Day 7

29th August – Nideggen to Nistertal

It was still dark when David and Janet set out on the first leg of our penultimate day.  Head torch at the ready they set off down the hill. It was a beautiful 10k through deserted countryside passing just a solitary dog walker.  No one else in their right mind would be out at that time in the morning! (Ed: except the rather surprised lady who went out in her dressing gown to sort her recycling only to find a bunch of us right there waiting for Janet and David’s arrival)

Janet handed the baton over to Adrian H (standing in for Steve who needed a later start due to his exploits the previous evening). David, a glutton for punishment accompanied him on the first two legs before Adrian continued on his own for a further three legs.

Desperate searches for toilets and places open for coffee or breakfast proved fruitless – it was either too early or the villages we passed through were too small. Finally the small town of Euskirchen provided a supermarket with a coffee machine and some rather dodgy toilets.

The early party met up with Rob and Emma on the outskirts of another small village, ready for Sarah and Rob to set off on their first leg of the day. Later we met up the the white bus, who had been able to have a bit of a lie-in and make the most of the youth hostel breakfast.

A ferry crossing of the Rhine was scheduled for later in the morning. As we were unsure of how long this would take, and conscious that we still had a lot of kilometres to cover, the black bus headed for the crossing point.  In fact there was hardly any wait, and a very friendly ticket-man chatted to us about our exploits. (We gave him a T-shirt so Rob is hopeful that he will be tempted to buy a Millgate home someday). Parked up on the other bank, in another search for toilets, the black bus were surprised to see the white bus already on the ferry? But where were Sam & Fiona?  They were still running and had been abandoned on the far side, without any means of paying for their crossing. Oops! But we managed to sort it, by charming the ticket guy, and all was well.

So the black bus set off, to support future runners. We all thought the bus seemed a bit empty ( and quiet!) but none of us twigged for 40 minutes that we had forgotten Lorraine! Another Oops! Fortunately Lorraine managed to flag down the other bus and all was well (again).

The afternoon went amazingly smoothly. Navigation issues seemed to be a thing of the past. Perhaps we had all learned a lesson from Stan and Steve’s exploits the previous evening. Annie and Sam avoided having to do a long diversion due to a building site as Annie managed to sweet-talk the construction workers and they were let through.  A precarious walk over boarding and some rather muddy trainers was preferable to many extra kms.

So we arrived in good time in Nistertal, despite the long day of 130 km. Nistertal is lovely, and the hotel even has a pool, which was welcomed by some, whilst others of us decided that the bar looked rather nice. It is amazing to think we will be in Giessen tomorrow (hopefully!). We are all really looking forward to meeting the German runners again.

So, onwards to Day 8…..