I had a late start as I did a trip to the post office first. Seems I can post 5kg for the same price as 3kg so I added yet more excess luggage to the parcel and for the first time in two months I was able to close the expanders on the panniers. Henry looks a lot more slimline now and feels much nicer to ride. It's not so much the weight as the bulk - I no longer have the daily struggle to zip up the bags.
It was almost lunchtime before I left Todtnau and the weather was glorious - perfect for riding. The scenery is wonderful as you would expect and all the farm houses in the villages are the traditional wooden buildings with fresh flowers blooming on every balcony or windowsill.
The roads through Schwarzwald are a real mixture. The Germans are as fond of lumpy bumpy patch repairs as the Australians are - and some of the roads are complete rubbish and then the tiniest forest track have perfect surface and a pure delight to ride.
It was one of those days where I just kept riding and riding and riding. Mostly it was just tall pine forest as far as the eye could see and then I'd bump into a river or waterfall, just to keep me awake.
By 3pm I was 150kms down the track and thinking about a camping ground. They are few and far between in these parts and the girl at the Tourist Office pointed me to one about 40kms away. It was outside the "forest" but needs must.
When I arrived in Achern it was full-on suburbia and right beside the Autobarn to Baden-Baden. The camping ground was one of those overly crowded "holiday parks" with locals staying for the whole month and the permanent residents with their gnome gardens.
I would have been better off staying in the mountains and finding a Pension. Never mind - I had a swim in the lake, watched the boys play beach volleyball and then went to the restaurant for dinner.
Okay, that campsite was without doubt the most disappointing so far.
Yet another park that has no clue how to design showers that don't spew water throughout the entire cubicle. Seriously, how hard can it be to separate the shower area from the dressing area?
Not one person in the large restaurant had any English whatsoever and could not explain to me what semmelkn�del mit pfifferlingrahmsauce is - I couldn't even find out if it was meat or not. The most I got was "is good".
Turns out it is some sort of bread and herb dumpling drowned in gravy with mushrooms and blueberries - blueberries??? The gravy was so salty I could feel my arteries hardening. I managed to scrape the bulk of the gravy off and then I was just eating a dry bread ball. I choked down one of them and left the other two to solidify on the plate.
And to cap it all - I was charged 1.60€ for a glass of tapwater.
The dinner entertainment was a Dixieland band which was murdering some Jazz and the singer sounded like a wounded cat.
The noise from the band was drowned out by the Techno crap coming from the teenage group who had spread out their 10 tents and associated paraphernalia over 2 hectares and kept walking through the other section in loud drunken groups. Thank goodness for earplugs.