3rd . September
We had thought to explore the river the other way but decided that as the road downriver to BERNKASTEL was sure to be a delight it would be best travelled on a nice sunny day and as Sunday was forecast to be raining, we should depart forthwith. Another good decision, as it did indeed rain on Sunday, and on Saturday we had a terrific drive through wonderful scenery in glorious weather. Can thoroughly recommend the road from Koblenz to Bernkastel that follows the river as a great drive and one which we will repeat. Lots of campsites and even more aires.
Our destination was WEHLAN, about 4km from Bernkastel where we found an Aire in a vineyard overlooking the river and on the cycle path.
Bernkastel is a delightful town and the first weekend in September is Wine Fest so our decision to head into town for lunch was another inspired choice. The town was en fĕte with wall to wall market stalls mainly offering large glasses of wine for ridiculously small amounts of coinage and wandering bands of musicians on every street corner. ....our biggest problem was finding a spare railing or post to chain the bikes to.
Recalling our first days at college and dredging the depths to remember the lectures of Billy Land (r.i.p.), I decided to educate the palate by sampling the variety on offer in order to better aquaint myself with the differences between äuslese,spätlese, trocken, beerentrocken,
beerentrocken äuslese, beerentrocken spätlese etc etc....unfortunately I had misjudged the size of glass being offered...a generously overfilled 20cl for 1 or 2 euro ...and by the beerentrocken I was past caring so we went for lunch at a jolly good hotel, on a terrace overlooking the main street and watched the festivities as we had a jolly good lunch and plenty of spätlese or äuslese. .....it's the sort of place that gives white wine a good name. And we spent the afternoon wobbling round the town before cycling back. Excellent day.
As forecast, it rained. So we drove south to ULM, or 30km south actually to ILLERTISSEN. Horrendous road works and nose to tail traffic heading north, last holiday weekend of course and everyone going home. Another good decision as we avoided all the freight lorries by driving on sunday.
Having had a long day driving decided to have an easy day of rest. This was yet another inspired choice. After late breakfast, planned to cycle into town and restock at Lidl only to discover that I had lost the Bosch control unit that operates the ebike. I love this bike to bits (even now) but I have always had a nagging worry that there was a lot to go wrong which could prove problematic and losing the plug in controller would be like losing an ignition key.
I think I rested it on the towbar whilst putting the bikes on the bike rack after too much äuslese and then forgot to pick it up. Anyway, whilst an ordinary ebike with with a Bosch system would still be rideable, not turning the electrics on on my bike means that the automatic gear system does not function and the gear remains on its lowest setting making forward propulsion exceedingly difficult and impossible over any distance. Fortunately, if the system was going to go tits up, Germany was the place for it to happen. Rang Riess & Muller who make the bike who assured me all I needed was a Bosch agent but who also had a dealer in Ulm who gave me the number for a bosch shop in Illertissen who was closed for holidays. But he spoke no english but good enough to ascertain what I had lost and had the necessary in stock. Ulm was only 30 km away so we went hot foot, parked in a side street and not only got sorted but had a quick service and software update so that it's even better than before for a mere €110...... hey, if I was in the UK, I wouldn't have a bike to ride this month.
New arrival on the site this evening was a very pleasant couple from UK .......front tyre blow out on motorway stripped panels round wheel arch and the mirror. Bit of a mess.