30th July

After a good breakfast we headed out of Emmerich past the park of the previous night’s revelries. Our friend the wind, which for most of the time so far had been on our backs became our enemy today as it had swung 180° overnight. It whipped across the flat fields and made the going really hard, there being nothing much in the way of hedges to break its onslaught.

Our hotel owner had told us there would be nothing open in Emmerich when we left but there would be somewhere in Rees. We didn’t deviate to go looking for shops in Rees and didn’t pass anything open. At Haldern we stopped at a sports field in the hope of finding a loo for Karon to use. An old fellow walking his dog pointed us away from the locked changing rooms to a little hut on the far side of the sports field. It turned out to be a shooting club and a few 20-somethings were outside. Karon disappeared into the hut while I chatted with the guys outside.

I neglected to restart the trip log on my iPhone when we got going again and it was about seven miles before I realised – that explains the dead straight line which ends just under half-way through the day’s ride.

At Dierfordt, not far before Wesel we turned away from the road as I had spotted a sign for a German War Grave. we took the opportunity to eat some chocolate and while Karon sat on a bench I wandered in to the cemetary. There are 536 graves of German soldiers who died trying to prevent the US and British forces from crossing the Rhine in March 1945. There are also two Dutch graves of victims of the artillery bombardment.

Shortly after, we pedalled into Wesel where we found a riverside café. With the bike secured we enjoyed a good lunch as the place rapidly filled and we congratulated ourselves on arriving just at the right time.

It was warm as we made our way through Duisburg and its outskirts. We only had a few miles to go but were glad of a cold drink and pastry when we came across an open café, sitting outside, enjoying some welcome sun.

We had to wander for our supper, as I think we were the only guests in the hotel, so the restaurant was closed. Still, an Italian restaurant overlooking the Bertasee rowing lakes was recommended and enjoyed.

45.6 miles today, total 191.4 miles.

Hotel am Stadion provided our bed for the night in Duisburg. We were given a small apartment for the night, adjoining the main building and the sizeable bathroom meant we could rinse out some kit and hang it over the bath to drip dry.