Day 5-1. Wingst to Meldorf.
Distance D 101.19 km Max 38.0 km/h Time 6.44:18 Average 15.0 km/h
Distance S 101.96 km Max 39.0 km/h Time 6.21:16 Average 16.0 km/h
Something was a bit strange when we awoke. It was very light and warm inside the tent. Outside there was this big, round, bright thing in the bright blue sky. This was a good start to the day and by half past eight we were ready to go.
All we had to do this morning was find our way from Wingst to Hemmoor along the NSCR and then cut off to Altendorf and rejoin the NSCR near Wischhaven and take the ferry to Glückstad. We started brightly at a good tempo and went off, in what we thought was the right direction. After twenty minutes we had to admit that we were lost. Not lost in absolute terms, such as ending up in the Hindu Kush instead of East Grimstead, but relatively speaking, lost.
A half hour after setting off, we arrived back in Wingst, having cycled eight kilometres and were now a whole two kilometres closer to Hemmoor than when we left the campsite. We consulted our maps and cycled back and forth on this section of road, looking for signs. Some educated guesswork took us back into the forest where we found some cycle signs. Hanging off the regular cycle route signs were a pair of those lovely blue NSCR signs. I almost hugged them. We were back on track. The forest itself was nice but hard going with a mixture of boggy sections and hard stone strewn sections.
This meant that we didn't really start making good progress until over an hour after we'd started cycling and popped out of Forst Wingst. Then we cut across open countryside and an hour and a half after leaving Campingpark Wingst we entered Hemmoor. It didn't take long for us to pass through the village, even given the encouragements to observe the speed limits. We cycled past the electricity sub-station, up a small hill and then into suburban Hemmoor, following the cycle route signs across this roundabout. When we hit the B495 we turned left towards Osten where we would cross the Oste river.
There were two ways of doing this. We took the bridge on the B495 and stopped to look at the other crossing. The alternative was the Osten Transporter Bridge, a fairly amazing piece of early 20th Century engineering, a combination of a bridge and a ferry. Stan stopped to watch the gondola make its way across the Oste, having never seen anything like it before. Apparently it was in regular use until 1974 but is now only used as a tourist attraction. With this bit of excitement over and done with we carried on along the B495 towards Altendorf.
We were now no longer following the NSCR and were once again cycling through open countryside on the cycle path next to the road. At some point the cycle path crossed the road which meant cycling close to oncoming traffic before we turned off the main road back onto an official cycle route. This took us round the edge of Wischhafen onto the NSCR and towards the ferry. At eleven we noticed a queue of cars forming on the road, and realised we were close to the ferry. Soon we saw the ferry and it was taking on cars so we raced to the terminal, and managed to get onto the ferry. That saved us waiting for the next one.