We're in Bonn at the moment (16th) so here's our post for the last few days.
Monday 15th July
Brussels-Aachen: Time cycling - 7 hours. Distance - 132km
After having spent two days with little sleep, our hostel beds were perfect and woke up feeling recharged and excited for the day. We’d learnt something from our previous mistakes, so before we left Brussels we booked a campsite in Aachen. Giving us both somewhere to aim for and a definite place to sleep.
We left at 9.30am and enjoyed a walk through the picturesque centre. Since we’d had so much trouble navigating through cities, our new method was to use the sun as our guide. Keeping the sun at a fixed point.
Talking about navigation, we have settled on using the Google maps function on our IPhones. In particular we love the walking function, which has allowed us to take back roads and cycle paths that we would never have found without it! We have nicknamed him Chris the walking man.
We cycled through beautiful Belgian countryside, stopping to pick cherries by the road side. Other cyclists joined us for short periods of the way, always interested in what we were doing and our progress. It is becoming a common trend for people to come to our rescue in times of trouble and we were grateful to a girl for directing us to the hostel and a cyclist showing us the way a great deal.
In our drive for sustainability we took a solar charger with us... it's crap. Our method now is to stop for a coffee and charge when we need it.
Today we cycled through 3 countries, starting in Belgium, then without realising it, through Holland, and into Germany.
We arrived into Aachen late that night and had to pitch our tents in the dark. We did have the foresight to pick up a whole roast chicken and a beer and devoured the lot before crawling into our tents.
Aachen to Bonn: Time cycling - a "rest" day. Distance - 96km
Having worked hard for 3 days we decided to set a more relaxed pace today. Both of us felt a little achy this morning, so getting going was slow. Also Zoltan's incredible navigation might have added a few extra km to the day.....
*A little aside about how we have progressed day by day. A few days ago I think we were both coming to question whether we could really cycle like this every day. However day by day we seem to be adapting, getting fitter as we go and today we really hit our stride. We can do this!
So, it was another really hot day’s cycling but the good news is, for the first time we got into the campsite early. And what a beautiful camp site it was! Right on the banks of the Rhine. Even Zoltan agreed that the scenery was "alright", which in Zoltan's language actually means incredible.
After pitching our tents and having a wash, we went for our first hot meal in 4 days. A kebab each and a pizza to share, great! We had a good day today and tomorrow (17th) we’re heading for Frankfurt.