Twenty-two: Hage to Hagen - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2013

Twenty-two: Hage to Hagen

I like the German cycle-routes. The white with green trim signs send me along concrete farm-tracks and specially constructed single-track with brick paving; along water channels and alongside fields of crop.

Wind Turbines.
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For a bit, the way followed paved single-track.
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The first place Is heading for today was Bermeiseil on the North Sea coast. It was hard to picture the sinister always foggy, or stormy weather in Childer's book "The Riddle Of The Sands" as today was a warm Summer's day, a pleasure to be at the seaside and feel the sea-breeze. Thought to be based on a real Summer vacation, year 1898, the main character, a British government minster, while on board a yacht with an old university chum amongst the islands off the coast here, makes many observations on Germany's navy and growing military strength while ashore and becomes convinced that Germany are planning an invasion of England. But when he returned home from his holidays and tried warning the powers that be, he wasn't believed and was thought obsurd. Supposedly, no one then foresaw the terrible European war just round the corner in the coming new century.

From the pretty town of Carolinoenseil which was full of Summer holidaymakers, I headed inland on the dedicated net of cycle-paths, occasionally passing or meeting German pensioner couples on upright bikes. All nice but when stopped at crossings of paths and they'd stop too, we couldn't communicate all that much apart from pointing and sign-language. I also passed a school group. The teacher blew a whistle for the kids to keep in and let me pass. And a large group of pensioners with a guide. For a little the path was along a busy road skirting round the port-city Whilemshavn. I was deciding against aiming for Hamburg and it being unlikely I could update the journal before reaching somewhere big, preferred the idea of getting through Germany as fast as possible. Meaning, riding up to a hundred and forty kilometres per day, today and the next two days or so.

Approaching evening, it really felt like days rather than hours since morning. I was anxious to reach a ferry across the river Wesser, because there was a lot of green, a place to camp, on the map a little way on on the other side. The ferry was there and I'd no sooner ridden down and on when the ramp started to lift and the engines began churning the water.

In the village on the other side I needed water and so stopped at the church. A twelve year old boy on a BMX came along and I thought he asked what I wanted. I replied "Water". He led on his bike across the road to where he lived and I gave him my water bottle. He ran inside and I could hear mother's voice from within. He returned in less than a minute with my bottle full. He smiled when he handed me it and asked "Kom you England". "No Ireland" I replied. Again as with the pensioners earlier in the day, I wish I could of said more.

Riding the sea defence; like riding on velo-drome banking.
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Funny! Funny! Do I look like I'm falling over with laughter?
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Rest place at a crossroads: there's even a hitching-rail to lean the bike against.
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6.50 PM. My bike was the only vehicle on the ferry across the Wesser. I was anxious to get to the other side where there was lots of green on the map.
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Expenditure:13 Euros 17.

Shop: 10 Euros 77.

Ferry 2 Euros 40.

Today's ride: 137 km (85 miles)
Total: 1,798 km (1,117 miles)

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