2. Jul, 2016

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SATURDAY 02-07-16

We had some fairly heavy rain during the latter part of the night. It's not what we would have wanted but it will help to disguise my grey water puddles.

I managed to finish the box of ghastly, sickly chocolate muesli whilst waiting for my turn in the shower. It's only small but we have a very cleverly designed shower and toilet compartment, and the shower unit will deliver a very pleasant shower, though you have to be a bit sparing with how much water is used as the boiler only holds ten litres. So what we do is heat it to 60°C, so that it needs more cold water adding to it to make it comfortable, and thus buying more showering time.

Having created yet more grey water it was necessary to irrigate the vines again. I did this while The Chef went up to the house to pay our dues. We were on the road at about 10:00 heading north towards a campsite at Bernkastel-Kues on the edge of the Mosel river.

Once we were clear of Trier, which was a much bigger town than I had expected, we settled down to a steady cruise along the A53 road which runs pretty much along the side of the river. The whole Mosel Valley trip up to Koblenz is only 162 miles, and so we're going to have to try and make it last a few days. The theory is that if we see somewhere nice we'll pull over and have a look.

So that's what we did, we drove along the side of the bendy wide river with very steep hills planted with grapevines, millions of them. That was fine for a while, but then it was just more of the same.

The campsite, whilst advertising itself as being in Bernkastel-Kues is in fact 3km the other side of it. That's a pretty important 3km when you don't have an alternative means of transport. Passing through it I was reminded of a very wet holiday I spent with my young daughters at Lake Windermere many moons ago.

We set up in this grubby campsite before two things happened, the sun finally came out, and we went for a walk. It took us through the centre of the village before we turned to get down to the Mosel river and walk back that way. Quite pleasant, but not breathtaking.

In the village we passed a war memorial dedicated to the German dead of both World Wars, there were quite a few names there, especially as this is only a small community, and all for nothing in the end. That's the madness of war.

We both said during the walk how disappointed we have been with Germany so far. Granted it's only a very small part of the country but we expected it to be cleaner and the campsites of a much higher standard. When we returned 'home' we got the folding chairs out and enjoyed a bit of sunshine while it lasted. At 17:00 the Reception Office opened and the Chef could register us and pay. While she was up there it started to rain and so I popped a Mac up there to her as she waited in the queue.

On her return she told me she'd bought an hour's Wi-Fi connection and as the electricity is metered they have to read it before we leave and pay them then. She estimates our one begrudging nights stay here will cost about €20. I think it is now likely that the tour up the side of the Mosel will be hastened, allowing us to go beyond Koblenz to Remagen, home of the bridge featured in a famous WW11 battle.

From there I think we'll head to Mons and then Ypres in Belgium to use up our time. If necessary we'll hire bikes for a day or so.