Friday 13th September Downhill From Mönichkirchen To Campground Mushrooming at Bad Waltersdorf. - Retyrement on 2 Wheels - CycleBlaze

September 13, 2019

Friday 13th September Downhill From Mönichkirchen To Campground Mushrooming at Bad Waltersdorf.

It’s chilly as we set off on the downward slope from the gasthaus. The slope is gentle enough but there are a couple of minor ups before Friedberg.  At Grafendorf there’s a taxing climb and a stop at a bar for water where we chat with a woman who’s interested that we come from New Zealand. As in Germany, we find a number of Austrians familiar with NZ, either through their own travel or someone they know. She tells us there’s only one more hill...then...ok. There are a couple more but they’re manageable. 

Swooping down
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Flower boxes in full bloom
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We’re passing through alpine hamlets now- all very neat and tidy with the tractor parked at a very correct angle. We lunch in the shade on a seat near a war memorial at Penzendorf. These memorials tell their own tragic story. On one I counted eleven deaths with the same surname from the two world wars.  

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Down at Hartberg we turn west and find water and toilets at the bahnhof. Then it’s across  to St Johann in Haide and on through small towns that run into each other. The pumpkin harvest is in full swing and apple orchards look ready for picking.  

Apples
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Kernol is the oil produced from these pumpkins.
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We have another climb in the late afternoon heat, up to St Magdalena am Lemberg and go slightly off piste after this because we’ve either missed the Eurovelo sign or they’ve changed it without telling us. We don’t lose any distance though, and eventually end up at a campground at Bad Waltersdorf. 

The camp manageress tells us about her 3 week lightning  tour of NZ in a camper van which she enjoyed greatly. She’s a lively soul who talks and laughs vigorously and at full volume. The camp is great, with a covered cooking and eating area and no timers or tokens needed on the showers!  

Dinnertime
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As we set up our tent I spot a cluster of mushrooms growing next to our site and harvest them for dinner. It’s just as well I’ve been expeditious, because very shortly afterwards a large solo camper in a large VW pop top, ignoring all of the other space available, parks over the top of the few remaining fungi. Later still, his friend, another solo VW pop top camper owner, arrives and parks right next to him, limiting our space even further. She has a miniature dog which is extremely inquisitive. 

We dine on the mushrooms and pasta accompanied by the manageress’ fine wein which we can buy by the glass. Sleep comes early, though the unmistakable SWOOSH BANG! of two VW camper doors closing, wakes me at 11:00. Nice to know they still share something with the old Kombi.

Today's ride: 67 km (42 miles)
Total: 2,127 km (1,321 miles)

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