We woke up to another wet morning, some of us resisting the 6am wakeup call for as long as possible! Ed and Dyfan rode ahead to find somewhere nice to get breakfast whilst the rest of us finished packing up - I swear the amount of stuff we were carrying had multiplied...
After some pastries and strong coffee, we had a quick look at a map in a local shop and set off towards Luneberg (our lunchtime destination). We passed through lots of small villages, one in particular caught our eye as there were many horse-drawn carriages passing by us and using the cycle route which meant we cycled mainly on-road. The weather was looking good and we were setting a good pace, especially Jess who'd found a burst of energy from somewhere and was flying up the hills en route. That was until... A PUNCTURE! At the top of the next hill, Matt also realised he had snapped a spoke, Andy was trying to true his slightly bent rear wheel and Jess was replacing her inner tube. We stopped for around 20 minutes and had an audience of German children heckling us as we worked!
We made it Luneberg in good time and rewarded ourselves with a traditional German fish and chips for lunch! Whilst we tried to eat we were accosted by an elderly gentlemen who tried to tell us that children in the UK were rioting because they weren't free enough and were too controlled by their parents. It was a very awkward one-sided conversation. After lunch we sat down for coffee in the town square and noticed two touring cyclists with extremely packed bikes. They came over and we found out they were Canadian and aiming for Berlin too and would be cycling the same route as us for the next day or two. They left Luneberg just before us but we would see them on the road several times again that day.
Coming out of Luneberg was a little confusing and at one point we almost ended up on the autobahn (motorway)! After a water stop a few towns along we bumped into the Canadians again who bought us an Ice Cream each. The sun was boiling hot and we desperately needed to top up our sun lotion too - our tan lines were interesting to say the least!
The next stretch of the day's journey was very scenic, at least twenty miles of national park stood between the towns of Dahlenburg and Dannenburg and we enjoyed the rolling hills through the forest. Sadly, this wasn't to be Jess' day and during one climb her rear derailleur gave up and refused to change gear. Despite our best efforts it was clear that it was beyond adjustment and because it was getting late and the next day was Sunday we also wouldn't be able to find an open Bike Shop. Jess decided to ride off ahead as she knew she wouldn't be able to keep up a good pace riding in one gear on the hilly path.
It was going to take too long to get to Breese so we carried on through the last few miles of the day, and decided to finish in Dannenburg. We found a campsite after we picked up food and beer. The reception was over the road in the public swimming pool, so as we set up the tents Ed and Andy went to book us in. They were very excited when they returned. They had bumped into the Canadian guys from earlier, and had invited them back to the campsite to stay with us. We ate dinner and played cards and other games before we headed in for bed. It was great to have some international company.
Total miles: 66.2
Time in the saddle: 4h 45m
Total time: 9h 45m