Now before I start, I forget to mention something yesterday. I got my tyres pumped up in a shop! [That it?] But there’s more… I asked the chap who did the pumping what he thought about the tread on my rear tyre bearing in mind I was going to be cycling to NordKapp.
“Get a new one in Copenhagen.” He was adamant about the matter and he wasn’t just after the business; he was too busy to do it himself there and then. Did I mention that I returned to the bike shop in Hamburg where I paid for the €225 service when I saw the tread on the rear tyre? Can’t remember. That mechanic’s attitude was that there was nothing wrong with them. I think I need to get them changed… As requested in the comments here are pictures. Top: front, bottom: rear. Thoughts welcome.
Anyway… (and that’s a big ‘anyway’ as it has taken some time to write this; apologies), what about cycling day 57? Here’s the story of what happened.
Determined to keep following Danish cycling route 8 despite the curious nature of some of the signage, I turned left out of the campsite only to find myself returning to the gates about five minutes later to turn right. That was entirely my fault but, alas, the signs were to let me down at the first turn, literally, as the road turned to the left (inland) but there was no sign to confirm this. Turning right would have sent me into the sea and going straight on along the track was, according to the road sign, a dead end. It didn’t even have a little line at the end of the dead end symbol indicating that the road finished but a walking or cycling path continued. What should one do? Well I kept cycling on the road and turned left… Bad move. I think I should have gone straight on as it wasn’t until perhaps half an hour later that I was once again reaquainted with the route 8 signs. All that said, apart from a brief period at the end of the day, for the rest of the cycling the signs were excellent and I could cycle confidently that I was heading in the right direction.
This would be a tale of three islands; Lolland where I had camped the previous evening, Bogo where I needed to catch a ferry to and then over a long, low bridge to Mon where I would hopefully be speniding a night at the campsite at Mons Klint. There was some cracking coastline in the north-western corner of Lolland – including a town of thatched houses (not just roofs) – making up for the lack of attraction of its western areas the previous day so I arrived in the ferry port of Stubbekobing in high spirts. Well, I say ‘ferry port’. The town itself had seen better days (although I can’t say when they were), especially around the area from where the ferry departed. Well, I say ‘ferry’. It was more of a platform that somehow managed to float in water. I arrived at around 11.15am and the next departure wasn’t until midday so I paid a visit to the supermarket to buy a bit of lunch – the now predicatable banana and apple washed down with a bit of chocolate – before returning to wait for the floating platform to depart. There were quite a few other cyclists milling around but in the end the passenger list of the ‘ferry’ consisted of me, three Lycra cyclists out for a Saturday spin, a man in a Toyoto car, his son and his daughter. Actually I don’t know that for certain; he could have been mid kidnapp but the children seemed happy enough so it appears unlikely that I will be called as a witness anytime soon.
The fact that I have gone off on a tangent talking about unlikely kidnapping scenarious is a combination of it not being a particular eventul day when it comes to ‘events’ and me writing this 24 hours after the events. I shall persevere… (You may wish to opt out.) Other touring cyclists! Yes, I saw a few, but then again, too few to mention… [that’s Sinatra for goodness sake; was it really such an uneventful day?]. But I’ll mention them anyway. Shortly before the ferry there was a chap who I waved to and he recipricated. He looked as though he was either about to take a bath in the Baltic or had just done so. I suspect he may have been a (brace yourself…) wild camper. Shortly after the ferry were a line of four women in their twenties. The first three simply nodded acceptance when I held up my hand to salute them as fellow travelling cyclists. The fourth one, however, was curiously very enthusiastic in her wave and she smiled broadly as I cycled past. Perhaps this excessive positivity was begin to wear thin with her friends hence their sullen looks. She did look out of place.
The island of Mon was pretty but at the risk of simply describing the photos below I’ll let you just look at them and you can make up your own mind. Yes, I lost the signs towards the end and a little doubling back was involved but as it was the end of the day I could live with it. My main issue with cycling towards the eastern end of the island was that the wind was coming from the east making for quite a strenous workout on two wheels. For much of the day I was simply using the small cog on the set of cogs near the pedals (is that the one they call the ‘granny’ cog?). Sapping stuff I tell you. Give me a mountain anyday compared with a predominantly flat ride into the wind.
In terms of achieving my ultimate goal of cycling to Nordkapp, cycling day 57 was a bit of a distraction. Around half of the day’s cycling will have to be ‘undone’ on cycling day 58 when I make my way west once again and onto the final island of the Danish leg of my trip, Zealand. However, route 8 does seek out the more interesting parts of the southern part of Denmark and one of its highlights are the cliffs at Mons Klint. I’m now on the very large campsite at Mons Klint but in fairness it doesn’t feel like an enormous site until you look at some of the aerial shots that are displayed around the place. Last night the large area for tents had only a handful of people camping in it and tonight at the end of my rest day I suspect that I may be the only one left. Are the couple in the white Beetle on the other side about to pack up and go home? This is suspensful stuff! Back to the cycling tomorrow, Monday, and a three-stage (i.e day) cycle to Copenhagen. I should be in the capital by the end of play on Wednesday.