To cut to the chase, I’m currently in the train on my way back home. The inflammation (I think) in the ligament of my leg didn’t heal much in my day of rest and led, after another day of demanding head wind, to so much pain that it was hard to even walk – let alone ride the last 30 km from Tours to the camp site. I figured it wasn’t worth spending multiple days in a hotel and gamble with the chance that the pain might return anyways, so I called it quits and boarded a train to Paris.
Don’t worry though, it’s probably just that I didn’t exercise my tendons enough beforehand, plus a few factors that made it worse (demanding first days, rubbing rain pants, cold wind) and should be fine soon.
Let’s talk about something more fun, shall we? How about the odyssey home I’m currently on?
The train to Paris had a tiny bike compartment – they basically just removed the seats from one of the cabins from one of the cabin wagons and painted a huge bike logo on the outside – and had me sit on the floor. Back in Paris I could only get a ticket to Strasbourg for the next day.
So off I go, searching for a bottle of wine (to use my new bottle opener at least once) and a hostel. The wine is acquired quickly, but I have less luck with finding a bed. After five painful kilometers I arrive at the hostel we first stayed at and the guy tells me, that not only the hostel, but the whole area is completely full. I try an other hostel, just a few hundred meters down the street anyway. While its owner explains to me how to get to a youth hostel another 5 km away, that still has beds, many drugs are dealt just a few meters across the street through the fence of the metro station. I retrieve my bike from the owners nice but shady friend, who warned me about thieves and volunteered to physically hold onto my bike, so that it doesn’t get taken on the spot. I then leave the area add fast as possible (not very fast) to make my way to the youth hostel.
To say that the hostel was shabby would be an insult to all the shabby hostels out there. I first got a key to the wrong room, which led to an angry non-conversation with a French man, protecting his habitat (I met him again later; we might be pals now). The claim that I would be alone in my new room was a lie too, since I had to share it with two cockroaches – well one didn’t last too long, the other – let’s call him Herb – got away. The kitchen was a disgusting mess, but I could use the microwave to heat a can of lentil soup with sausages I had bought earlier.
After I finished my bottle of wine, I took an almost warm shower and went to bed in my moldy room. The next morning I had a sad excuse of a free breakfast and set off to the train station.
I went from Paris to Strasbourg by TGV (bike compartment full despite reservation, so I stay in the entry area), from there by RB to Appenweier, RE to Karlsruhe (where I find that the bike spots in the IC are booked), then by S-Bahn to Heilbronn, from there – after successfully relocating Herb the cockroach, who had snuck in my handlebar bag, to the trash bin at track 3 – I’m on my way to Wuerzburg, arriving soon and currently running 10 minutes late. Which makes my final change a bit challenging and keeps my tour from getting boring until the very end.
I’ll add more pictures when I get around to it.