Daily Digest – Day 59 to Day 64 (GERMANY, AUSTRIA & ITALY)

DAY 59 – 2 August 2018

Neckargmünd to Ohrnberg, Germany

Transport: Bicycles 73.3km at 18.1km per hour average speed

See video summary 😊

DAY 59 – Summary VIDEO

-E

DAY 60 – 3 August 2018

Ohrnberg, Germany to Pfronten Germany

Transport: Kurt’s van 300km probably lol… and our bicycles 20.9km at 20.8km per hour average speed

A massive thank you to the legend Kurt who one minute was chatting to us last night on a park bench whilst eating our dinner to then allowing us to camp on their daybed at their home.. and then have coffee and cake with the family – Cosmina and the three boys known as Triple H – Hugo Henri and Hanjo. We had a pretty good sleep at their lovely and impressive home. It was once an old rail station converted to a family property. Pretty cool hey! Next morning we piled into Kurt’s van down to Reutte, Austria. Some EPIC scenery on the way and many chats and delicious food stops. We asked Kurt a lot of questions of course and learnt a lot about German culture and history of the area. Due to our first hitch hike experience we are now 3 days ahead of our plan to be in Croatia by 12 August. This now means no ferry from Venice to Croatia as we can now ride the whole way!! An absolutely top day out with a top bloke with the kindest heart. We really do hope to meet Kurt, Cosmina and Triple H again. Maybe soon in Croatia since they are travelling that way when we are or maybe back in Ohrnberg 😉. We plan to see this dream team again.

The Accidental Hitch Hike VIDEO

Loading Up the Van VIDEO

German Pretzels on the Road VIDEO

Beau’s take on the German Pretzel VIDEO

A beautiful stop point Lake Sternberg, Germany

Hitch Hike Destination VIDEO

Kurt providing us with our first hitch hike experience – so greatful

We were dropped off by the legend that is Kurt and decided to check for a warm shower host as we were unsure of the wild camping situation in Austria. We ended up meeting Nina just 20km away in Germany on the Austrian border. She lives in a beautiful town (check the view out our bedroom window below). She is a beautiful person who kindly last minute took us in. We prepared omelettes and veges that we all enjoyed and swapped many bike touring tales. Nina is a Forester and a very experienced traveller so it was fantastic to pick her brain about places to go and not! She will head toward NZ later this year so we look forward to hearing of her upcoming travels.

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View from our room at lovely Nina’s home

-E

DAY 61 – 4 August 2018

Pfronten Germany to Mils-Au Austria

Transport: Touring bikes 108.2km at 15.4km per hour with 1100m gravel vertical elevation… ouch!

Riding Germany to Austria with Recap VIDEO

Shooting for the sky: we woke up and had a pretty big breaky and nice chats with our host Nina and decided to get rolling early as we planned for a fairly big day doing the climb up to the Rechenpass.

On the way we decided to do a short detour to the world famous Disney castle in Füssen which added about 20km but it was early in the day/ride and we all know it’s easy to aim high at the start.

The castle was a bit underwhelming to be honest but I guess that is in comparison to the epic mountainous scenery that awaits you as you ascend the Tirol valley.

Kids with Panniers VIDEO

Either way happy we ticked it off and we were soon clipping back up to Ruette. We decided to resupply for lunch and dinner here as this was the major town on the way up and we weren’t certain where we could find a feed later on. I ran a German style kebab whilst Emm went healthy with tuna and rice crackers 🙄. We got going again round 2pm but were soon calling an early arvo break to enjoy the epic vistas we were rolling through (see vids below much better summary than my paltry write up)

Emma in the Dolomites VIDEO

Emma’s take on Austrian Water Fountains

We had a pretty big climb after our parkup that detoured around the Fernpass road and took us on a mixture of steep gravel roads and some single track.

Fernpass Climb ouch VIDEO

Austrian Gravel Descent :S VIDEO

This added a lot of time and after we had made it past this climb we knew we would not be making the Rechenpass that night. It was around 8pm and we decided to try our luck by asking a local farmer if we could take refuge in his barn for the night #noshame. We were super stoked when the first farmer we asked to sleep in their barn accepted and appeared happy to be able to help us out. This guy spoke little English but we had no trouble communicating with him.

Local farmer gives us the ok to sleep in the barn!

Ask a farmer to camp in barn – heck yes!!

He set us up in his big barn where he stored his machinery (John Deer trackers and the like – this ones for you Phil 😋)

We had a quick hot dinner of tortellini with spices and salami and after wash up were soon sound asleep in the comfort of the farmers barn for the night #glamping.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Hazelnut spread jar count: 12
Jam jar count: 9 (2 additional jars from berries we picked ourselves)
Honey jar count: 1
Speculoose: 2
Brake pads cooked: 2
Gear cables: 1
Chains: 2
# fuel bottles: 3 litres of denatured alcohol, 1x 250g gas bottle
# Sporks broken: 1
# knives broken: 1
# knicks destroyed/used beyond use: 1
# shoes broken: 1 pair sandals

-B and E

DAY 62 – 5 August 2018

Mils-Au Austria to Clusio Schleis, Italy

Transport: 90.7km at 16.2km per hour 1300m elevation gain

All captures in photos and videos

Reschenpass Climb VIDEO

Shaking that ass up Reschenpass VIDEO

Beau’s Road Side Repairs VIDEO

Welcome to Lake Reisa VIDEO

Blue Lake Reisa VIDEO

Emma knows all lol Lake Reisa VIDEO

Our first proper Italian pizza on day 1 in Italy

A friendly farmer who allowed us to camp – winning!

Mint camp spot thanks to kind locals

Day 63 – 6 August 2018

Clusio Schleis to Bolzano, Italy

Transport: Bikes 103.3km at 20.3km/hour pace

100km descent should be easy right…? After a full nights sleep we woke pretty hungry so got packed and tearing to go pretty quick. We rolled literally downhill to the next town Glorenza which is a tiny old fortress town which is super beautiful a and made for the ideal spot for the morning breaky run. With the forecast of a 1300m descent over 100km on the cards we took our time enjoying and local produce breaky and didn’t get back on the bikes till 11am 🙄.

The ride itself was pretty cruisy and very popular with other cyclists (both tourers and roadies. We found ourselves touring with a sense of urgency yet again passing other cycle tourers and a few roadies 🙄 (Emm was obviously in beast mode 🚴‍♀️).

Descending and Apple Trees VIDEO

We stopped in Mirano for lunch and decided to run a hot lunch with this spinach flavoured gnocchi pasta cut with veges and salami for me 😋.

Salami and cured meats are a staple of the northern Italian diet and shops are stacked with different options. Needless to say I was like a kid in the candy store when we cruised the supermarket.

Post lunch is was the same story of that oppressively hot and humid weather we have been experiencing the last few weeks but we knew it would be good once we got moving again with the Wind chill effect. Unfortunately this didn’t quite pan out immediately as our course had us going up and down back to back bergs all the while directing us downhill 🤔. We decided to forgo the official route at this point and instead aiming directly for the river heading downstream which proved a much easier ride into Bozen the capital of Bolzano.

Descending into Bozen VIDEO

We cruised directly to Claudio’s place for the night. We had contacted Claudio a few days back and had originally intended on arriving a day earlier but as you know we got waylaid by the Rechenpass (the alps have proved a major barrier for many armies in the past so I think a days delay is a decent excuse 😜). Claudio was a gentleman and said it was no problem if we arrived the next day and so we arrived at his place right on time you could say.

We had bought double of our lunch and together with Claudio (mostly Claudio cough cough hey he is a great cook and I would hate to see a talent wasted) we cooked up a super scrumptious pasta dish with a side of bread, tomatoes with mozzarella and pesto (very Italian) and prosecco to wash it all down.

Claudio is an outdoor enthusiast and soon had us deeply engaged in what hikes and rides were good to do in the region. He convinced us to stay another night so we could do a really nice ride up to this mountain lake the next day. Again we found ourselves with a host who we could just sink into conversation with as if we were old friends. We keep saying to each other the community in Warm Showers is just so good and the people you meet along the way are so easy to get along with but it makes sense in that it is a community of like minded individuals. Either way Claudio is a top bloke and we held several discussions about coming back through the Dolomites to hopefully do some hikes with him and his partner 🤞. We all called a quits at 1130pm.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from the 4th August

-B and E

Day 64 – 7 August 2018

Bolzano, Italy

Transport: Bikes with no panniers!! 48.8km at 15.5km/hour speed, 1000m elevation gain- ouch!

Reco days are for suckers: woke up and had a big oat filled breakfast with yogurt with Claudio. We had decided to take Claudio’s advice to stay 1 more day to explore this nice cycle up to a mountain lake (Lake Vörner Weiher) for a bit of a recovery day. We set out and didn’t really register that 1000m of climbing over about 20km meant for a decent ride in itself – good reco right 🙄???. We hit the climb and took the better part of 3/4 of an hour making it to the lake but fortunately the sun was behind clouds most of the time and we weren’t baking like we had been in previous days (it was still humid but manageable).

Climbing to the Lake VIDEO

Emma dropping Beau VIDEO

We made it to the lake and had intentions of swimming after eating some food. However, once we settled into a spot overlooking the Gables Mull and surrounding mountains we found ourselves being lulled into that state of nirvana just on the edge of sleep so we decided to put the timer on audible and laid down on a nice patch of grass.

Before we knew it we had spent a couple of hours both snoozing and reading in this picturesque location but knew we had to pedal home as dinner was approaching. The ride home was a breeze and was super quick owing to the fact it was pretty much all downhill so we arrived back in town with plenty of time to do a shop and prepare for an early dinner. We decided to get some supplies to make a pasta dish (with the expert Italian chef Claudio overseeing operations 😎). Dinner was again a delicious affair and afterwards we all decided to hit the town of Bozen for some gelato.

The town itself is very beautiful and has a rich history of very old and turn of the century (I.e. Mussolini inspired architecture) mixed in. Overall, I would definitely return to Bozen as it has a relaxed feel to it (maybe owing to the fact is a relatively small city and is not overcrowded despite being peak tourist season (I know your thinking we are tourists ourselves but we find ourselves steering away from crowds when travelling). Claudio’s gelato store was seriously on point and was super creamy and nutty (I went for a pistachio and walnut mix) – 4/5 on #BeausChilliScale.

Gelato in Bolzano VIDEO

We then cruised back home and called it again round 11pm. Thank you to Claudio for running host and tour guide extraordinaire. Our stay in this region is definitely a highlight for our trip so far and we are already planning our return to do some hiking and more adventures in the near future…

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from the 4th August

-B and E

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