the donau/ danube. 17th April

hi all,

again the weather has been so kind,  sun all the way to the austrain border! from leaving the rhine just south of the strasbourg we had an amazing couple of days cycling to get to the start of the donau.  It started with a day of hard climbing over two mountain passes to get to the offical start of the donau. The first was a nice and steady climb up to 520 meters and I was so greatfull for the first hills since leaving the UK.

higher to go!

higher to go!

The second pass however soon had me kicking myself for actually wanting the hardship. After about 30 miles in we started the climb towards Furtwangen, which according to the signs was 17 k on an incline of 8% (was it hell). As we climbed higher the road narrowed and steepend to what I gestamate was atleast 16% in some places.

up we go

up we go

snow and sweat

snow and sweat

At around halfway we started coming accross snow left over from the winter and the higher we got the more there was. It was quite serial to be sweating proffusly in the intense heat and be surrounded by snow.  but we both found refreshment in the cool mountain streams and the icy snow which we duncket our heads into to cool off. We reached the top both nackered and decide to camp and save the decent for the morning. I found a nice spot to camp in but it meant we had to drag our laden bikes through two feet of snow, not an easy undertaking after climbing up hills for most of the day.

morning chors

morning chors

We reached the start of the donau the next day, and the senery was fantastic. The steep gourge cut by the river was beautiful and made for a jem of a day cycling. This was slightly dampend however by Matt loosing his wallet with all his cards and other usefull things, like a 100 euros. But never, mind good on him he didnt let it bring him down.

From there the senery oppened out back to the alluvial plains of the river, which were a bit disappointing after the stunning scenery. And apparently the germans arnt so efficient in designing cycle routes as we were sent in circles accross the fairly boring flat agricultural plains.

The next few days passed without any exitment just more flat untill we reached another gorge cut by the river where we were forced to take an ferry down river as there was no road. After the ferry we cycled on untill it was time to camp. I was woken in the night by stomach cramps and the joys of an upset stomach and all the things that come with it, which wasnt much fun with the only facilities being the great outdoors. the next day i was still feeling ruff so we cycled to the train staion and got the train to passau (which is where we are now) to rest up in a hostal for a couple of days. Im alittle disapointed to have traveled without the use of our own power but im not stupid enought to push on and hinder my recovery, and it was dam nice to watch the country side flash past without puting in any effort. so after resting up i think we are both ready to leave Germany behind us and get into Austria and looking forward to the  delights the donau and Austria have to offer.

the ferry ride

the ferry ride

head waters of the donau

head waters of the donau

thanks to you all for the messages and donations we both realy appreciate them.

until the next instalment love to you all… jack

# a note to anyone traveling in germany, their so organised with there recycling here that at the lidls and aldis there are recycling centres were you get a percentage of the amount you paid for wahtever it may have been back. however when you by mineral water the money you get back is more than the original price. so to any budding entrepreneurs by your water from lidl and youll be making money, unfortunatly weve only just found it out as we are about to leave, sods law.#


  1. polly said,

    hey guys, hear you have both been poorly. hope you are feeling better now.
    i got nathan some of those dot stickers to stick on his map to follow your progress, think there was 500 in the pack and he has just about ran out of them, obviously everywhere i look there are coloured dots that i will probably be finding for years to come so will you please get to the next country as soon as so we can put one where it should be!!!!!!
    anyway hope you are both ok, thinking of you jack xxx

  2. Tim said,

    Good work boys!

    Matt, you obviously were obviously flouting the strict saftey regulations to have lost your wallet. And jack, up set stomach, is this a result of not purifying water? not very safe. From now on before you do anything you have to ask your selves ‘what would Tim do?’

    I’ve e mailed the old man asking for said e mail addresses, so hopfully i’ll have sent them to you before you read this.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Aunti Sue and John said,

    Hi J & M

    At last got onto your site?

    Keep us posted with locations as we are plotting your journey. Reckon you have done 1700 Km to Ulm??

    Remember, in German big cities, not all the ‘frows’ are female!!!!!!!! Better check first – re Crocodile Dundee!!!

    Best wishes, hope you are feeling better?

  4. Aunti Sue and John said,

    By the way

    Gran and Gramps say big thanks for cards

  5. James Zhang said,

    Jack so happy to know you are safe and enjoying some nice weather. really know the feeling of being unwell and far away from comfortable home .However , you are a vey wise man to regain your health and strength before carrying on .i believe this will make you tougher.Don’t feel being let down when sometimes you have to rely on other means of transport -You might well have to ride a camel in Gobi desert Mongolia 🙂 all part of fun !!
    lots of love xxx

  6. Han said,

    Hey guys, hope you are feeling better Jack, its never nice being ill when you are away from home, well your own bed at least!!! The picutres are great it looks so pretty, (prob not the right word but i am sure you know what I mean!!) you must be havng such an amazing time.
    I took Charlie for his first swim and he loved it, well I think he did, there wasnt too much crying, he got dunked twiced but I guess the sooner you do it the better.
    Anyway, keep on going, cant believe how well you are doing, speak to you soon, lots and lots of love
    Hannah, Jamie and Charlie (big smile from Charlie)

  7. Aunti Sue and John said,

    Hi J and M

    Budapest about 3000 Km (1800 miles)
    Try the paino bars they are world famous!

    Good luck

    AS and J

  8. mum and marg said,

    Can’t believe you have travelled 1800miles – what an amazing achievement!!
    Keep it up – many people are in awe of you
    lots of love
    mum marg and of course Tar – he thinks 3 miles is a marathon!!

  9. Darren Crook said,

    Hi Jack

    Great to see you are exploring the world and the spirit of adventure still burns brightly. Do you have a route planned? How about a GECO talk when you are back? How many punctures and bikes have you gone through?

    Keep peddling

  10. kerry said,

    Hey Jack n Matt

    Fab photos!! It looks like you are having an amazing time, you are sooo lucky, apart from all the cycling and sickness, hope you are all recovered. Keep the pics coming, then we can all experience the ups and downs of the journey with you……get it?? haha. Much Love xx

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