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Day 3 started out really, really cold. I practically flew down the hill on which the youth hostel was situated to get to the river. I stopped every 500m or so; to make sure my bags were securely fastened, or to take a picture, or to look intensely of something. See the gallery below for some of the products of my attempts to avoid freezing to death.

I also saw my first non-captive swan.

Yes, I barely avoided frostbite. Nevertheless, I soon starting sweating under the jacket. What a strange sensation! Finally, the weather cleared up and I’m glad to report that the rest of the day was fairly sunny.

Cycling lets one see pretty much all the smaller cities along the way. Needless to say, this results in a criss-cross pattern rather than a straight line – this day leaving me with 30km more on the odometer than planned. (On arrival at the youth hostel, my odometer stood on 230,66km). Trouble is, too, that I tended to lose my way whenever I reached a city. The bigger cities proved to be more problematic, of course, but even small cities could throw one off the track. I lost my way in Riedlingen (which is, apropos, a breathtaking city) and this resulted on me having to drive on the highway.

Driving with a bicycle on the highway in Germany is not a good idea.

In fact, it is as scary as it is dangerous. Luckily the stretch between Sigmaringen and Ulm wasn’t that busy, but it was a hair-raising experience nonetheless; especially around the numerous sharp bends in the round. Finally, by chance, I stumbled upon the marked trail of the Donau Radweg again. From this point on it was thankfully mostly downhill. That is, until I got to Ulm, where the youth hostel is situated – oh, why! – on a hill. I struggled up this one, but threw in the towel when I was not even a quarter of the way up.

As we say in South Africa, I was totally paste. Yet, I wanted to see Ulm – so I bought a bus ticket and ventured into the city. I still had an hour or two of daylight left, so I walked around quite a bit. I stayed until after sunset, fighting off the urge to go sleep in the youth hostel – I was here, after all, to see places. (See the gallery below for some pictures of what I saw.)

I might have had the fitness of a relatively relaxed tree sloth, but I was as hungry as a wolf. My post exercise fuel intake included a Döner, a McDonalds burger (Fail!) with a big packet of chips (Fail!), a big packet of chocolate raisins and – I can’t remember what I still had left in my bag, but that was definitely consumed as well.

Exhausted, I managed to make my way back to the youth hostel and totally snubbed the people I shared a room with by going straight to bed – and falling asleep instantly.

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