Wednesday 13.06.2012 Greiss - Rossatz 78.6kms
Noo… it didn’t stop raining –not once, all night! This was no ordinary rain; it was tantamount to someone chucking buckets of water over the tent. So big and loud were the drops, it was impossible to hear even the noisiest lorry on the main road not 25 metres away! It seems, we are very slow learners at this camping only in good weather lark. Had it stopped by the morning? Nooo….. Remarkably we were still dry although the same cannot be said of the canvas. However, in orderly fashion, we wheeled trailers undercover to the toilet block and transported all our gear, damp or otherwise, and packed for the day. Ho hum. This abundance of falling water had left much of the campsite underwater which did not bode well for the rest of the day. The question still on our lips is ‘Why on earth were we camping in such horrendous conditions?’ The feeble reply to that is ‘ It wasn’t raining when we put the tent up.’ Less than convincing. The campsite, however, did have a restaurant, which provided a very substantial breakfast at a very substantial cost. Nonetheless, we stoked up for a day in the rain…
We think this was one of the prettiest parts of the trip so far. We cannot be definite about that, but even through a mist, with a grey filter, its potential was obvious. As a result of the storms, the river had risen to spectacular proportions and was an awesome sight. The ferry we had planned to take, wasn’t running (and who can blame the ferryman – the pooh sticks were the size of whole trees- they were whole trees!). So we, along with other disgruntled cyclists returned to a bridge some 3kms upstream in order to cross this raging mass of brown water.
Some short time later, we encountered a sign and understood that ‘hoch wasser’ was not hot water but high water. And this notice didn’t lie. The tunnel, through which we were to pass, was one third full of water. Mmmm… now what? While we stood contemplating and head scratching, a very forthright man pushed passed. A group of cyclist were following him so with no better idea, we tagged on behind, pushing our bikes into the oncoming traffic. We were reassuringly at the back of the group – safety in numbers? Anyway, in a few metres, the track reappeared quite dry and off we set again with renewed vigour. This was to be the first of a number of diversions as a result of flooded paths. If not actually covering the path, the river often lapped within centimetres of our wheels. The vessels actually on the river could barely make way upstream but flashed by in the opposite direction. In fact, the river has been an endless source of fascination today, observing the power of the water. Despite the rain, we have enjoyed a different aspect of the Donau and a gentle day’s riding.
And still it rained. Determined not to sleep in a tent this night, we found a guest house. Now dry and warm, the rain has stopped! Unbowed, we shall return to the tent if this promised change in the weather materialises. But for now, after sampling the very excellent local wine, we shall sleep soundly and dream of Vienna – our next stop.