We were on our way early and made great progress. By 10:00 we had covered 30 enjoyable wind free km and stopped for our coffee. Not that they get a lot of cyclist past here but I have never seen one of these before.
We were only in the cafe 15 minutes but by the time we left, the wind had started. 10 minutes later as we cycled along the exposed river bank with no shelter in sight, we had the heaviest rain so far and had to rush into our rain jackets. There was nothing to do but slog on through the rain.
Fortunately it only lasted about 20 minutes and although the day remained grey we saw occasional glimpses of blue sky. What did not change for the rest of the day was the howling gale. Once again we had to struggle to make any progress at all.
We approached Mauthausen – yes that one – it was interesting just how strongly neither of us wanted anything to do with the place. As it happened we never got there. To enter the city we needed to cross a bridge over the Danube. There were road works on the narrow road approaching the bridge and a constant stream of high speed cars and trucks in both directions. We were just to scared to go. The guide book said there was a ferry a little further upstream. It took us literally 5 minutes standing at the side of the road before someone stopped to allow us to cross.
We never found the ferry but followed Eurovelo signs that led us towards Enns then simply disappeared altogether. When I eventually worked out where we were , I found a road leading towards Linz but miles away from the cycle route. It was a nightmare. The wind was trying to blow us off the bikes, there were many sections with no cycle lane, the heavy traffic was pushing past and the wind all day had left us feeling battered.
Things were better as we approached Linz. The buildings gave us some cover and we had a dedicated cycle lane between the road traffic and the tram tracks. None the less we went for the first hotel we found. A courtyard Marriott, big, four star, imposing and efficient. It would have been over 200 Euro except that my Genius status on booking dot com brought it down to 109. After I asked for the manager it suddenly also included free wifi access. (The biggest most modern hotel so far and the first time we have been asked to pay). To make up for the luxury we walked to a nearby supermarket and bought sandwhiches, cakes and wine for dinner in our bedroom.