to break. Could have been very inconvenient if we hadn’t found out in time. They did a good job at a very reasonable price and were very friendly. A short stop at McDonalds (surly staff and no where to charge a phone) for a quick coffee as sadly it is one of the few places we find we can get reliable internet (which then proved unreliable).
Having checked that the world hadn’t ground to a halt without us we climbed out of Neustadt to Eisenbach and then another fabulous long downhill run over 15km to Braunlingen and a final few km to Donau Eschingen, the purported source of the Danube (the Donau) for the past several centuries. Unfortunately the source was ‘closed for renovation’ – how you close a source is not clear (I think is it marked by a statue) – but we can say we have been ‘extremely close’ to the source of the Danube. However we were able to see some amazing Art Deco buildings that we built after a large fire destroyed the town centre in 1906 and had our picnic in the central square surrounded by multicoloured Art Deco buildings.
After lunch my legs objected to starting up again. The previous day seemed to have caught up with me and having stopped my body objected to starting up again. It was a pleasant enough ride, first along the Danube, winding across the valley but then a long gradual climb away from the river. The view from the top looked down to Lake Constance and we had our 3rd long downhill of the day to Engen. My limbs still felt leaden so we ‘had’ to stop at a cafe for coffee and a very large slice of delicious chocolate cake.
I had been looking out for Black Forest gateau but it seems this is a figment of British imagination as I didn’t see any during our foray into the Black Forest. The chocolate cake however got me through the last 20km, where we had opted to follow a main road as the most direct route and least climbing but it had a good bike path alongside so it was’t too bad. We cut away from the main road to head for the far north west corner of Lake Constance (Bodensee) and happened upon a pleasant little campsite a few km from the lake shore to rest our weary limbs.
That may be the end of our dry days for a while!