Yesterday started with a beautiful stretch slightly uphill along a brook, then I turned off towards Schwarzenberg on the road. I think there must have been a cycle track somewhere but the road wasn’t busy. It became very steep and I had to push a couple of times. At the top I got a surprise – there was a cycle track, which gently meandered down the other side. In the valley I stopped to consult my maps, when a lady with a bike asked if she could help me. She seemed confused by the way I wanted to go and offered to accompany me and show me the way. Apparently the way I had chosen would have taken me onto a main road (although I doubt it very much. She took me about 10 kms. on a very hilly route and we had so much to talk about. She had done several longish cycle trips herself, when she was younger (she is now 72!). She asked me if she could hug me as we parted! Shortly afterwards I had to push up a very steep hill, which she had warned me about but it would have been an almost perfect day if it hadn’t been for the thunder storm, which started about 14 kms. before Plauen. I sheltered until the thunder and lightning had stopped, put my rain covers on and set off in the rain, but it was coming down so hard that I stopped again in the next village at a bus shelter. There was a man in there already, who insisted on showing me a good way into the town. Despite the weather I was here at about 5 p.m.
Sunday 27th July, Wallenfels-Plauen, 76,33 km., 897 m. climb, 6:21:19 bike-time