02:14 it started raining. I got up and closed the roof lights.
06:49 we were awoken by a loud crash. I got a sense of a large person vaulting over me in bed, emitting a long, ghostly moan “Ooooooh-ning…”
We were trapped! A huge bladder of rainwater prevented us from even opening the caravan door to survey the damage. The awning was groaning. As a rainwater deflection system, the awning had failed utterly. However, if we wanted to revive the story of Noah, the roof of our awning was primed and ready to go. All it needed was a single push to unleash a tidal wave of biblical proportions. Unfortunately, the aftermath left more than one of Mark’s poles bent…
11:34; we had a bit of a lie in. Coffee and breakfast in bed. Well, who wants to be rushing at problems on a wet Monday morning? Our neighbour, Andy, came over to help. I overheard Mark utter the immortal words “It’s not as bad as it looks. I’ll have this back up in half an hour!”
Remarkably, as good as his word, he had the thing back up in 20 minutes with some spectacular ‘paddle vaulting’ – supports fashioned from SUP paddles and a couple of the broken poles with their ends sheathed in protective plastic milkbottles to prevent them from puncturing the fabric!
It rained and rained and rained; the sort of deluge that you could only reproduce by pitching directly beneath Victoria Falls. Water actually started to come up through the groundsheet of the awning. Our shoes began to float freely!
Mary and Andy came in last night and rather altered our notions about German wine. They brought in a €7 bottle of local red, Dornfelder, from Bingen, purchased from reception. It was beautiful. We immediately went to buy more!
Wet Weg – Rain on the Rhine it’s all mine all mine…
You have heard about Fog on the Tyne – well here I shall tell you about Rain on the Rhine! Since it was still absolutely bucketing down, we opted for a slow start, followed by watching a film all cosied up on the bed! We had to turn the sound up to full to hear the TV over the rain hammering on our tin roof. We had been off grid but decided to get electricity to facilitate our veg with the telly all day. Solar power was definitely not on the agenda today!
Mark had noticed that the garage near Lidl in Oberwesel sold LPG. An inaugural European gas bottle recharge seemed the perfect way to add excitement to a wet day. The weight of advice had been that filling up our Safefill gas bottle on the Continent would be ‘tricky’. We had bought a number of adaptors. We quickly worked out which adaptor was the right shape (adaptor selection is as simple as that child’s toy where you have to push squares, circles and triangles through the correct shaped holes!) It took the garage attendant and the bloke in the van behind to help us press all the right buttons in the right order on the pump. However, finally, we got gas!
The weather was too miserable to do much other than go for a drive. We didn’t walk yesterday. I think the dogs were glad of the rest after our long trek the day before, but today, they were full of beans. We found a 5km Nordic Walking trail on forest tracks and decided to brave it. Unfortunately, we got lost. It was just the perfect weather to get lost! We must have missed a turning and ended up back on the main road.
We figured that it must lead back to the parking spot, since it was signposted back to Sankt Goar. I simply can’t tell you how pleased I was when we eventually saw the sign for the parking or the rejoicing that accompanied getting visual with a van that had not been stolen or washed away – and we hadn’t lost the keys!
A Fine Rhine Finale – Rhein Burgen Weg
The view had certainly improved this morning. Instead of the torrential rain, we had sunshine beating down on the caravan!
After a slow start, we decided to do part of the 195km Rhein Burgen Weg. We did 10.2km from Burg Stahlek to Burgruine Fürstenberg. We were glad that we wore our boots after the rain. My sandals were soaked anyway, but the paths were a little more narrow and challenging than those on the Rundtour, which we did the other day.
As we set off, it started to rain! We needed to print and sign a document to post back to the UK; the lovely ladies in the tourist office in Bacharach printed it then scanned it for us to email. By the time that the ladies had finished fussing and playing with the dogs, the shower had abated!
We were treated to some lovely views back over the Rhine and down to Bacharach. We walked past hillside villages of Neurath and Medenscheid then back via the ruins of Fürstenberg, the golden castle which shines out on the hillside as you drive through the next village. We returned to the campsite along the banks of the Rhine.
We saw a sign at Fürstenberg that said that said “”use path at own risk, not suitable for people afrait of heights. Person using this path must be sure tooted.” You certainly needed to be sure tooted on the path we took – it was the quick way down through a vineyard. It was extremely steep and slippery!
There is so much walking around and everything is very well signposted. We passed signs for a walk around the town walls of Bacharach and a garden tour in Medenscheid, then there is EuroVelo 15 , the long-distance cycle way that follows the Rhine from its source in Andermatt, Switzerland to the North Sea Coast at Rotterdam! However our time here is done and it is time to move on to our next German adventure; Edersee, the third largest reservoir in Germany, where we were planning to score some windsurfing.
Instead, we got a massive surprise!
Join us next time to see what we did see at Edersee…!