Our last day on the Ochsenweg, the old connection between Jutland and Schleswig-Holstein. Sorting out our food intake had a distinct benefit, as did a noticeable improvement in long-distance bicycle fitness. No matter how fit or unfit you might think you are before the beginning of a long ride, it always takes a few days to regain the peculiar fitness that comes from thousands of pedal revolutions.
Our bums too were becoming used to being on bicycle seats for five or six hours a day. Over the first few days, they were tender in strange places, with a good layer of lanolin needed overnight. But skin toughens up, the seat moulds to one’s derriere and it begin to feel like a comfortable lounge.
We rode southward from Rendsburg, winding and twisting our way along the route until Nortorff. As is the German wont, the route had a variety of surfaces, from village cobbles, through paved bicycle paths and farm roads, to dirt tracks through forests. But it was sign-posted well, except for our bypass of Neumünster – we did not want at this point of the day to negotiate another town and its marketplace.
Before then, we stopped at Nortorff and sat down to some decent German pastry at a baker. Under normal circumstances I can perhaps manage one of these items, given their loadings of animal fats, sugars and flour. But on a bicycle, I can down a significant number.
Even so, the energy ran out with about 10 kilometres to go. We pedalled slowly into the intriguing town of Bad Bramstedt (more on the town tomorrow) and Hotel Freeze. At 89 Euro it was definitely a luxury, but the new proprietor seemed keen to cut corners in intriguing ways. For example one of the light fittings needed a twist of the bulb to turn it on, for the cord was broken.