There will be two gradients in the part to Passau. The first comes fast - and hard. According to the miniature in the brochure it's only exeeded by the Schwarzach gradient. That fits, but up I go. There's a whole lot of cars in a field, what's going on? World Championship for icelandic horses, whatever that is? There are danish participants too.
Now a long downhill to Ach will probably follow, it has the appendix "an der Salzach" so it's obviously at the river? And after that comes the minor final uphill?
There shows to be 3 uphills today. The middle one had probably not so many height meters as the others?
I drive on fine, narrow paved roads through dark forrest. Very dark when you enter from the fields and wear sunglasses.
Now I'm sitting eating by the river. It's another river - or no, not really. Are you confused? I was. I was supposed to reach Brunau an Inn, which fitted my uphill from Salzach to go down to a new river. But Inn ought to be left of Salzach...
It did, but Salzach has stopped existing, as it joins the Inn river. It still delivers water for the fellowship, but the name is gone.
So I'm sitting looking at the Inn river feeling the coolness from a
soft breeze, what is needed on this hot summers day. It's wonderful here.
For once no noisy main-or highway. No rattling train. A minute ago a
distant sound from a churchbell and a plane passing high up the sky.
It's deserted. In the 20 min's I've been here, four cyclists have passed. The road is on top of the dike, just 2 gravel tracks with grass in the middle.
The day passes by, I mostly drive on the dike, some times down behind it. Substituted by raids across maize fields and through woods.
In a town I ask my way to a Penny Markt to shop food. Ritter Sport they only stock in giant size and the different types are few in Austria: marcipan, hazelnut and nougat. This time also yougurt, that's the one for me.
In the beginning the traffic is scarce, but it gets denser with time. Sometimes I find someone to follow - discreetly. My first destination is Obernberg where I'll havee coffee and cake, and the meter will show 74 km.
I stop for some minutes at a bird tower. After all I've bought cheep binoculars. There's a funny wading-bird, rushing around after something I don't see. It's like it's dancing. And my binoculars show signs of chromatic error. There's a rainbow in the white.
The Kite or whatever it is, is not on the boards, so I don't know what is was. Looks like a red kite.
In Obernberg I find a "konditorei", and they have cappucino and fruit pie as a special offer.
At this time the sky is getting dark to the south. The weather is changing as predicted - unfortunately.
Up comes some gradients to areas where dikes are not needed and the track continues to wind through the landscape. When I reach Schäding I expect a sign with: Passau 5 km, but rather not: Passau 15 km. Once I have to push the bike uphill - and that's hard enough. There are two obstacles on the hill, probably to prevent people from rolling all the way down, which would give too much speed.
When I get nearer I pick an elderly man on bike to ask for a camping site. To make sure I don't pass by one by mistake... Is he from around here? Yes, certainly. And soon after we're talking - he'll show me the way, he's going to pass by anyway.
When we get to town, he's in the lead, and I just have to follow. When he turns around and I hear him say: "Pissoir", I have to ask: "Bitte?" But I WAS right. He has to stop to pee. Just wait a second...
My first impression of Passau is overwhelming. What had I expected? Nothing much. Just a town at the Donau. It's charming, with old houses, narrow streets and a whole lot of churches and bridges. It's actually divided into four parts by the rivers Inn, Donau and Ilz. To get to the camping site we first have to cross the Inn, then the Donau and finally the Ilz.
All this I know now. At the time I was busy just keeping up.
He reminds me a little of my new friend Hans, but is maybe a little older. Old enough to stare at every female we meet without shame. It made ME feel ashamed.
In the site arrives a german from Berlin shortly after me. With a tent and a bicycle too.
I go by bike across a couple of bridges. Am not sure if I'm on an island or? But I think it's the Inn river in front of me, so I ask a woman to be sure. She doesn't know - take it to be the Donau. Plead that she's only lived here for 3 yearss... A man fishing knows and I continue along the path to the "corner", where Inn and Donau meet. Young people meet here to talk or eat or share a bottle of wine...
116.81 km (121.77 km)