A spoke In the works….

Posted by on 30, May 2016 in 2016 - Cycle The Rhine, Germany, Switzerland, Tilly the Tandem, Western Europe

A spoke In the works….

And on the third day the rain stopped, (well it had been biblical like). So we set off towards Basle. Our aim for the day was to reach a remote campsite on the Rhine, far from any town and we thought obviously going to be quiet. We’d stopped en route at the Rhine Falls for a quick walk around at the immense water fall and got to our campsite after a 65km cycle through some gorgeous villages and towns in Switzerland and Germany and were quite tired when we arrived at 6pm.

The campsite was heaving and there was already a party in full swing with teenagers being teenagers, which is fine if they’re doing it somewhere away from our tent. They weren’t and the receptionist had already warned us it was going to be a noisy night as it was a bank holiday weekend. Camping’s not cheap here, so £40 to be kept up all night by the all night party predicted wasn’t really our cup of tea. We were ready for bed when we arrived and couldn’t face a night of madness so decided to get a refund and cycle on.

So an hour later we were slogging up another steep hill as the sun began to set in the distance. We’d looked on Booking.com and found a B&B 17km away and when we arrived they’d closed ! Fortunately they had left a contact number and within 5 minutes had come out and checked us in for a lovely peaceful night in their very nice B&B.

Swindeland, as I said is expensive, so as the B&B had a kitchen and a lounge we decided to get a takeaway pizza and vege kebab, with some chips and ice cream. The chips were £6 and the Ice cream £5 for a pot large enough for one very small child on a diet. It was a very nice takeaway though and we zonked out in the bed after and slept thoroughly.

The rain didn’t let up, so we booked ourselves into an AirBnB room for a bargain £29! There must be a catch we thought – the place had a designer kitchen, was plush with a lovely bathroom. Apart from bejng right next door to a nuclear power station we couldnt find any and the couple of guys who lived there were lovely hosts and extremely trusting leaving us alone in a house with a wine fridge full of champagne!

For once the weather improved as we cycled on toward Basle. So much so that we decided to go back to tenting, but as we headed back and forth between Germany and Switzerland along the Rhine disaster struck Tilly once more as we were cycling up a hill. The rear derailleur caught on a spoke in the wheel and broke it. I managed to bend the spoke so it wouldn’t catch as we cycled, moved the tent off the rear rack to the front of the bike and then went in search of a spoke. Our 4th bike shop had one and they happily supplied us with coffee whilst fitting the spoke for a price you could service a Morris Minor for. Still, it was fixed and we were on our way again and to a site right on the edge of the Rhine, just short of Basle for a quiet nights camping.

Arriving at the campsite we noticed a couple British vans and were told by the receptionist that the site was full (despite it being almost completely empty). Apparently we’d rolled up in Basle the day before the Europa League final between Liverpool and Saville and the Liverpool fans had booked out the site completely. The receptionist took pity on us though and we camped on the volleyball pitch miles from the main site but had a great peaceful night.

The site was gorgeous and the staff really helpful. They’d laid on a full English Breakfast for all the fans and devided all their pitched into small plots for all the tents but when we awoke they were still empty and 2/3rds of the Liverpool fans hadn’t turned up. Really sad for the campsite after all the effort theyd gone to for the fans.

The city itself was heaving, with big screens laid out for those without tickets and various stalls and entertainments laid on by the city. The fans were all having a great time and behaving well, thought we did here “eh Tandem” about 1000 times as we cycled through them.

Out next stop – to rendezvous with Jacques and Mandy just north of Basle for a 10 days cycle with them up to Dusseldorf.

One Comment

  1. A trip to remember for sure. Very enjoyable ‘reed’

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