We are up early and rested after our night's sleep at Hotel zur Wartburg. There was a delicious buffet breakfast waiting for us down stairs. Classical music was playing as we and the other breakfasters watched (the sound was off) a BBC nature documentary about Yosemite. Breath taking.
We pack up the bicycles and are on the road by 10:00, which makes me very happy. I like early starts. It is raining some as we pick up the Ems path once again. This is my first attempt at photographing with the iPhone while riding.
I get better, I promise.
The Ems turns out to be a real bummer after this. We twist and turn through corn field after corn field and rarely glimpse the river, taking the least direct route through the mostly flat countryside. By noon, it is really raining and we park under a shopping center awning. Ramona eats chocolate and realizes that we can ditch the Ems path and pick up the Europa R1 again which will save us many, many kilometers.
It is still raining when we pick up the R1 and the path alternates between paved with big puddles and dirt/sand with big puddles. On the unpaved portions, our bicycles get completely covered in dirt. Our bottom brackets are clicking and our chains are filled with crud. When we hit the paved portions, we head straight for the puddles to clean that shit off. It works! The path is mostly in the woods and we have to make a couple of good guesses to stay on the path. Near lunch time, we start looking for place under cover to eat. Near Beelen, we find a hotel restaurant that looks a little pricey, but it is dry and they will take us. This meal and the drinks were fantastic and just what we need. Ramona tried the Gluewine(?), a sort of mulled wine, that Raimund had told us about. While we were eating and relaxing (2 hours), it stopped raining - mostly.