Twenty-three: Hagen to Kellinghusen. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

July 3, 2013

Twenty-three: Hagen to Kellinghusen.

I didn't remember anything much after laying down the evening before until waking this morning with a sore head from dehydration and hearing the rain rattle on the tent. It's going to be a day of ducking in out of the rain, Is thinking; looking at signs over rain-beaded glasses. But the rain didn't amount to much. It always sounds worst from inside the tent. Looking at the watch, it was 4.57. I would wait an hour. I slept again and awoke anew at half six. Breakfast soon cured the sore head.

The roads had dried and it remained overcast to begin with. Again I was enjoying the small country roads the cycle-signs sent me along. I was making good progress in the direction of a ferry crossing of the Elba, passing through small villages, most of them no more than a cluster of farms centred round a crossroads. Dwelling houses in a reddish brick with well tended gardens and barns in matching brick.

I stopped in one such village which had a bakery shortly after ten. I bought what looked like two Danish pastries but were bigger with apple and vanilla and a slice of pineapple and covered in sticky icing. The cup of filtered coffee was great too. I enjoyed sitting on the bench outside with the bike a little to the side leaned against the wall, sipping on the coffee and savouring the caffeine and sugar high.

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Traditional brick farm building.
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I followed signs for a place called Wingst. But after turning off along a farm-track, I came to a split where it was hard to determine which way the sign pointed; it pointed halfway between right and left split. I chose to go left as it looked the most travelled. Two kilometres further, it turned rough and bumpy, then crossed through the middle of a field and back onto a narrow lane where the sign pointed to a place well out of the way of my desired route. I had gone a good bit off course and set off anxiously the opposite way the sign pointed, the way I thought would put me back on course for Wingst. Shortly, I saw a sign for Wingst and again followed the signs, but once more, missed a turning and rode in the wrong direction.

I'd come to a stop at a road-junction, consulting the map and looking at the place on the cycle-sign which was a few kilometres away and situated well to the south of my route to the ferry. I perhaps looked lost when a car stopped and a man got out. He wore a tracksuit and had a sagging face and smelt of soap when he stood close. He was probably a retired bank manager. I asked the way through pointing at the map and saying Wingst. He explained slowly in German, in which I understood some of the words through their closeness to Norwegian, that I should go back two kilometres the way I'd come and turn right. I had already worked out that I'd missed a turn before he'd stopped, I just wanted to know was there an alternative without going all the way back.

It was approaching one o'clock when I at last passed through Wingst and the overcast morning had evaporated in warm sunshine. I was looking forward to seeing a supermarket as I had nothing to drink since that coffee at ten, plus, I'd no food , so I couldn't stop for lunch. There wasn't even a small grocery shop in Wingst nor in the next place a few kilometres further. Then it was a warm fifteen kilometre ride to Freborg, which straddled a yellow road on the map, so surely there'd be a supermarket in this town. When I arrived, I passed a household appliance store, then by a junction saw, an Opel car-showroom and a Shell petrol station. There was only sweets and pricey cold drinks in the petrol station shop. Therein the young woman filled my water bottle and I think she said when I asked, the only supermarket is in the next city.

It was only five kilometres more to the ferry in baking heat, where a long queue of cars and trucks awaited an approaching ferry to dock, then for the deck full of cars and trucks to drive off. It was quite a wait and Is hungry. Once the last vehicle had driven off, two scooters and I were waved on first. I leaned the bike where indicated and climbed the steps up to seating where I plumped down to rest. The cool breeze off the river was refreshing and I slipped my shoes off as the feet had expanded and felt crushed and hot.

The Elba was an impressive body of water, wide enough so the far bank was an outline on the horizon; which was growing grey by the minutes as thunder clouds filled and darkened the sky.

The crossing took twenty minutes and as I rode off the other side with splodges of cold rain landing on me, I'd no idea what size of a place Gluckstadt was as it was situated a couple of kilometres away. The rain held off and it was a relief then when Is entering a sizable town with a supermarket on the right.

After shopping I sat down outside by my bike. My legs were burning with pain as I began eating bananas and taking slugs of coke. My head was sore from dehydration again and for a moment I felt sick. Then when I'd eaten I desperately needed a toilet. Luckily there was one in the supermarket where I also washed my face to get rid of the grime.

Five kilometres out of town I stopped at a picnic table by the cycle-path for a proper lunch even though it was quarter to five. Sardine sandwiches. I'd just scraped the last out of the tin and laid it on the bread when the dark cloud reached me and the rain came down. So, I crouched underneath the table and ate. Soon water ran through the gaps on me. Then it eased, enough to ride on. I spent the next two hours riding in gloom to the splash and swish of rain on the road. It cleared at seven, long enough for my clothes to dry before reaching forest where I camped.

This path took me of coarse from where I wanted to go.
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The ferry met another ferry not long after setting off across the Elba.
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By the time the ferry was turning round to dock on the other side, a thunder storm meant I was in for a soaking.
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Having avoided the rain so far, I wasn't going to remain dry for much longer.
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Expenditure: 17 Euros 7.

Bakery stop at ten for coffee: 3 Euros 60.

Ferry over Elba: 3 Euros 50.

Shop in Gluckstedt: 9 Euros 97.

Today's ride: 123 km (76 miles)
Total: 1,921 km (1,193 miles)

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