The previous evening in Strasbourg we had a met a kind of a doppelganger couple. She was from Canada and he was from the UK (I’m Australian and Emilie is Canadian*), they had two boys the same age as our girls and they were cycling the same route. Rather than an enclosed trailer, their boys were on a Weehoo trailer where the older one could pedal. The kids really hit it off and we enjoyed a couple of beers and dinner with them. Plans were made to meet at the next camp spot so that the kids could play.
Out of Strasbourg we again enjoyed the cycling lanes and met the side of the canal to head north out of town. We past our doppelganger couple, who had stopped for a minor repair and grocery shop. We continued to enjoy beautiful weather that verged on being hot for cycling.
After about 20 km we re-joined the bank of the Rhine River proper. We spent most of the day either on very heavy gravel tracks which run along the bank or just off the river on minor secondary roads. We past through many of the quarry and cement works which line this part of the river, and a couple of WWII pillboxes. It was a day a cycling not filled with the amazing scenery we had come to expect but it was pleasant enough.
As we approached the end of the day we made for the campsite Camping les Peupliers, which I had assumed was the agreed upon meeting venue. This was one occasion, of a couple, where we discovered that using Google maps to give directions was unreliable for cycling. We had to double back on ourselves several times after being directed onto impassable or closed access roads through fields. Although I succumbed to the ease of simply asking Google a few times throughout the rest of the trip, invariably it was a more reliable idea to use OpenCycleMap and direct manually. Finally we made it to the campsite after having to skirt around the town along a road with lots of fast moving traffic.
Upon arrival, we found a closed reception office but were greeted after some time by a fairly gruff but friendly man. He directed us to where we could set up our tent and told us to come back later to pay. When Emilie finally did return, he said not to worry about paying. Whilst this was most generous, we were also happy to have not paid for the privilege of staying. Emilie described the campground as having a “walking dead kind of atmosphere”; the grounds were mostly empty but those that were there had been residents for the entire summer it seemed. The facilities were poorly lit and in shabby condition. After a few hours, we also realised that there had been some miscommunication about the camp site we were meant to have met up with the couple we had met the previous day, so the girls missed out and were bitterly disappointed.
To see the route, elevation profile, etc., click the link to Ride with GPS below (it should be able to be embedded but WordPress does not allow this).
*Quebec to be precise but that is a whole other story.