I awoke happy to be off, though sad to leave the hostel of endless-free-cappuccinos.
First hitch: my panniers didn't fit on the new rack, and I had to remove the sideways guard thingies to get them on. Second hitch: my gears are still grumpy from time to time, though better than they were - weirdly for a while they work perfectly then for a while they don't. Ah well maybe Horace and I just need to learn to live with this imperfection.
Cycling the actual Rhine river path, for the first time, is fantastic. For one thing, it's hard to get lost... For another, there are clearly quite a lot of other long-distance cyclists on it, so I think the chances of bumping into similar folks is getting higher. Finally, the river is a mecca for cafés and beer gardens so I think it's going to be easy to stay happily fed and watered.
I stopped for lunch in one such Biergarten in the middle of Bonn, where alcohol-free wheat beer (here called weizenbeer) was the cheapest liquid on the menu. Now that's civilised! My offline translater app seems just as, ahem, effective in German as in Spanish. I ordered bean soup which, according to my app, came with bread and arch support.
The cycling was easy and pleasant, and basically consisted of off-road paved paths across meadows and along the promenades of towns. I took it slowly, partly to try and rest my knee, but also because I felt lazy and was enjoying the scenery. The biggest hazards today were willow fluff and aphids, both of which were everywhere, coating everything, and sticking to my slightly sweaty legs and arms.
The Rhine river route is signposted from time to time but funnily enough the most consistent signposting has been the scallop shell! Yes this too must be part of the Camino network (here signposted Jakobsweg or Pilgerweg).
I am feeling a bit crippled, language-wise. It makes it all a bit more 'experimental'. But I guess over time the most crucial words will sink in.
My second night of camping tonight, and it's definitely going to be a warmer experience: currently forecast not to drop below 17 degrees! I'm in a campground up a tiny steep valley called the Rheineck. As seems to be the way, 95% of the campers look to be long-term guests in static caravans, but there are actually two other cyclocampers present (albeit at the very far end from me). The campsite also has a washing machine and tumble dryer so that has made me a happy camper!
Popped into town for a pizza and beer and now heading for an early night. The loudest thing here is birdsong. Perfect!