27th July

The 2017 International Tandem Rally (ITR) was held in the small German village of Oberhausen an der Nahe. The river Nahe is the next tributary of the Rhine south of the Mosel and as any cyclist will tell, following rivers usually means fewer hills. And so, following our retirement in June, Karon and I decided we would take the time to ride to the ITR on our Hase Pino. I also added to our itinary a visit to Lippstadt where I was stationed while serving in the Royal Artillery some 40-odd years ago. There was to be a big garrison reunion in the town, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the closure of the barracks – when they were handed back to the local community.

We opted for an overnight outbound ferry (Stenna) so we would have plenty of time to get to Harwich, park, get the bike and luggage sorted and find the ferry terminal. As it was, we had time to find a pub and have some food before heading into the port for the 2300 hrs departure.

After departing the ferry at about 8.00am we picked up the riverside cyclepath and headed for Dordrecht,

our first night stop. A strong tailwind helped us start at a good pace and we made pretty good progress, along with a family of Mum, Dad and two boys all on solos, who had also crossed on the same ferry.

At Vlaardingen we hunted out a canalside café (as much for the loo as the cofee) and then a supermarket to buy some bottled water and snacks for a later lunch. Getting through Rotterdam was tricky, as it was easy to miss the Rhine Cycle Route (RCR) signs and a couple of times we did just that, needing to refer to our guidebook maps to get back on track.

By the time we reached our hotel we had clocked up just under 42 miles in four and three quarter hour’s cycling time.

The overnight cabin – a tight double and single bunk with en-suite.

Hotel de Watertoren in Dordrecht. Unusual and novel – only 6 rooms, each on it’s own floor.