(written by Nancy)
Well, when is a shortcut not a shortcut? When it goes through the forest on a sandy path… More on that later.
It turned out to be a peaceful night at the campground – no wild parties by the carnies so it was very quiet. We woke up to blue skies but it was pretty muggy already. Warm with that haze that comes with humidity. We made some coffee with the espresso maker on the stove – we bought some ground coffee at Starbucks when we were in Dresden and have made it a couple of times now on the stove. Forgot how nice it is to have fresh espresso rather than instant. Keeping the stove out to cook in the morning is not all that difficult – or at least the coffee is worth the trouble.
We said goodbye to Mike and pedalled off into the heat. We tried to follow some of the bike routes on our map today because it looked like it was the shortest route but unfortunately one took us through the forest on a very rough road – first lots of rocks, then it turned to thick sand. So much for our nice clean bikes. All you cyclists know how lovely it is to get sand and grit in your chain. After we finally came out of the other end of the forest Dave agreed – no more bike routes/paths today unless they were paved and ran alongside the road.
After that debacle we hit some roads and made some good time, finally, other than a few stops to try to address the clunkiness that had developed in both of our chains. It was pretty obvious it was the sand in the chains but we couldn’t do much but give it kind of a wipedown and hope that it didn’t do too much damage before we could get to a campground and clean it up a bit better.
We stopped for lunch at a little cafe in the town square in Eberswalde. It was good to sit for a bit and relax after the stressful morning. A double espresso helped calm the nerves. From there we took the long cut through Angermunde as we couldn’t tell where the bike paths went, other than they seemed to go through some more forests where we couldn’t see many roads. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. No shame on me for us this time.
Lots and lots of wheat fields and corn crops out there – this area must provide a lot of Germany’s wheat. It looks like most of the wheat is being cut now or ready to be cut – lots of tractors on the road too. The wheat fields coupled with the humidity and the haze reminded us of riding through Kansas on our Transamerica trip 20 years ago. More windmills too – they were not moving much this morning but unfortunately this afternoon they were facing the wrong way for us so we battled a bit of a headwind as we made our way to the small lake called Oberuckersee, near the village of Melzow.
At some point we passed one of our first truly old buildings that we’ve found in Germay, the 800 year old Cistercian monastery Kloster Chorin. We did not stop as it was under heavy re-construction but it was nice to see that not everything here was flattened by the wars. It was near the town of Chorin but more or less out in the countryside. Perhaps that’s how it was spared.
The campground here is nice, full of pine trees and people. We are in a large tent area that is quickly filling with many tents as cyclist after cyclist arrives to set up camp. Right near us is a family of 4 with a big black lab, as well as several other family groups all on bikes. That is nice to see and even though we are all a bit crowded in here most of the cyclists don’t really mind as everyone knows how it feels to come into a campground and need a spot to set up your tent. So far there are 8 other cyclist tents, mostly families with kids. Everyone, including us, looks tired – nothing like a bike ride to make for sleeping soundly.
After getting to the campground Dave had to spend about 2 hours cleaning the chains and cogs again. Hopefully that will fix the clunkiness in our gears. Poor guy, he was covered with grease – I did my part by getting the tent all set up and running back and forth to the amenities block to get hot water. Okay, I know it wasn’t much of a part but it makes no sense for both of us to get all greasy, does it?
Thankfully this campground has wi-fi (for a fee, of course) so we can post the blogs for the last several days. Who knows when we will get wi-fi access again – it doesn’t seem to frequent out here in the wilds of eastern Germany. We are a bit behind on emails and comment responses – sorry, who would have thought that Germany would be so unconnected. We’ll catch up soon.
We are not sure of our destination tomorrow – we have a day up our sleeve so may take a look at the map to see what our options are.
Off to make our dinner now before the mozzies come out too bad.