I was really geared up for an easy ride to Munster as all I had to do was follow the canal, and I mean how hard can that be?!? Well a bit harder then I had first expected actually as I had only been gone about half an hour when I reached a dead end (nothing but water in front of me) after quite enjoying the overgrown path I had been traveling along, thinking back I should have picked up on the fact that this was not the public path! Ha But I would not be brought down as the sun was shining, there was little to no map reading involved and I had just left an amazing group of people that filled me with excitement about meeting the next group who lived in a similar community in Munster. Not long after heading off I reached 1,000 miles on my bike computer or 1,600 km, I took a moment to take a picture and give myself a mental pat on the back! 🙂
Even tho I didn’t have to think about directions, going along the canal is not as simple as you might think as there are A LOT of obstacles situated along the banks that make crossings a regular thing and if you are me then you don’t always see them until the last minute so my journey involved far to many slow, sweaty, struggles up almost vertical banks with my ‘life on a bike’ to reach the bridges above me! I got many a surprised and I think very amused look as I popped out the top or edged my way back onto the tracks, I even got a helping hand after meeting one particular boat driver. He had spotted me as I cycled down yet another wrong way and I decided to make contact as I rode back again as I was running very low on water, I hadn’t thought about the fact that there would be no service stations to fill my bottles up at on the canal! He was more then happy to load me up with bottles of water, we chatted for a while, I gave him a sticker then he kindly gave me a well needed push to get back up the hill. I can’t remember his name but if your reading this THANKS AGAIN! 🙂 i enjoyed the last leg of my evening with a fellow biker who was out for his nightly exercise and we enjoyed some good chats as we sped along and I finished for the day reasonably early as I had checked the distance before I left and it said it was only 180km to Munster, an easy two day ride for me and I thought after doing 60 miles/ 97km that afternoon that the next day would be no issue at all!
The next day the sun was really beating down, I had my speaker in my drink holder and I was in fine form. On one of the many slight detours away from the waters edge I found myself on a little country road and asked a lady for directions. We got chatting, she asked if I needed anything and then invited me in to join them for lunch. It was really lovely, I sat with her and her two children, one of which had also just returned from New Zealand and we chatted for over an hour until she had to leave for work and I knew I must tear myself away and get back on the road/path. We exchanged hugs, stickers and took pictures together before I headed off and yet again I would like to THANK YOU for your warm hospitality and the well needed lunch and water fill up! Through lunch I also started to realize that I may not be as close to Munster as I had first thought and this became more and more clear as I carried on and asked people I met along the way, realizing that by riding along the canal I was adding a large number of KM to my journey. No going back now so I just pushed on but my energy began to dwindle as the evening drew close, the heat had taken its toll and I kept being informed that I was still some distance from my destination. It seemed that I would also have to deal with another hurdle as a sudden noise started on my front wheel and I realized that the metal band holding my low rider (holding my front panniers) had broken and was hitting the spokes. I quickly stopped, assessed the situation then whipped out he gaffe tape! I must say that I actually think that it is more secure now and I even applied some to the other side for good measure! 🙂 As the day was really getting on now I text ahead to let them know that I may in fact not make it at all that evening and then I met (can’t remember his name) who had just bought himself a new bike and was cycling it back North of Hamburg, he informed me that I was only two hours from Muster and that I should look out for a big trailer community as that was about half an hour out. I happily informed him that I was in fact heading to that community and a huge wave of relief washed over my hot tired body as I new my destination was near, we happily chatted then for a good half hour before exchanging cycling tips and wishing our bests. I arrived at about 10.30pm after cycling 81 miles/ 130km and my longest day yet. The beer, hot shower and double bed in my own beautifully made up trailer were AMAZING! 🙂