Bonking – part 1

Day 7.

This was the best morning of our trip. Concerned about the sky, we quickly and quietly ploughed through the juggling process of showering and felling our tent. During this necessary ritual I felt the eyes of our neighbouring Combi campers upon us. We both set up our breakfast tables around the same time. Theirs was actually a real table adorned with lovely looking bread and fresh flowers. Ours was once again our faithful ground sheet. Somewhere around the time of boiling our water, I glanced up to be greeted with a smile and a ‘Guten Tag’. This was a beautiful moment.

A little earlier at the handbasin in the bathroom, I had been frustratingly trying to work out how to get soap from the dispenser. Inadvertently I placed a hand underneath it; to my surprise soap landed on my hand. The ordeal was trying to find a tap to get water from. Accidentally my hands passed under a spout; water came out. The next thing I knew hot air was blowing over my hands. Inside my head I swore and said nasty things about Germany. Culture-shock had snuck up on me. I was craving imperfection, desperately searching for something broken or not working properly. I was also searching for relationship, searching for anyone to be interested in us without furrowed brows and a scowl.

Sitting there with their lovely set table, our elderly neighbours gave us an almost apologetic smile. Being slow to learn and a glutton for punishment I stood up walked over to them, stuck out my hand and said hello. We did not have too many words in common, but language does not matter when people want to communicate. The couple asked to see our maps and wanted to know where we had been. They were from southern Germany and used to tour-cycle in their younger days. When their knees gave-up, they purchased their camper and continued touring. It was the only time during this whole trip when strangers actually reached out to us. This moment was a highlight.

Before we left they obligingly took a photo of us. “Elderly couple, whoever you were, whereever you are, thanks so, so much for being kind to us.”

We jumped on our bikes and cycled to the office. The office was closed and did not open for another twenty minutes. I was keen to keep cycling, Sharon was keen to wait. So we walked around to their camp store. This tiny, tiny wee shop had absolutely everything in it. We purchased yoghurt for breakfast, oil for my chain and shower flip-flops.

Back in the camping-ground office an unfriendly woman demanded that I fill out a forest of forms before she could accept my money. Thirty minutes later, around 9:30 am we finally hit the road. Once again the cycle-paths were excellent. About ten kilometres up the road we found a bench overlooking a flotilla of yachts heading in to harbour. This was the perfect spot to lube my chain and have second breakfast.

Five minutes up the road in the very pretty and busy town of Zingst I spotted a tacky souvenir shop selling cheap nasty sunglasses. Yay, at last my eyes were able to get some protection from this beautiful Baltic sun. From here we shared a coastal path west with many tourists. I had a very near miss with a kid on a bike who flew out of the trees directly into my path.

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
Day 7 – Bonking, part 1
Day 7 – Bonking, part 2
Day 7 – Bonking, part 3
Day 8 – Time Keeping
Day 9 – Homeward 
Day 10 – I Love Germany

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