I woke to a wet tent and slow drizzle. Every forecast I could find called for clouds only, so with high hopes I started packing. Jesse and Eve had a slower start, and their laundry, left out for the night to dry, best case made little progress.
I spent part of the morning talking with Toby and his friend, two more cycle tourists out for the first time making things up as they went along. Each time I encounter folks out for the first time validates that anyone can do this. My first tour I’d never done anything like this, and I had no support network once I left home. Meeting people on antique bikes, or with gear piled up around them on their bicycle just shows that all you need is the desire to do.
Jesse, Eve, and I left around 10:45 am; a pace slower than my usual, but more constant, so still making good time. At 1:45 pm Jesse and Eve decided to stop for a swim and let their clothes dry a bit. At that point I had energy to burn, and a number of castles I wanted to see, and didn’t feel I could get everything I wanted done in the day already. Regensborg was a long way away for Jesse and Eve. We talked, and decided that I’d stay at a specified campground in Regensborg. If they had a good day, I’d see them in the evening.
I left pushing above my normal speed, working on 21-22 kph, and then looked down and realized I was doing 26 kph. Tailwind. Ok, tailwind = fun. I keep my road speed up between 24-30 kph throughout the day. Looking at the map, two castles presented themselves, and I decided I could also take a couple of shortcuts off of EV6 to decrease the actual number of kilometers to Regensborg.
The castle in Werth an der Donau currently serves as a rest home for the local community. A steep climb brought me to the entrance, and with tourist signs posted I wandered about a bit on the outside and inner keep, but nothing spectacular. I had higher hopes for the next castle on my map, flagged “ruine”, but on the way there I saw a monument on the side of the mountain. While I’ll admit I pondered whether I had time, and whether climbing up there was worth the effort, I’m not sure why I bothered wasting the effort pondering.
Ludwig conceived of “Walhalla” in 1807 as a monument to figures notable on German history, and filled it with busts of famous people. Much bigger than appearances from the photo, looking closely you can see little specks that are people. With long flights of slippery marble stairs, and the ability to just walk right off the edge and fall 100′, an example of the difference in culture between here and the US.
The Donastauf ruin fulfilled my daily castle requirements. A steep hike up a trail that undoubtedly formerly served as the trail to the keep led me to multiple gates and entryways, a dry moat, and a variety of places for me to wander up and down.
At that point, getting late, nothing stood between me and Regensburg but about 14 km, with a tailwind. I made a few less than optimal navigational choices coming through town, but still pulled into the campground around 7 pm. I wondered if Jesse and Eve would actually have arrived first from all of my stops; when I asked at the front desk about them they cautioned that the campground might be full.
Full in this context would be the open unpartitioned space having inadequate room for my tent – a false assumption – and I’m camped next to a group of Canadian cyclists following EV6 the other way, although their starting path varies a lot more than the usual EV6 cyclist, as they’ve jumped around a bit in Europe and the UK before ending up here, and plan to eventually wander back off of EV6, traveling a month longer than I on either side of my trip.
After setting up camp I went back to register to find that this campground thinks a lot of itself, with the cost being 18.5 Euros (about double normal campground fees). I settled in, and as the day grew to a close I had little hope of seeing Jesse and Eve, but at 8:30 pm they rolled into the campground. Unfortunately the sticker shock for them was a bit much, and they retired to a much smaller (and less expensive) campground nearby. I’d hope to spend the evening and morning with them before they headed their separate direction, but I completely understand, although I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed.
I spent a while talking with my Canadian neighbors, and we’ll likely talk more in the morning, as they plan to wander off EV6 in the same area that I cycled, and I hopefully can provide them some insights on what to expect. Regensborg also appears a lovely town; I don’t know if I’ll take a half day and see the sights. Been a while since I had a day off.
Crossed 3,000k today.