August 26, 2009 GMT

Hi All
Been another great few days (well except for today...rain)
I left the mountains of Austria and headed to Switzerland where of course there are more mountains. Headed to Zurich, wow what a beautiful location on the lake. On the way I had to go through a series of tunnels with the Altberg being the longest, 14km, of course I ended up sitting behind a great big lorry all the way belching out itīs diesel fumes, I thought I was going to pass out.
I surpassed my record of entering countries in one day. I started in Austria then Liechtenstien, Switzerland, Germany, back into Swiss then back into Germany. Does doubleing? back count???
I ended up camping on the edge of the Black Forest. As I was heading for the camping ground a huge black cloud appeared right in the direction I was headed.
I got to the camp and was erecting my tent as the rain started and a German, next door, gave me a hand to get it up before I got soaked. We managed just in time as the heavens opened.
It rained all night and this morning I had to pack up tent in the rain, must have looked stupid in all my wet weather riding gear including helmet. Mind you it was early and not many people awake.
I rode through part of the forest area and by the time I got to Heidelberg I had enough of the rain and stopped for lunch at a cafe which just happened to have a hotel next door. Even though I wanted to make further KMīs I reckoned that fate had stepped in and I couldnīt resist and booked in. A bit more expensive than I would have liked, so pulled out the magic card as paying that way seems less painful.
A comment on German roads.... I know why the Autobahn has no speed limit. That is because all the other roads (well the ones I was on through the forest) had a 80km speed limit, and of course being German they stick to it. Such good roads, what a waste of good tarmac. So after riding along at such a pace you need the autobahn to release the frustration of going so slow.
A comment on German toilets.... (if you donīt want to know about my bodily functions look away now..... I bet no one has!!) Riding a bike for 8hrs or more a day plays havoc with the body. I tend to eat little during the day and try to have a good meal in the evening. Sitting on the bike for extented periods gives you a bit of wind. So when I stop to refuel or for just a break as soon as I get off the bike and walk around I feel that I need to use the toilet, this is normal I guess and was never a problem up until I arrived in Germany. The reason is that they charge you to use the loo, ok only 50cents but thats a dollar in my money, Heres the thing, I pay my money and go and sit down only to fart!! some beauties I can tell you, but technically I feel I should get a refund but who do you ask??? and did I actually use the toilet?. You could argue yes but I left no deposit so no, I was only browsing! . The other thing is the great way when you flush (why do I flush, habit I guess) a arm comes out and washes the seat. That was probably worth the 50cents the first time I saw it.
Talk soon

Posted by Ross MacDonald at August 26, 2009 04:21 PM GMT

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