I was in high spirits as I left Innsbruck, despite the return of the rain and armed with a free map guide to the Innradweg (Inn Valley Way) I was hoping to make good time to Passau. Maybe I’m not easily pleased though, because this cycle way was far and away the worst I’ve experienced in my travels to date. I can understand anyone’s (including mine) frustration when signs are missing, but my main gripe is the whole route is just boring, plain and simple. There are a few highlights along the way (which you often have to leave the trail to see), but in the main I just got fed up of kilometer after kilometer of track with nothing to see – as in the picture below:
The missing (or maybe non-existent) signs were a pain, I’m pretty sure if the whole route didn’t follow a river (the Inn) it would be impossible to navigate and when I eventually tried riding away from the river I found hills up to 16% reguarly – not fun with my cargo. It’s saving grace is that it’s a pretty direct way to Passau, so I’ll stop my moaning and inform my readers that I eventually got there safely, but not without getting lost a few times – see below:
Hopelessly lost, I headed across this muddy field (the previous night we had torrential rain) and made my way towards what looked like a picnic area complete with shed and my first sight of a human being for some hours. My progress was being watched (and recorded!) with much mirth by a kindly German called Arnulf, who when I explained my predicament asked if I wanted a beer? You can see from the following picture my answer:
We chatted for what seemed like an age, before Arnulf invited me to stay for a barbecue as he had family and guests arriving in a couple of hours. Sadly I declined, I was already well away from my destination for the day and felt I needed to get some cycling done. We agreed to keep in touch and Arnulf’s picture above is evidence we will. If you’re reading this, thank you so much.
Speaking of keeping in touch, here’s a picture for one of my previous host’s, Martin. I know he builds his own recumbents, so thought he might appreciate me keeping a lookout for them and this jolly cyclist was happy to oblige when I pointed my camera at him.
As I mentioned above, I found the cycle way generally kept you away from the sights, so I did spend some time looking for subjects (and objects) to photograph. Here are a few I took when not getting lost!
I love wall art and spotted this bloody scene as I stopped for lunch in Simbach.
Scharding was across the other side of the river so I didn’t get to ride through the town, but it did look amazing with it’s vibrant colours.
My route guide came with pictures and the one of Passau looked pretty nice, so I took the same picture from the same spot:
It’s a beautiful place where 3 rivers all converge, the Inn, the Danube and the Liz. As I rode along the river front making my way to the tourist office it became pretty obvious that this is a major tourist destination and it was pretty busy today. I was able to purchase a radkarte (cycle map) from the tourist office for the next part of my journey, Passau to Bratislava and also left with directions to a nearby inexpensive camp site – inexpensive because it was basic with no wifi. Oh well, the scenery made up for that!
Once the tent was pitched I wandered around and was surprised to see this boat so empty, I think if I was a visiting tourist I’d almost certainly want to take a trip on the river(s), though I couldn’t find a price despite my best efforts.
One last picture, St Stephen’s Cathedral dominates the old town’s skyline:
I met a few fellow cyclists at the campsite and the following day when I left shared riding with a great guy from Rumania, more about that in the next blog. Also of note and deserving of mention is a kind German called Christof who may read this. I met him when I wild camped next to his hut in torrential rain and the next morning when he arrived was given coffee – thanks again.
Next up the Danube bike trail, I can’t wait…