A Bit of a Problem Getting to Austria




No rain while I packed up Steel after our night of “wild” camping, but shortly thereafter it came and refused to stop. I rode into a larger town of Rosenheim at about 10 am and found refuge in a bakery. It closed at noon, but the rain continued. I circled Rosenheim and found another restaurant. Six hours later, it was still raining and I felt I had worn out my welcome in the restaurant. Surely the rain had to stop, right? Steel and I headed out, and as it turns out, in an “unanticipated direction” (I hate to say lost because can we get lost when we don’t really have a destination in mind?). My map was not detailed enough, and my battery died on my gps. The rain never let up, and I did not come upon any campgrounds, so I again ended up “wild” camping once again after it got dark, about 10 p.m.


In the morning, the rain continued as I doubled back to Rosenheim. I basically did a nice southern full loop of Bavaria. It’s very mental, but some how there is just nothing worse than heading backwards on a bicycle trip! Then to add injury to insult, when I later closely evaluated a more detailed map, I realized that I did not actually need to loop back to Rosenheim. I was not actually too far off track a potential route east. 


Back in Rohnheim, I got coffee and a pastry and more coffee as I waited for the sky to clear and a dry cleaner to open. The smooth-talking guy running the place wanted to charge me $16 for my sleeping bag alone insisting that it would be no cheaper to wash my clothes in a laundry mat. I said forget it and cycled on. Unfortunately, I did not come upon any laundromats and my sleeping bag was wet, so I really needed one. The rains pretty much continued all day. I opted to follow my now charged gps, and I ended up on a wild mountain bike adventure. I rode Steel over beautiful trails through forests and around lakes –a particularly good challenge with the rain.


Just when I had about reached my limit (wet, cold, and getting worried as it was again getting dark), I happened upon an oasis -the best campground of my entire trip! It is the only one that has had all the bits and pieces to make my stay comfortable and productive. First and foremost, it has a washer and DRYER (for $3 euros my belongings got a 2 hour wash! My 15 year old cycling jacket that I thought was beyond hope, looks, and more importantly, smells like new! Bugger to the shifty laundry dude), but beyond that, the camp has wifi and a plug near a table in a little cafe/pub (not the bathroom like normal). Plus it is quiet, offers shade, and is set on Lake Chiemsee with a view to the Alps –all that for $12 euros. The rain amazingly ceased upon arrival, and I was able to dry out and make dinner at which a nice family of ducks joined me. Need-less-to-say, Austria will have to wait. I intend to make this home for a few days.


A bonus turned out to be a fellow German camper on bicycle too -Hubert. He’s an artist (former molecular-biologist) and has been bicycle touring for over 50 years…including a roll through flipping Ohio a few years back with his son! His bike bags are full of paper and paints, and he has the first exhibition of his work being currently displayed in a gallery in Germany. So cool! He totally inspired me to finally really get out my art supplies and just go for it. Who cares if I suck?  


Another nifty meeting was a young German couple who stayed a night at the campground with their one year old son. Neither had previously done any bicycle touring, but thought it would be a cool way to spend four weeks of their paternity leave. They said that they were totally enjoying it. So great!

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