DAY ELEVEN - Bremen to Buchholz

We had now camped in the wet for the last 4 days so it was great to wake up again in a warm dry bed. We had set the alarms for 7am, and breakfast was served at 7:30am. We had toast, jam, cheese, eggs and sliced meats. A great way to begin another day in the saddle.

We used a hairdryer to dry our shoes as they were still wet from the night before. It seemed a fruitless task though as the weather forecast for day looked bad and it was already spitting outside. Ironically, the website we used to check the forecast was called www.wetter.de. With our raincoats on we headed out the door and said goodbye to Joey.

We were using carrier bags in our shoes to try and stop our feet from getting soaked but after a while they begin to serve no purpose other than to make us look silly, especially squelching through supermarkets.

After sheltering from (what we thought was) the worst of the rain in a bus shelter we found a supermarket to get the usual daily dosage of cereal bars and other energy rich goodies. We also grabbed a coffee and a toilet break before leaving again.

The roads out of Bremen were really good. With the exception of one dirt track, we sailed across the smooth tarmac. We were soaked through but had a lot of fun singing Bohemian Rhapsody amongst other songs as we passed through some very sparse farmland. We stopped for lunch in Rottenburg and had trouble finding our way through the towns and villages of Otter, Ottersburg and Ottermoor but eventually reached a supermarket in Handeloh to grab dinner and ask after a campsite.

The guy who worked there was incredibly helpful. He gave us his map and let us keep it. He pointed out that the next campsite in a place beginning with 'b' was 7km north in Buchholz or 'Buchholz in der Nordheide' to use it's full name.

The campsite was huge, it had hot showers, a restaurant, a playpark and a beautiful enormous lake! We set up the tents and had a beer and some food before taking a walk around. We saw some people swimming in the lake and decided that we should go in too. It was freezing cold and full of massive fish but we had a lot of fun and can highly recommend night-swimming in German lakes! We all made use of the hot showers after our little dip and then a few of us went and sat out on the lakeside. The full moon lit up the water and it was almost completely silent. It was a lovely experience and probably one of the nicest nights of the trip. Above all else it was dry!

Dyfan ingeniously strapped our shoes to the tree with bungee cord to dry them overnight and we settled down for night five in the tents.

Total miles: 65
Time in the saddle: 4h 50m
Total time: 10h 15m

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