Today we woke up once more to beautiful sunshine and glimpsed out of the window into the marvellous Altmark district. Our hosts Winfried and Helga offered us a great morning breakfast. Gratefully we enjoyed this wonderful treat of hot coffee, freshly baked buns and home made jams; not to forget all the different cheeses and spreads in the table. We decided to leave a special thanks for this generous hospitality and handed over posters as a reminder to our stay. Soon we wanted to set off but encountered a little mishappening. Timo’s glasses had miraculously disappeared. The whole group went to search for them, of course. We turned around every bed sheet, looked in the bathrooms, the shed and garden. When we were close to giving up, one finally almost tapped on the glasses lying in the grass. Loosely fixed we set off to our day ride.
We crossed the fields of the rural landscape, passed little waterways, sheep and majestic alleys. The wind was constantly giving us a hard time, yet this helped us find our way. Just head towards where the wind is the strongest! We crossed the Havel river and had our lunch break at a little lake near Kleeßen, in a countryside famous for Otto Lilienthal’s early plane experiments. Some of us enjoyed a dip in the cold lake, and we had a great lunch from our trailer foods. As we got a more relaxed schedule today, we took a real siesta in order to avoid cycling during the warmest hours of the day (and as our sleep deficit kept accumulating). Either way, there is hardly anything better than an afternoon nap.
Around three we took off for our next stage of the journey, rolling gently through the hills of the Eastern Havelland. Little splashes of water from the water pistol kept us fresh as we stopped for short breaks. We passed storks just a few meters from us, crossed seemingly forgotten watercourses and picturesque manor houses. At Ribbeck, a few of us went to see the pear tree that had become famous through a poem which many German pupils learn. Only a few kilometers further on we arrived at our campsite, which belonged to a site for reintegration of formerly criminal and disadvantaged youth. We also met Thor, a new Cooperide member who had come from Copenhagen to join us for the rest of the journey to Proschim. After we had put up our tents, our hunger could no longer be tamed. We sat on our bicycles again, following the promise of a (maybe) vegan Indian restaurant in Nauen. Riding without luggage we reached speeds higher than ever before, even up the hill to our neighbouring village. As we saw giant signs at an Italian restaurant, we decided to skip our plans and go for real Italian pasta. Thanks to the language and negotiation skills from an Italian native speaker in our group, we got a great serving of vegetable pasta in this big restaurant. Waiting in a sun chair for dinner to be served, we enjoyed a glass of beer or wine. Our mood had never been better; Berlin felt close at hand and we were looking forward to the meal. It turned out to be excellent, though we faced one little problem: It was not enough. After the first serving, we longed for another round, but the cook explained to us there was nothing left to be cooked. We bought all of the remaining antipasti and went home for another round of dinner from our trailer. Seldom have we seen so greedy faces when the nuts, cookies, wraps and other leftovers came on the (refunctioned) ping-pong table. Finally we had become very content. Later we lit a campfire in a tipi on the site and talked long into the night hours. It had been a fantastic day and we were extremely thankful for how it all turned out, both thanks to the great planning but also thanks to meeting friendly people wherever we go and having Fortuna on our side.