Friday, 3 August - Day 2: Brühl, DE - Meerbusch, DE
Today: 107,14 km (66.6 miles)
Trip to date: 189,71 km (117.9 miles)
I got off to an early start on the second day and got to the Rhein in Wesseling after about an hour. Actually, I was quite near to Bonn. There was some construction on the bicycle path, and a local man out walking his dog recommended that I take the route on the other side of the river. He said it was in better condition and more scenic, and gave me directions to a pedestrian ferry a short distance away.
I took his advice and am glad I did. The path was in quite good condition, and I could see that the side of the Rhine I had been on was much more industrial and congested at this point. Though I rode through some nice, shady sections, the scenery on this part of the Rhein is still not nearly as nice as in the south and in Switzerland.
The low water level on the Rhein was quite visible. The riverboats transporting commercial goods are high in the water.
I heard they were mostly travelling with only 50% loads. During normal times you see them with the water almost to the deck level. I think another year like this one and commercial traffic on the Rhein may grind to a halt. Perhaps even
some of the larger tourist boats wouldn't be able to operate.
The temperatures on this day got up into the high 30s C (low 100s F). That, plus the long distance, made the part from just before Neuss to the campground tough. Along the way I drank 5.5 liters of water, 2/3 of a liter of bitter lemon, 1 liter multi-vitamin juice, and 1 liter of alcohol free Weissbier! Yipes!
At the campground in Meerbusch I met a family of five from Ottawa, Canada. They had already been cycle touring for six weeks and had two more weeks to go. The parents are both school teachers. The children were two girls, 10 and 12, and a boy 14. They had already ridden the EuroVelo 6 route along the Loire, the Saône and the Doubs rivers through France to Switzerland. There they rode by train to Andermatt, CH where they started the EuroVelo 15 Rhein route. That is the route I started last year and will finish this year. Once they complete the Rhein route, they plan to head south to Brussels, BE for their flight back to Ottawa.