We awoke to the sounds of trees bending in the breeze, sand being claimed by gently flowing waves, and deathly quiet and considerate people starting their morning ablutions.
We very quickly purchased swipe cards which magically controlled both the toilet blocks and the all important hot water from the shower. Relieving slept-in sweet from our bodies, seemed to do little to relieve our morning grumpy tiredness or get us on the road at a respectable time.
Sharon is a goal-focused person and I’m the journey orientated kind. I could sit on my bike and ride slowly all day and totally enjoy myself. Sharon, she likes to race to the first village, get off and explore, then race to the next scenic point, dismount and take in the sights. She will repeat this process all day, happy with the stops and bored with the bits in-between.
Marriage is a beautiful thing and compromise is part of its core. I plan our trips, the Scout in me loves the hours and hours of pouring over maps. Sharon and I talk almost painfully through each trip and she gets to choose at least one point of interest per day where we stop and explore on foot. Usually this means me hugging a coffee lost in a book and protecting Sharon’s bike, while she with the ferocity of a Japanese tourist frantically devours the town. At least this is my perspective.
Her magic spot for this day was the very beach we had hurriedly rushed out of. I had totally forgotten. I usually do not wake up until after the first twenty kilometres of riding. In her morning or perhaps mourning fatigue, Sharon was unable to communicate this. The inevitable happened, we stopped at a beautiful lookout, oblivious to the view and discussed what had happened before eventually and without any other options agreeing to continue riding.
After another five kilometres of silent cycling, we took a wrong but fortuitous turn and stumbled across the gorgeous seaside village of Vitt. We quickly found Cafe am Meer and ordered pungent wake-me-up coffee. Sharon spent an unexpected forty or so minutes watching cliff-side waves quietly collide with a dilapidated pier. And in true role reversal I walloped down my coffee and cake and responded to my camera’s faithful call for ‘walkies’. We escaped just as the morning’s collection of overweight, but strangely quiet, must-of-been-German tourists arrived. On the way out, we managed to pop into a lovely wee church and buy those all important postcards.
Next we meandered into the totally tourist infested lighthouse village of Kap Arkona. I stopped for the obligatory been-there-probably-won’t-return photo, before entering the obstacle course of moving silent dour dogs, baby buggies and walking-poled plodders. Without exception everyone said good morning and politely stepped aside for us. This order was really starting to irritate me.
We quietly rode west, flanked by stunning Baltic clifftop views until things deteriorated into soft sand and a waiting Dutchman. This enthusiastic direction-giving non-cyclist was interestingly quick to point out his Dutchness. His happy demeanour sent us into the forest to avoid the soft sand. Under this filtered canopy we met some stern Germans who were definitely telling us not to head in the direction we were going. We had run or perhaps ridden out of options, ignored their advice and followed by a young family, plunged into the heart of the bush. We totally left the soft sand behind us, but were forced to push our bikes through what felt like thick jungle. We popped out somewhere near Bakenberg. I marked this spot on my map for having a shop. Sharon rested on a corner and I fruitlessly searched. We ended up stopping for a snack in Lancken, another village without a shop.
From here we had fantastic downhill-tailwind roads seemingly all the way into Dranske. By now we were hungry Sharon was riding perplexingly slow, so I yelled over my shoulder that I would scout out the village for a supermarket and meet her in the town-centre. I sped off with the wind blowing through that spot where my hair used to be. I followed signs towards the centre, hit roadworks, ad-libbed a little before hitting a town centre that consisted of a corner shop, a few cafes and a ferry port. I searched for a supermarket and returned back to the corner shop. Interestingly enough Sharon was not there. So I rode back to the roadworks to see if Sharon had decided to wait there, but no Sharon. Next I searched for and rode all the other possible entrances to the town, but still no Sharon. I asked at the shop if they had seen her. Compassionately they replied no, but I could use their phone to call her; Sharon does not take her phone on holiday. I again rode out to the other side of the roadworks that were on the edge of the town, thinking that maybe Sharon had stopped there not knowing what to do.
Oh gosh, this was becoming quite the worry; I had plenty of water, little food and little money. I returned to the shop, the employees there had now become quite concerned. I informed them that on the odd chance that Sharon had carried on to the next village, that I would cycle on and return there to call the police if I could not find her.
Slightly panicking I rode out of town. A few kilometres up the road I stopped a couple of tour-cyclists and asked where they had come from and where they were going and if they had seen my loving lost wife. They hadn’t, but agreed to pass on a message if they met her. I cycled on to Kuhle, turned around and cycled the 4.3 kilometres back to Dranske without seeing her. I asked again at the shop and we decided that I would return to the roadworks one last time before calling the police.
Day 1 – Setting Sail
Day 2 – Training, part 1
Day 2 – Training, part 2
Day 3 – New Expectations, part 1
Day 3 – New Expectations, part 2
Day 4 – Cobbles, part 1
Day 4 – Cobbles, part 2
Day 5 – Each Other, part 1
Day 5 – Each Other, part 2
Day 6 – A Sprocket of a Day, part 1
Day 6 – A Sprocket of a Day, part 2