We were soon to stumble upon the town of Garz and followed signs from the cycle path to the ‘Castle Wall Restaurant‘. We were two of five cyclists and were able to cycle right up to our table. The waitress came out and greeted us with a gorgeous ‘Rügen scowl’, tolerating us long enough to take our coffee orders. I popped inside and spying the high water-tap at the bar, asked if I could fill our water bottles. I was promptly directed to the toilets. I sat outside suffering a terrible coffee and realised that if I was to enjoy this journey; once again I must lower my expectations. From now on I was to presume that I would be greeted by long downturned mouths and narrow petulant eyes.
Garz was a great busy wee place with a very modern and cute supermarket. This was an essential stop, because beef burritos were on our lunch menu. I sat outside, waited burning in the hot sun and chatted to a gentle old man. When Sharon returned with a handful of food, hungrily and eagerly we cycled the cobbled footpath out of town. We were following a sign down a muddy track when I asked the shopper what cheese she had purchased. The answer was none. This led to a noonday dash past blurring brightly coloured cottages and back to the shop. Lunch was spent on a forest track in the middle of nowhere. It was absolutely scrumptious and our cooking it provided much entertainment for many smiling senior-citizen cyclists.
After lunch we promptly got lost and ended up on a dark leafy road travelling into the uneventful town of Putbus. We cycled through its crowded streets as quick as we could and rushed on to the delightful harbour of Lauterbach. Here we hunted for replacement sunglasses and enjoyed an overly juicy mango whilst yachts sailed by. Leaving the sails behind we once again took a wrong turn and followed a pretty esplanade until the path run out. Back-tracking about a kilometre we eventually found a track behind a villa and were on the correct route again. We rode through some shady cool forest, fought stiff coastal winds and generally wore ourselves out.
Following a collection of roads and tracks, we ended up in the campervan and tourist infested village of Seedorf. Despite this ‘theme park’ being full of things we definitely didn’t like, its quaint late afternoon outdoor restaurants were very inviting. Time was no longer on our side and we cycled past them all. We journeyed past posh homes and strolling elderly couples until the track descended into sandy muddy potholes. With my new expectations I was perfectly happy pushing our bikes up nasty steep sandy tracks. Sharon on the other-hand was affirmatively not. She was rescued by a stern young couple who clearly thought we were nuts and sided with Sharon’s moot to turn back.
So once again we turned around and cycled past the posh houses and inviting cafes until we found a road running up a very steep hill. This mini-mountain was an insult to our legs at the work end of the day. The summit was worth it and provided a vista of undulating wide open spaces. My highlight for the day was waiting for us in Moritzdorf. After a gloriously fast downhill the track turned into a narrow muddy trail through a hobby farm and eventually finished at a pier. After quite some time a huge serious-looking man with smiling eyes arrived. I presumed he was our ferry pilot. I wheeled my bike up to what can best be described as an aluminium dingy with an outboard and asked if he wanted me to take my panniers off. He grunted a ‘no’ and proceeded to bend down and pick up my extremely heavy bike. I was very very impressed. With my pannier-clad cycle in his hands he walked past the dingy and gently dumped my bike in an oversized wooden rowing boat. When he had finished he did the same with Sharon’s bike. We, a couple of meandering oldies, a dog and the oarsman all jumped in for a short leisurely paddle. It was a fantastic experience and we made sure we handsomely tipped him for his display of unfettered strength.
We followed the map south and once again were left confused by multiple signs pointing to the same place. Sharon asked for directions. The next thing we knew we were heading down a grassy paddock taking the tough route in the correct direction. After regaining the trail we hit a very steep and narrow concrete track. I was tired and hit my internal turboboost and speedily powered up the hill, scattering a gaggle of day-walkers.
From here we quietly descended into Middelhagen and the camping ground. The young people in the Naturcampingplatz office genuinely took me by surprise. They actually seemed happy to see me, they smiled and asked questions about our day. We pitched our tent in the fading light and ate supper in a dark little dinning room attached to a camp kitchen. All in all, it was a good day we got lost more times than I can count, but made it to our destination with our marriage still intact. Our mileage for the day was a very, very long 68km.