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On the road . August 2006 . Benelux, Germany and France

map route Benelux, Germany and France

Café de la Poste, Echternach 07-08-06
Thank god for Ortlieb bags
Arnhem- the Netherlands to Prüm - Germany
(6 cycle days; 344km; 2045m)

Arnhem to  Grietherort (57km; 83m)
Grietherort to Arcen (49km; 117m)
Arcen to Lövenich (77km; 311m)
Lövenich to Nideggen (56km; 337m)
Nideggen to Monschau (53km; 681m)
Monschau to Prüm (52km; 516m)

Trapped inside
Even if we had danced round in circles, naked, while wha-whaing to the Indian rain-god, we couldn't have asked for crappier weather. Between Arnhem and Prüm, we have been bombarded with bouts of rain resulting in us spending half of our journey time reading the not so intelligent graffiti in bus shelters. Before this trip, these such storms would have had us turning around and going back home to try again, when the weather was a little better. Now our home is our tent. Need I say more?

read on
baby bottle use Tip of the month: for storing liquids, use a baby bottle!

If you don't mind clowns and happy faces on your storage bottles, a good, very cheap, and 'super-safe-for-liquids' alternative is a baby bottle. In the past, I've always used Body Shop containers, since the containers at camping stores are always so astronomically priced. But after no success finding an outlet in France, I resorted to trying the baby bottle and it's really good. You can also cut the teat off and you have a rubber ring for extra sealing, however it works fine without it too.

Arnhem (Netherlands) - Bordeaux (France)
Kilometres: 1717 kilometres and 740 metres
Riding days: 24
Alti meters: 9560 metres up
Weather: seriously bad for the time of year... we only had about four or five days that it didn't rain at all... tent was packed dry on 4 ocassions only.
Best accommodation: Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon: not only very inexpensive but clean, well equipped facilities and lots of green grassy places to pich your tent on.

Special thanks to:
Tina at Cascade Design; Eric at PL Diffusion and the Guys at Sports Adventures in Bordeaux for helping us swap our Therm-a-rest mattress for a new one so efficiently and quickly! • Scott, Kerry, Mathew and Adam for the interest and conversations • Wim and Anneke for the warm cups of coffee when we absolutely needed it. • The really lovely couple at Tonnerre for the Dutch clogs mascot that's hanging on our tent for the time being • The owner of the campsite at Le Moutchic for the baguette • The knowledgeable and patient young man at Soliselec on the Cours d'Alsace et Lorraine in Bordeaux, who soldered a new mini-plug onto my pin microphone for the grand total of 1 euro • Frau Ebbing for giving us a spot for our tent in her wild berry garden.

15: Therm-a-rest bubble (Ali): bought Quechua replacement
24: spoke (Son)
29: brake cable (Ali)
30: Quechua (alias crap-chua) burst after two weeks...

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