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To the island – Grambin to Neppermin (56/19,215ks, 140m)

(written by Nancy)

We woke up to the sound of rain outside this morning so didn’t feel quite so bad about taking the soft option of the cabin last night.  We weren’t planning on going too far today so didn’t rush getting out.  Breakfast was included with our cabin but it was a bit disappointing.  I am not sure what we were expecting but there wasn’t much too it other than rolls (just white ones), jam, some odd-looking sandwich meat and a pot of weak coffee on our table.  Dave asked about eggs and the server brought out some hard-boiled eggs.  So, nothing spectacular but enough to get us on the road.

We actually didn’t roll away until 10am, one of our latest starts on the trip.  By that time it had stopped raining and the heat was coming on.  We had about 30k to ride on the mainland before getting to the ferry that would take us across to Usedom Island, which lies to the north of the country.  We rode a bit on a bike path but once it started to turn into single track we headed back for the road.

The ferry runs from the small village of Kamp to Karmin on the island.  It was just a small boat but it appears to take mostly cyclists across.  We got there just as the boat was getting ready to depart so we hopped on board with about 10 other cyclists and their bikes.  It was a short ride, not more than 15 minutes or so, and cost 8.50€ per person.  We stopped for a drink and a sandwich on the other side and were befriended by a woman who had grown up on the island and was home visiting her elderly father.  She gave us some advice about what roads to take and where we could stop for groceries.

The island is very scenic but they have gone big time for the quaint feature of using cobblestones around the small villages.  It really makes for hard riding, getting bounced all over and just hoping something on the bike doesn’t break.  We made a few diversions to avoid some more sandy paths.  At one point we came to a spot where our map showed arrows indicating a hill.  Now, we are used to seeing those on the Austria and Czech Republic maps where they usually mean grades of 10%.  This little hill would barely qualify as a hill but I guess folks used to riding on flat bike paths most of the time might be surprised at the gradient.

The sky was starting to look a little bit worrisome with some big clouds forming so we pushed on quickly to try to reach camp before it rained.  We have ended up at a campground on an inlet of the Baltic Sea at Neppermin.  We got the tent up with the tarp before it started raining.  It actually hasn’t rained very hard at all so hopefully that will hold all night, thought there are alot of clouds at the moment.

We started seeing quite a few thatch roofs the last few days.  Today, they increased in number.  It could be that there are fewer trees on the islands so the traditional roof is thatch, we’ve not sure.  They are very thick on the edges, and probably throughout.  We even saw some of them that were clearly made of brand new reeds so it is not just old buildings.  It would be interesting to see how they are made.  I can’t imagine that they are really cost effective these days as you could simply transport in materials for a more modern roof.  At any rate, they look nice.

Tomorrow we are planning to cross the border into Poland and ride to Swinoujscie, where we will hopefully catch the ferry over to Ystaad, Sweden.  It is only about 30k from here and there is a ferry that leaves at 1pm so we are aiming for that.  We are hoping it will not be a problem to buy tickets on the day, otherwise we might end up spending a night in Poland!  The ferry ride is about 7 hours so I will have the Dramamine and the wrist bands and the ginger candy handy!  Oh yeah, Dave insists that I mention that tomorrow it will also be another three country cycle day.  We won’t ride many Ks in Poland or Sweden but tomorrow we will ride all three.

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4 responses to “To the island – Grambin to Neppermin (56/19,215ks, 140m)

  1. Nancy, I took my Mom whale watching in Mexico, very rough seas and she has a very sensitive stomach. We were told to take Dramamine the night before and then in the AM. We had waves that were 6-8 feet tall (my Mom says 10-12 feet) and she was fine, we saw lots of whales and no sea sickness. Amazing stuff, this was the first time she had taken it the night before (my Aunt’s advice) and the first time she had zero issues on any kind of sea, normally 2″ waves are a problem… Good luck tomorrow and enjoy the 3 country ride!

    • Another smooth sail for Nancy. Mid-sail she went to the snackbar and came back with cheetos, a chocolate bar and some little sesame cookie like things. I think she was feeling pretty confident at that point! She took a Dramamine as we boarded, having not seen your note until the day of sail – no chance to try the night before tip.

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  2. Hey, we celebrated July Birthdays today, Linda’s & yours, Dave. We talked about you & wished both of you a Happy Year! We had a chocolate & Mint ice cream cake! Hope Nancy’s preparations were successful for the crossing! We had a beautiful day for BBQ!

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