Leaving Koblenz we were curious what else Germany would have in store for us. We cycled in the afternoon along the Rhein where there are multiple Unesco World Heritage villages until we reached Bad Salzig.
Here it was difficult to find a place to sleep with the water on one side and hills on the other. We went up the hill and found some meadows which were a possibility. But suddenly there were people around. We asked if we could pitch our tent and Jurg and his son Lucas agreed. We could even sleep under a small shelter in their apple orchard (which was nice because it was starting to rain) and make a fire with the wood that was also in the shelter. We had a comfortable night with our legs going down the hill.
From Bad Salzig we had a tough headwind along the following stretch of Rhein. Then we went more inland. We saw our first wild animals, some deer jumping around in the field. In the small village of Wahlheimerhof we saw a pretty wooden house with next to it a medieval shed. We rang the doorbell and asked if we could pitch our tent. Some phonecalls were made with neighbors, we got offered a cup of tea and we could pitch our tent inside the shed. Werner and Ellen were very friendly and their dog Tosca was very nice. We were amazed by their huge cactus in their living room, it was 20 years old and originally from IKEA 🙂
The next morning we proceeded on the bike. This was the first day that the headwind was a bit less and we made fast progress. Halfway the afternoon we thought it would be even possible to reach Heidelberg. We had some difficulty finding a place to stay, we could notice it is a touristic city. Eventually we rode into the city when it was getting dark and stayed in the nice hostel Lotte Backpackers and really enjoyed a bed and the kitchen to cook food. In the morning we had a look at the castle and city and jumped on the bicycles. We had arranged a Warmshower host in Tubingen and had not realized it was a little bit further than expected.
Finally we had a tailwind! We rode through a lot of forest and it was nice easygoing riding in only a few hours we had made quite some progress and done groceries for the night. We didn’t need them though. We had knocked on a door at a place in Grotzingen near Karlsruhe. After the first surprise we were invited to camp in the shed and eat a nice Thai curry with Regina. Her parents also joined us for some conversations. And eventually her partner Martin as well. We had very nice talks about spirituality, yoga, traveling, riding bicycles and what we find important in life. It was very warming to us to be so welcomed.
At the moment the countryside is not that different yet, so the most strong impressions we have now are a lot about the people we meet along our way. On the way to Tubingen however we were charmed by the Schönbucher Wald. We cycled through it for about 20 kilometers and so our first ice on the water. The weather had been very pretty and it was getting cold. At the end of the forest we decided to take a shortcut to our Warmshowers host. This shortcut was however very steep. We were both pushing our bikes and panting because of the steep hill. Coming over the hill top we had a great view of Tubingen and people walking on top of the hill. It was quite special.
Sebastian and Sonja, our hosts were very nice and very experienced bicycle travelers. They invited us in although having a 2 month old baby Maya. They were very caring and it was great to share stories and watch photos of their bicycle travels and receive tips for countries that we are going to travel to. We ate local products and got very aware of the strong local traditions, development and production in the area of Baden-Wurtemberg.