After the total madness that was the day before, aware that I had already lost a great amount of time so I am off my schedule, I decided to ignore the alarm clock and the noise made by the passing cars and to lay in the tent until almost 12 PM. I said lay and not necessarily sleep because I did wake up many times during the morning, mainly because of the wind that kept blowing away the tarpaulin (presenning) that was covering my tent and whole my gear, but every time I kept going back to sleep since I wasn’t yet ready to “rise and shine“.
I think this night in the tent was the best one because I did not use the outer shell to cover it. I just pitched the main tent and took advantage of the trees to cover myself, the bike and the trailer with the tarpaulin, as protection from a possible rain and from the morning dew which can get you quite wet 🙂
And so I woke up and without any hurry I started to pack everything while also placing the water to boil. Yes, this was the first time I was cooking at the camp site since I left Odense.

I finished with everything at about 2 PM so that at 14:15, after applying sun-cream (first time I felt the need for it on this trip) I was on the road! Never before have I left a camping place so late. Because the other day, just like me, the cycle-computer had a breakdown, I had to approximate the distance. I am sure I did more in Hamburg, but I decided to start today from 410 km.

 

I was finally on the right road. The sun was shining nicely on my solar panel so I could charge the power bank. The bike road was going often under trees, but still there was enough sun.

 

At some point, on the road I saw a sign saying that in 200 m there is a McDonalds. I wasn’t really hungry but I could use a power socket to charge the phone and some WiFi. After cycling more than 1 km I was still looking for that McDonalds. I think  the sign was for 1200 m and somebody, trying to be funny, erased the number 1. I manage to find it eventually and the first thing I did as I walked inside was to search for a table near a power socket. After that I went to order my meal. Of course, the lady at the register wasn’t speaking English  but luckily the names of the meals are easy to say…

I asked for a Fanta and she gave me a Coke…. Anyway… I wasn’t in the mood to argue with a non-english speaking person so I took my plate and sat at the table. The phone was charging and I started to eat while searching for WiFi. Here (and I think at every McDonalds in Germany) it is the same network as the one in Flensburg. WiFi provided by T-Mobile, access by phone number and code sent by them via SMS. This time the info said 2 hours of free internet, unlike 1 hour in Flensburg 😀

Well, I followed the steps, just like last time, but it took a while for the SMS to get to me.. I was half way through my meal before the text message arrived. After I had the password I tried to log in, but it seems that they did not like me or I have no idea what was the problem, because it wasn’t working… I tried with both my SIM cards and I got the same stupid error message.
By now I had finished the meal and was stalling with the drink just maybe the network decides to work. While doing that I noticed that I received a bonus with my meal. A small peal-off sticker… Opening it I was happy to find that I had won a free ice cream. Cool! Yet another reason to stay there and charge my phone 🙂

 

I took the ticket to the cash register and asked for my ice cream. The guy asked: „Here?” I was like: „WTF?” How can I take and ice-cream „ToGo?” on this heat? Does it come with it’s own icebox, or what? That was in my head but my answer was just „Yes, here
It was a small ice-cream, but it was ok… and free :). After finishing that I turned back to my drink… still stalling to charge my phone a little more. At that time I noticed that the soda can also had one of those stickers on it… And what do you know? I won a free cookie! Wow! Is today my lucky day, or what? Or are they all „winning” tickets?
Went to the „Cafe” to collect my prize: I choose  „Pecan Nut Cookie”.
I have no idea what’s that, but it tastes like the dough that I make for the apple pie (recipe „by Andrei„)  so I guess it had the same ingredients: flour and butter … and maybe some pecan nuts, whatever those are. Eeeh, it was ok…
My bike was outside with the solar panel still strapped on top of the trailer (charging my power bank) and that is why I was a bit nervous about the time spent inside, without keeping an eye over my cargo. Even if this is Germany, and it should be safer than other countries… I was still stressed so I decided to get back on the road.

16:48 – leaving McDonalds (location: Dibbersen);

17:14 – water refill at a shell station;

18:37 – stopped to fix the bike. The front wheel makes a weird noise at the disk brake. The noise keeps appearing and disappearing randomly along the way. I knew from the start that my brakes were not perfect, but the noise bugs me…

 

 

21:40 – Even with the small charge from McDonalds, my phone was still in need of power. The sun failed to fully charge my power bank today and since the night was falling I was concerned about the lack of energy. Usually I leave the phone to charge overnight from the power bank that was charged during the day. I was now in search of a gas station or any kind of place that could have an outdoor power socket that I could use.
And wouldn’t you know… my luck was not over yet. I managed to find in Langwedel a Beauty Salon that had a power socket outside. Actually I think it was from an old neon light sign or something like that because it was just hanging off a metal pole near the parking lot. Most people probably don’t even see it when they pass by.

 

 

Anyway, I don’t care where that wire and power socket were from, but I was glad it was working so I set the power bank to charge. Meanwhile, to have something to do and also to hide my main reason for standing there, I took out the map and spread it on the sidewalk, comparing it to the maps printed from google. I was now exactly where the map is folded so stretching it like that was the way to see properly.
A nice thing was that from all the cars that passed by, one stopped and the really nice guy asked me if I need any help or directions. His English was not perfect, but it was ok, compared to others I met along the way. I told him my destination and that I know where I need to go, but because he was so willing to help I listened to all the things he had to say. More info can only help! I told him that I am not lost but I am searching for a place to set camp and that I would probably do so in a forest somewhere close. He answered that there is no camping place in the area that he knows about but it’s ok to just go into a forest. I thanked him and than he got back on his road and I returned to my map. It was getting darker and I needed to find a camp place. Also I didn’t want the sunset dew to get my map all wet, so I decided to pack and get back on the road. Of course the power bank was not yet full, but the time was against me.

 

22:08 – I was just signing the log for GC2E8NF and because the place is so nice and quiet, I decide to set camp there on the big (uncut) grass. The place is really nice… I am close to the water so for the first time on this trip I can wash myself a bit before going to sleep in the tent. It’s so nice to hold your legs in the water… swimming is forbidden, because it is a canal for boats, but I wasn’t going to anyway! (yeah, I can’t swim, remember?)

 

I got everything ready for night… pitch the tent, place all the stuff I need for the night inside, then „parked” the bike and trailer behind it and covered them with the tarp (presenning)…Ah! I needed some napkins… they’re in the bag that is now inside the trailer… ok, keys for the lock? Check my back pocket… Oh, no! I usually keep my keys in the same bag as the napkins… so now they are… in the trailer? Fuck! How could I have been so stupid!
I struggle but I manage to squeeze my hand inside the trailer and reach the bag, which was, luckily, at the edge. While I was going through the bag without seeing anything, searching and searching, the thought comes to my mind about the back-up keys. Those are in the silver bag…and the silver bag is …. in the tent!! Of course! „Slapped” myself for being so stupid! With the backup key I opened the trailer, got the bag and search for the keys… nowhere in sight! Check the back pockets again… and the keys were there! „Face palm” again! The middle back pocket of my T-Shirt is slimmer than the left and right ones and it’s holding the keys more tightly so they made no noise when I first searched.. Ok, it’s obvious: I must be tired, really tired!

Packed everything again still laughing of myself and then went into the tent…

Sitting there, trying to sleep I see a light and hear a bike stopping not far from my camp place. I was silent in my tent, but thinking that it might be a geocacher (since this was so close to the cache site) I decide to get out and investigate.

 

We began to talk and I soon found out that he was not there for the cache, he was just taking advantage of the really nice weather for a bike ride around the area. We have a nice conversation about what I am doing there, about what’s going on in Germany around these parts (summer fests and all of that) and since he was living nearby he gives me his phone number to have „just in case”. Because I was tired we end our talk and we say our goodbyes. He continued his ride not before wishing me all the best, a great weather and also warning me that a thunder storm is coming.

 

This time, unlike other trips I made in the past, I remembered to take a picture and to ask for a name. So, I can say now: Thank You Michael for this short meeting! It’s so nice to talk to somebody at least once in a while during a long trip like this 😀

After this I went to sleep, because I was exhausted!

Why stay at home when the road is so beautiful?