After a bizarre overnight stop in a motorway motel, with our tandem safely stored away in the stockroom we set out in bright sunshine to follow the Danube downstream.
Today’s ride was relatively easy, following for the most part well maintained paths on the riverbank – sometimes freshly laid gravel made the going harder work.
We occasionally cut off the odd wiggle in the course of the river to head off down quiet country lanes and cyclepaths, crossing attractive agricultural landscape.
Stopping for lunch at a crossroads of decently surfaced narrow agricultural tracks we thought it would be a peaceful spot…. however we were passed by several tractors with trailers, walkers and other cyclists. One of whom stopped to have a brief chat about destinations and starting points. Benno, we discovered, had set out from his home in Freiburg on a year long journey on his bike to get to China! He told us of his blogsite www.bennopolo.tumblr.com , so we gave him our card’ with our blogsite address on.
A sleety windy squall that suddenly arrived in the space of 10 minutes and broke up our chat. So we dressed up in our waterproofs and headed off again, fortunately being blown along by a brisk, icy cold westerly wind.
One particularly attractive detour cutting across river bends, went up and over beautiful woodland on a recently constructed gravelly cycle path…. unfortunately it involved a bit of climbing and our long ride yesterday meant we both had some difficulty peddling up the uphill required ….. after a bit of walking and several breath-catching pauses we reached the river again.
We passed through various historic looking settlements, often characterised in the Bavarian manner, by a substantial entrance of a gatehouse leading on to cobbled streets and amazingly ornate old buildings inside.
At one of these towns, Neuberg an der Donau, we stopped to have a very nice coffee, rooibosch tea and a beer, before having a quick wander around the ‘Aldstadt’ beyond the gatehouse.
We passed yet another one of many hydro-electricity plant built to take advantage of the waterflow from the river. Each of these formed a lake in the river behind the low dam walls which invariably provided a home to broods of geese with lots of little goslings in tow (usually we were hissed at by the parents to keep away!)
We also observed lots of other birdlife swooping and darting to catch the insects over the water – usually, swifts, swallows and martins. Hearing a few Cuckoos in the woods suggest spring and warmer weather is not far away.
We arrived at the beautiful old town of Ingolstadt on a chilly but sunny evening to meet our Airbnb host Svetlana who showed us our interesting and attractive apartment for the night.
Ingopstadt is the northernmost point on the Danube as it wends its way eastward to the Black Sea.
Ingolstadt is also the home of the car manufacturer Audi… and we noticed quite a high proportion of the cars locally were of this luxury car brand.
After a really nice meal at a vegetarian restaurant recommended by our Airbnb host Svetlana called “Swept Away” we had a lovely wander through the attractive streets of the Aldstadt in Ingolstadt
Donauworth to Ingolstadt: 43 miles
Journey so far: 1,041 miles…….. our first thousand miles!