It was not my fault this time – honest. We were out early and had visited Netto to replace my sunglasses. We could see the sign pointing towards Ulm but that was by motorway. We could see the red line in the guide which showed the Eurovelo but try as we might we could not get on the correct road. We eventually found a sign claiming to be the Danube Bikepath and followed it down a gravel track. Some gravel tracks are OK and some are not, this was the not kind. It did not deteriorate but it got no better and as we had not seen any repeater signs we suspected we were not going anywhere good. Lola showed us surrounded by nothing but we managed to spot a road and head towards it. Once on blessed Tarmac we followed Lola’s guidance to Hochstadt. By now we had ridden well over 30 km and the signpost back to Donauworth where we started said 19km. One good thing about Hochstadt, the cafe serves a wonderful strawberry tart with morning coffee.
We decided to give up on the bike route and follow Lola but the bad track surface had left us both feeling tired. We reached Lauingen where we had lunch and then on to Gunzberg where we had booked a hotel. The going in the afternoon had been fine, a nice well surfaced cycle track alongside a fairly busy road.
We crossed the Danube yet again and walked up the hill into the cobbled Market Place.Our hotel was one of the many smart medieval buildings lining the pedestrian street. The hotel was part of an Eiscafe with a separate entrance door for the hotel. Ringing in the doorbell got me nowhere so I went in to the cafe while Elaine sat down and ordered 2 beers. When I found a waitress, she led me into the hotel section and gave me the room key.”where can we safely put our bikes?” I asked as I have done every other evening on the trip. No it is not possible – we have nowhere she told me. Can’t I put them here in the corridor, or in our room. No chance. So I retired outside for the beer. A hundred yards down the street was another Gasthaus shown on booking.com. I walked down and checked they had garage space and a vacancy. Then went back and said we did not want the room. Much wringing of hands then she said we would have to pay 80 Euro for cancelling. Much shouting later she phoned the owner who immediately said “no charge”.The alternate was excellent but we did have to play musical chairs when our dinner outside was interrupted by a huge thunderstorm and downpour.
We worked out how they keep these small towns so smart and clean. The dustbin lorises and other services arrived at the crack of dawn.