74km – Trechtingshausen to Winnweiler
Just when you think you`re getting into shape, another day comes along where you feel loaded down, like you`re constantly going uphill. We started out well, having spent the night at a very enjoyable camping spot right on the Rhine river. In the morning, before we left our camping place, our neighbours came over and wished us well and insisted on giving us some sausages for the road. We carried on along the Rhine for a few kilometers, before turning right at Bingen am Rhein, to follow the Nahe south. By lunchtime we were in the spa towns of Bad Kreuznach and Bad Munster. Cycling through a local park, we passed 5 or 6 huge wall-like structures, several hundred meters long, which appeared to be filled with sticks and had water trickling from their entire length. We had never seen anything like this before and had no idea what they were for, until a local lady – seeing our confused look – explained that salt water is pumped into them and then filtered back out, creating a kind of salty mist in the air, which is supposed to be good for your health. Not so far from the piers Britons created a hundred or so years ago so they could also take in the sea air! After lunch we carried down route 48, a twisty and slightly hilly road, towards Kaiserslautern. We had thought we might make Kaiserslautern by the evening, but by Winnwiler we were out of puff and out of sunlight. There were no camping spots to be seen – we had spotted a sign for one about 10km earlier but it was 5km up a hill and we were out of food at the time – so we opted for a small hotel in the town of Winnweiler. We had planned to cook supper but didn`t want to set off the hotel fire alarms so instead grabbed supper from the local kebab shop and then rested up for the next day.