No one thought this would be easy but……

We knew we had a hard day ahead of us and left our beautiful lakeside hotel just after 9am, fuelled up with enormous breakfasts of fruit, yogurt and cheese (with a sneaky additional cheese roll for each of us)

Starting out along the shore to Radolfzell we through a small market garden area with various stalls selling local produce, we rather liked the stylish idea of onion bouquets

Then we turned inland across to the Mindelsee nature reserve and our Mountain Stage. We puffed our way up the first steep hill, some pushing of bikes was involved, before freewheeling down the other side. It’s quite disheartening when you know you’ve only got to go back up again.

There have been a lot of apple and pear trees alongside our route and plenty are dotted around the nature reserve and we were fascinated to watch the fruit collection. The apples are to be juiced and fermented into apfelwein a speciality of the area which we have yet to try.

We had a 50m climb over 6km which doesn’t sound much until you do it. The next climb was hard but no bike pushing was involved. Kim looked at the route profile and blithely announced ‘we’ve done it, that’s the worst over’ before turning a corner and realising the final, steepest section was still ahead of us.

Further bike pushing was involved but, with a sense of pride, we realised we had only been passed by e-bikes and we all know that’s cheating!

Our makeshift lunch was eaten outside a small PostOffice in Stahringen. Take away coffee was available but nothing for fussy tea drinkers as a result, the break was short! It was already 1:30 and we weren’t even halfway round. At least we had a steep downhill section to make up time.

Finally, the lake came back into view and we treated ourselves to a refreshment/beer stop with only 20km to go. It was lovely to sit and relax in the sunshine but that last 20km was hard. We had got to the stage that any slight incline was hard going and heaved a sigh of relief when we could legitimately push our bikes through the pedestrian only streets of Uberlingen

We arrived in Muhlhofen just after 5pm and the hotel was a welcome sight. Our hotel is 5km off the route and it was an unexpectedly hilly ride. There have been heated debates over the distance cycled, ranging from 34 to 42 miles. Whatever the truth, it’s been a blooming long way and very hard work. Tomorrow should be less than 20 miles but we have planned a detour to a museum. We won’t know if that’s a good idea for another 24 hours.

It’s an early night for us, having been well fed in the hotel restaurant, to rest our weary legs. If you ever find yourselves in Muhlhofen, we recommend Hotel Sternen, the service was friendly and they serve huge plates of delicious, well cooked food

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