Another net downhill day, but with a fair amount of climbing along the way – 380m of ascent and 735m of descent according to Bruce’s Cyclemeter record. The main climb was in the heat of the afternoon up the side of a stunning gorge but I confess I was more preoccupied by the pedalling. We did stop at a viewpoint so I could admire it while giving my legs a break.
After the climbing we came down through Versam onto another road with spectacular hairpins, but shorter this time. Roadworks halfway down confirmed that my brakes still work! The route then stays closer to the river, except for a particularly fierce short climb out of Reichenau, by which time I was so tired I gave up and pushed the bike up the steepest part. Reichenau is where the two Rhines meet – the Vorderrhein, which we have been following from Lake Toma, and the Hinterrhein, which starts from a village of the same name.
The last couple of hours along the Rhine valley were hard only because we were tired and struggling with a few issues (continued foot pain for Bruce and a head cold for me). It was getting hotter and hotter in the sun, and my arms are very much darker in spite of liberal application of factor 50. We made it to the hotel, however, in good time to have showered, changed and be sitting in the restaurant watching a thunderstorm with accompanying torrential downpour. Timing!
We are now in Heidiland, and appropriately enough staying at the Heidi hotel. Tomorrow we head on through or around Liechtenstein and towards Lake Constance.
It will be interesting to see how we both feel tomorrow. I have a theory about day 3 of cycle tours being the absolute worst – when we are most tired without yet having the fitness we get from cycling every day. We were technically on day 5 today, but only on day 2 of the tour proper. I certainly had all of the day 3 symptoms today – legs like lead, general weariness and a tendency to think longingly of lying on a shady sun lounger with nothing to do except drink the long, iced drinks being brought regularly by a friendly waiter. I even swore I would never come on another cycling holiday, which I have done on day 3 of all our previous trips. Fingers crossed, therefore, that I have got this trip’s ‘day 3’ our of the way and can properly enjoy the rest.