DAY EIGHTEEN… 61.5 miles (98 km)

An undisturbed night. Tim discovered showers this morning by breaking through the fence again. Though the owner arrived as Tim was in the shower. He came to feed the cat! We decided it was best to visit the owner and pay for our stay. He accepted €12 for our night, which was lovely with the fire and Tim’s hemp leaves.

Long, long ride today. There was a headwind or side wind for much of the day, making it all less easy, basically though, the route was straight, long and flat with some very deserted stretches with no habitation in sight at all.

Very empty place, except for the headwind

There were very few seats in evidence, so when one appeared, though it looked like lunch time, we were almost ready to collapse.

Can you feel the kiss of dewdrops on those sun parched leaves?
The shrill call of chaffinch to its mate
The slip and slide of water, cool over river stone.
The push of urgent shoot through hard soil?
Did you hear the earth breathe as the wind caressed it
Gentle in the evening sun,
Or the hum of midges in their river dance.

As we hit the 40 mile mark a host of other cyclists descended on our tranquillity. This spot was especially lovely as the river formed an oxbow lake and there were egrets or white cranes.

After this, the path deteriorated to pebbly slush which meant that the bikes slipped around a lot. As we knew it was set to continue for 17kms we made a big diversion to follow a busy road into town. It was tiring and stressful and difficult toward the end of the day.  It’s 6.30 now and Tim has gone to Lidl’s to get food before we seek out a campsite . The town is somewhat shabby looking and rundown.

Found a campsite at last. The one on the map was very expensive (€30) and included a splash in the spa waters. We declined and found a site next door which was virtually empty and much more pleasant. It was 7pm by the time we reached our pitch away from all the camper vans and caravans.

The site is spotless. There’s no cold water in the toilets so I presume its running on spa water.

For map lovers, here is the actual Garmin GPX route….