The Danube and Pilgrims

The banks of the Danube, which I reached today and along which I ploughed for a healthy total of 83 miles into a ferocious headwind, are indeed flat, as expected.

But they’re also, to be honest, a bit boring, despite the last couple of days’ fabulous explosion all around of tree blossoms in this very late spring.

And, this evening, it’s also wet. The heavens opened just before I set up my tent, right by the river just west of Ybbs.

I have been intending to test my camping equipment for a rainy overnight stay. Tonight’s clearly the night – I just hope the Danube doesn’t rise during the night and sweep me away.

The river photo above from one of the many hydroelectric dams that interrupt the Danube’s eastward progress here is boring apart from the promised view of the Brooks saddle.

Nearly 1500 miles now and I hope the sunless view is enough to show how exquistily supple and even comfortable the leather has now become.

Believe me, Brooks saddles are hard bum work to start with, but they’re worth the investment of briefly, in the greater scheme of things, sore parts….

This will, I promise, be my last reference to the saddle, despite the rather intimate role it’s currently playing in my life…

I mentioned food in yesterday’s blog. Those not familiar with Austrian cooking may have wondered what on earth a Palatschinken is.

Confusingly, it has nothing to do with ham, which is what Schinken means in German (and Austrian). (Not sure what Palat means…)

What it does have to do with is pancakes – large ones, full of cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce and nuts. A day’s calories in one go.

The enormous one above was pictured at about four o’clock this afternoon (with my little foldable keyboard to the right), and the timing of its consumption might help explain why I felt energised to keep cycling beyond the 80-mile boundary today, until stopped by the rain

The other two photos illustrate that this remains el Camino, der Weg, le chemin, the Way to Santiago de Compostela.

The lady with the rucksack, Cecilia from Linz, is a Genuine Pilgrim, heading to Spain in short stages, a few days at a time when she can.

She was heading west as I headed east this morning, away from Christa, my hostess last night (Danke auch fuer das schoene Fruehstueck!), pictured in front of the house in which her family have lived for nearly 200 years.

Vienna next, but probably not tomorrow. A bit of a stretch at 90 miles, especially if it continues to pour with rain.

And maybe then, the promised blog on why blog at all. A hint – it’s to do with Attachment.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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