|Journal for 16-aug : Portage|
Woke early and got myself packed. Made it to bike shop via airport lost & found for the last time. No joy finding my helmet, so off to the bike shop for a new one. Bike shop didn't open till 9:00am so a later start than hoped for. Did some shopping and pooing while waiting.
The only thing ZURICH Airport is missing is a light rail link. That's under construction.
Clover bike path to supermarket. Tight circle down, broad one up.
Slow going but great riding past the airport and down a canal, often on unpaved tow roads. Slow going because I feel the need to stop & photograph everything.
Easy navigation on bike routes thanks to wonderful signage. These bike routes are (in the main) fantastic. The signs describe Switzerland as Veloland (bike land) and they are not far wrong.
Covered bridges over the canal I was following.
Gas Station built out of old farm house.
Swiss roads have poor visibility in places, a problem addressed with a system of mirrors.
Made it to the Rhine proper, stopped to photograph a beautiful old building, which is now a hydro power station.
Rhine Veloroute mostly fantastic bike
path/ bike lanes, with the occasional massive dirt/gravel road deviations.
Passed lots of little train stations.
Kindergarten with 30 tiny bikes outside.
Met old swiss lady whose sister lives in Sydney while snacking by the Rhine.
Feel $1mil on bike today.
Bike path degrades to narrow single track gravel path - by massive
nuckular nuclear power station.
Long deviation through undeveloped forested country by th Rhine. "Waldstrasser", literally "wild street". All gravely dirt, but magical scenery.
Wood piles for wood burning heaters everywhere.
Lunch on water's edge.
Rail wagon factory.
Realised I was struggling to reach the Basel bike shop I needed before 5pm, so pushed pretty hard. Only lost the radweg once. (I needn't have bothered as it was open till 6:30).
Cute light rail system in Basel.
Got chain lube and snacks in Basel, but had to go to station to change money. Over 1000 bikes in the one of 3 station bikes paths.
Stunt Kayakers by veloroute route.
Unsealed canal tow road very flat and very fast but pretty muddy.
Mer cool guy Holger & exchanged chocolate stories while we ate some.
Rode like a madman to reach awful campground at Bantzenheim just before 8:30 (sunset at 9:00pm)
Started to rain in camp.
Nearly left good top/jumper at hostel.
Raining still as I left.
Reached bike path into town (the long way).
Saw a moose with two offspring in first 1k of path!
Reached Cook's Monument for the official start. Got photo among 50 Japanese tourists. One took a pic for me, he is living in Oz: gold coast.
Slow going but pretty easy traffic riding out of town.
Got to the Seward highway proper and realised I'd forgotten to go the AAA to get maps.
Great shoreline riding, dead flat, despite headwind and traffic noise.
Passed by several road trains.
Portage Valley incredibly beautiful.
Overtaken by a car which then instantly stopped and pulled over in front of me. Why? A black bear was scurrying across the road ahead of us.
Stopped to watch Salmon spawning (actually just fighting).
Saw bald eagle (ranger identified it for me) from visitors centre.
Actual Portage glacier not visible, it has retreated back around a corner. Had to make do with the 5 other glaciers in the area.
Finally relented and gave away some of my food to (yet another) homeless person asking for it. I really didn't needed another 200g of jelly beans.
Took months to prepare dinner, harassed by squirrel.
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