The first night in our tent, we stayed warm in our sleeping bags.
The nights are cold, the mornings damp and our hands freeze when we pack the tent. But the days are warm and sunny! The sun has a huge influence on our mood.
We cycle along the Rhine along nature reserves, heathlands, villages, industrial areas and along cities. These days we pass through Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn.
Cities make us feel like we’ve accomplished something big. We get really excited about the idea that we cycled all the way there. But it makes the decision where we are going to stop, to pitch our tent a bit complicated. Are we cycling through? Are we going to find a place to sleep before sunset beyond the city? Or do we stop early in the day before we enter the city.
Stopping early in the day has provided us with a great place to sleep and an relaxing afternoon. We swam in the Rhine, played games in the sun and received delicious food from a lovely family who were having a barbecue further down the beach.
That brings me to the subject of ‘hospitality’! When we were taking a break somewhere to make breakfast, a woman approached us. She was interested in our trip and saw that we had a tent with us. When she heard that we mainly camp in the wild, she offered us a shower. Of course we can’t say no to that. Once at her place she arranged breakfast with fresh bread from the bakery and offered us fresh coffee. We had many conversations about our plans and her travel history. We kept in touch after that. Its so special to meet people like this and the generosity is overwhelming.
We are not far from Bonn when we have a first setback. My pedal starts to loosen and the fork falls off completely moments later. We are looking for a bicycle repair shop in the area, but everything is closed. We decide to take the train to Bonn in the hope of having better luck there. But unfortunately, the bicycle shops are also closed there. We are looking for a place to sleep. First via warmshowers* and when that didn’t work, we called a lot of hostels. Everything was full. We’re went to a hotel and we’re lucky, they just happened to have a cancellation. We cooked a meal in the hotel room and wash our clothes in the sink. We notice that we have to get used to the warmth inside.
The next day we went to the bicycle repair shop. This turned out to be a happy accident. Here we got to meet Frans, an employee of the bicycle shop that we would not have wanted to miss. We’re in the store for five hours. He helps us with everything and we had a lot of interesting conversations. And as icing on the cake, someone contacted us via warmshowers to asks if there is anything else he can do for us. We decide to stay another night in Bonn, it turned out to be a very nice city. That evening we slept in Thomas’s apartment. We had interesting conversations before he gave us space and went to his girlfriend to sleep there himself.
We enjoyed a nice bottle of wine, some conversation with family at home and went to sleep.
warmshowers* is an app where people how love bicycle touring open there house for other travellers. Some for a shower and some for a place to sleep as well.