Waking up to the sound of rain at 3am was repeated throughout the early hours of the morning until we finally got out of bed at 6am. Hot showers and porridge helped warm us up before we began to pack away our soggy tents. We attempted to take shelter and wait out the rain but it didn't seem to be stopping. After two and a half miles Andy experienced a second flat tire. Three miles later the rain became so severe that visibility was limited and we could barely see the bike in front of us.
We took shelter in a cafe, and enjoyed a 45 minute latte break before the rain clouds finally calmed down and we were able to set off once again. The use of free WiFi in the cafe helped us plan our route out of Best which was slow and wet to say the least.
A break in the poor weather let us clock up a few miles before stopping in a petrol station to stock up on essential energy food and to get some lunch. By this point in the trip we were all beginning to realise how much food we needed to make it through each day.
After a long section of straight and boring roads, Ed and Andy spotted a BMX track hidden behind some trees and couldn't wait to test out their road bikes on it. Unfortunately, they hadn't taken into account that their kit wasn't cut out for the bumps and jumps that they attempted and lost a few items along the way!
Although the bad weather and dirt track had slowed our progress we still wanted to make it to the German border before it got dark.
We pushed on for around 35 miles before seeing the sign "Willkommen in Deutschland". We had made it through 3 countries in as many days, but we were now running out of time with no campsite planned!
We stood looking at a map, but it gave us no help. We then stopped a jogger and (in Andy's best German) proceeded to ask if she knew a place we could camp. She said that she couldn't help us. In fact she didn't know of any campsites within 10km. We had already been impressed by the kindness of strangers on the continent, but were impressed further when the woman offered to go back to her house and get her English speaking son to print us off a map to a campsite and also explain the directions.
The campsite they directed us to was 12km away in a small border town called Goch. The campsite was in the middle of the woods and was closed. Luckily for us Ed had noticed a few caravans turning off the main road 10 minutes earlier, so we headed back down to find out if there was a campsite we could stay at. We found a council run caravan site, which appeared to be caravans only. We only suspected this as all the people staying there were staring at us out their windows. We didn't have to pay for the site though in the end as the office was closed which was a plus! The site also had no toilets or showers though which wasn't good. Jess had to make a short trip back into town to get some painkillers and use the toilet as she wasn't feeling very well. We made spaghetti for dinner before the rain started again and we had to retreat to our tents.
Total miles: 56.07
Time in the saddle: 4h 22m
Total time: 12h