Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
Trip End Aug 29, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Upper Austria,
Thursday, July 25, 2013

It finally came. Had not seen a drop of it since arriving in Paris July 4th. We first got just a little drizzle Wednesday morning just after packing up our tents in Straubing. Just enough to clear some of the dust and enhance the smell of the freshly cut wheat in the fields that we passed in the morning.
But then....the torrents came. We were just finishing a nice dinner outside at the campground in Passau when the winds picked up and the thunder started. I was able to take refuge in my tent as the rain slowly increased in volume, eventually pounding my tent as the sky above flashed light on the rainfly that enveloped my nicely screened quarter- dome tent. "Rainfly" - I gave that word all my confidence; after all, it was produced by REI, my Mecca, my gear heaven, my sanctuary for being one with fashionable technical clothing and comfortable shoes. Alas, my confidence was shaken when my tent began to leak. The leakage was quite minor, nothing a towel couldn't take care of- but my consumer's heart was broken. In the meantime, hopefully some seam sealer will do the trick because I truly love the feeling of being in my little cocoon at night, listening to the sounds of night but safe from the elements.
Ironically, that same campground was many feet under water several weeks ago when the Danube overflowed it's banks after heavy rains. Apparently Passau was hit hard with major flood damage though you can't tell now. They've cleaned up very quickly.
After leaving the campground on a beautiful misty morning, we crossed the border into Austria and are now in the town of Linz. It was a beautiful ride along the river and we passed through the town of Ottensheim where they are holding the World Rowing Championship for under 23. There are rowing teams from all over the world converged there.
We are at a very nice campsite with a beautiful lake and Steve, Lisa and I swam about a half-mile round trip out to a floating dock and enjoyed the sun for a while. I tried to talk them into a little jog so that we could claim an Austrian triathlon but they appeared to be more interested in a shower and dinner. Such normal people!!!!
The forecast is for sun all the way to Vienna where we will have a hotel for 3 nights! I do enjoy the camping - regardless of where we are, it is just difficult to live out of a 90L bag every day. At the hotel, I will have access to my "permanent" bag and a hair dryer! Yay! I may even shop for a dress.
We are approx 700 miles into our 2300 mile trip. It is going by so fast and even though cycling and camping sounds like work, I don't think I have ever felt more relaxed. Daily ice cream doesn't hurt. I miss my girls and my peeps - you know who you are...
And tomorrow we ride...
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Claudia on

Love cycling and visiting Germany vicariously through you! Sounds like you are having a wonderful trip. Enjoy every minute!

Steve on

Austria is so cool and exotic. I love those wallabies and kangaroos. Could you bring me a koala bear ?? Oh wait.. Austria . Uh never mind

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