Wednesday 06.06.2012 Dillingen – Laisacker 73.9kms.
Fortunately by 7o’clock, the rain had stopped. We made use of the marquee and the table and chairs to eat our breakfast in comfort, and hoping that we should not be confronted by the female chief of the site; a very pretty but fearsome creature. The tent was drying out nicely and the sun was trying its best to overcome the cloud layer. We hit (not exactly hit, more wandered onto) the track next to the river, congratulating ourselves at having managed to pack everything dry. As food supplies were running low, we had to make a supermarket shop (Netto – excellent value), so we were a little late starting out. The sun lost its battle with the clouds and the temperature remained quite low - what has happened to summer? Mind you, it was great to have a whizzy wind and not too many hills.
As the afternoon progressed, the clouds began to thicken again and the rain started. We had already made the decision not to camp, so we began looking for an alternative. Around 15kms from Stepperg, we spotted an advertising panel for a Gasthaus. Perfect! As we approached the village, the signs continued until we eventually arrived at said Gasthaus at the same time as a sleek black Audi. The owners, for indeed it was they, climbed out of the car. We explained that we would like a room and an evening meal. They were open for a room and breakfast but not for an evening meal as the restaurant was shut on a Wednesday! Next village came up with an hotel at an exorbitant price and so onward. Our destination for tonight is a rather dubious Gasthaus which has, however, provided us with all the essentials, for which we are very grateful; and it is still pi………ing down.
As ever, it is people we meet and greet, who make the greatest contribution to this experience. Overall though, there is not the camaraderie along this stretch of the river that we have experienced in other parts. This may be due, in part, to the fact that Germany has so many cycle tracks and thus cyclists are two a penny. The first impression of hotel proprietors has been mixed, but for the most part, a guarded welcome is to be expected. Mind you, our inability to speak the language may have much to do with all this. Smiles and body language can only go so far – probably not much further than my schoolgirl German!