Today did not start well. Angie woke up during the night with a headache and nausea, and she was up half the night feeling ill. She couldn’t even think of eating breakfast this morning so I went to the breakfast room alone. However, I did have this little guy for company for a while.
I was worried that Angie wouldn’t want to or be able to ride. The guesthouse owner did tell me we could stay an extra day if need be, but if you’re going to be sick and spending a day somewhere, you don’t want it to be a one-horse town like Wallsee I’m afraid. Angie did think she was well enough to make a go of it, so we set off, stopping after a while to get her some fruit juice and Powerade to keep her going and re-energize her. She rode really well and by the end of the day she was eating relatively normally too.
I was also worried about her staying power because yesterday’s blustery day, marking the likely end of great riding weather, was looking like it would be followed by cool and wet weather today. It did get above 50 today, but not by much I think. We dressed appropriately to hopefully cope with what the day had in store for us, including undershirts, leg warmers, rain pants, and winter gloves. We were both relatively comfortable and able to plug along at a decent clip to get to Melk, our stopover for the next two nights. Most of the ride was flat and technically a gradual downhill, so even with the rain and the wind swirling in different directions (partly because of the course of the river), we covered the 69 kilometers today fairly well. Because the weather was so crummy, including some periods of rain, we mainly just rode, with breaks to eat or drink and get off our saddles for a bit.
The scenery was lovely at times but with the clouds and rain, not so photogenic, as you can see here:
It’s amazing how much easier it is to ride (relatively speaking) during inclement weather when you are properly dressed for it. The shower caps for the helmets are also an importance piece of attire in this situation. We never felt like we needed to stop to take shelter. We were pretty glad to be done when we reached Melk, and happy to find that our accommodations were not too far from the bike trail.
After hitting town, we didn’t do much, other than grab a snack (sitting outside in the cold so we didn’t have to endure a smoky restaurant) and scout out some places for dinner. We ended up at a nice place that is actually the top choice on Trip Advisor, called Zur Post. The food and service were really good (especially the home-made curd ice cream) but I think as much as anything we were so happy to eat at a place that has a very large non-smoking area. The smoking thing is really an issue in Austria. Enclosed public spaces are supposed to be smoke free (there are different rules for bars and restaurants) but apparently the laws are widely ignored, as we discovered as we watched a woman light up in the sitting area outside our room this afternoon. We’ve put a wet towel along the bottom of the door but the smoke is still getting in. It kinda sucks but I don’t think complaining would help, and this isn’t exactly a high end joint. Having a smoke-free room is kind of redundant if the smoke of others intrudes.