75km Oer Erkenschwick – Loh camping spot, near Schalksmuhle
After a week in Germany with Friedel`s relatives, we set off around 10am.
The departure was a little hard, as we’d spent the last week getting to know lots of cousins, who are now not just names on a family tree but friends and everyone showed us such good hospitality while we were there.
We visited so many relatives and each time out came the cakes, whipped cream, coffee, chocolates, drinks. All delicious and made better by good company. A special thanks to Gerda, who we stayed with and was the perfect tour guide, and Sabine and Achim, who introduced us to many drinks and took us to the Starlight Express musical in Bochum.
Maybe we had a few too many cakes, as we both felt weighed down by lead balloons as we cycled along, and the roads weren`t even hilly. Our 75km felt more like 150km, finished off by a nearly our only hill of the day, a good climb to a camping place. We had hoped to be a bit further south, but between being tired and the days being shorter, we couldn`t quite make the distance. Near the end of the day, we stopped to ask a fellow cyclist if he knew of any youth hostels nearby and before we knew it he was leading the way forward. On his light racing bike, we couldn`t really keep up but thankfully he soon slowed so we could tail along. The youth hostel, unfortunately, was closed but we found a camping spot just a short distance away. It too was officially closed but the owner let us pitch our tent for a bargain 8 euros.
The weather is getting a bit colder now, and the owner of the camping spot here says they could have snow within a few days. Interesting, as in Oer Erkenschwick the camping spots stay open year round and say there is hardly any snow. Hopefully we`ll make it south before it gets too chilly!