Today, the way east takes me from Lossiemouth to Fraserburgh. This would take me to the outer east of the island. In a travel guide I read that this part of the country is rather boring for bicycle trips. I cannot confirm that.

The evening before, after my second round on the New Course, I got so wet that whole shoals of fish could find a comfortable habitat in my shoes. In the meantime, however, I have become much more of a camping expert than I was at the beginning of my trip. Relatively relaxed - the temperature was at least not very low - I collected a few warm things at the tent, took a hot shower and exiled the completely soaked clothes in a plastic bag outside the tent and trusted in the tumble dryer the next morning. This solved a problem that I would not have had a few weeks ago, nor would I have been able to cope without a medium flood in my tent. This may only induce a shrug from the habit camper, for me it is an astonishing development, keyword: comfort zone. The fighter planes were in bed earlier that night - they probably had something particularly loud in mind for tomorrow. So it became a quite restful night and I felt well prepared for the long but - according to the plan of my navigation app - quite easy stage.

The weather today was not exactly sunny again, but the water masses of yesterday evening were not to be seen either. A nice grey-blue day on the bike lay in front of me. But from the beginning I had the feeling that the long but fast flat stage would not work out properly. It went uphill and downhill again and again and the way became a bit more complicated with each small village I passed. But that was a nice challenge. Several times I had to look for the entrance to the planned route, mostly because it was on a different level. So I stood directly above the route, but the idea of following a steep stairway down was not that appealing to me. So I turned around and looked for a road. By the way, that wasn't that difficult, because I simply thought that after looking at the map I was a bit smarter than my navigator, who had suggested a much longer route, which - I knew that now - had the unbeatable advantage of actually being drivable. In memory of my annoying evening on the beach (HERE to the article) I would say: Draw :-)

On the other hand: The detour, which I was forced to take, led me through the village and in a narrow alley I once again found a small oasis by chance. Actually a real break wasn't on the agenda yet, but when I rolled past the hardly recognizable café and read that the coffee was roasted there, I couldn't resist. The Speyside Coffee Roasting Co. opened just a year ago, but probably because of this you will be welcomed and congratulated on your choice of cake. I sat down at the longer table, two smaller ones in the corner were already occupied and the rest of the space was occupied by a coffee roaster. Shortly after my really good coffee was served, a couple, a little bit older than me, sat next to me. We got into conversation when I could hand a handkerchief that I happened to have at hand, and then we chatted about cycling holidays for a long time. Because it turned out that the two were enthusiastic tandem riders. In this constellation they had driven the Elberadweg last year. Two years ago I also did this tour with my dear T. and this way is really a recommendation. Then again: I can still remember very well how we woke up in the morning at the end of the tour, which ended for us in Dresden, and couldn't believe that the TV actually announced the Brexit to us. My memory certainly hides something here, but I can remember an exclusively bike-friendly route flanked by beautifully restored towns and relaxing nature. However, I can also remember that two streets behind the restored facades often showed less blooming landscapes, Field Marshal Potemkin would enjoy it and the concerned citizens of Saxony do enjoy it, too. Anyway, we remembered together the many storks, especially in the "stork village" Ruehstaedt. Not that any of us would have come up with this name, but the memory of the village with the many stork nests is still very clear. From storks it was then a surprisingly short way to seals, which would probably wait for me on the coming kilometers, so I was told. Once again a very nice encounter and a happy decision to follow the temptations of the coffee break. Another hypotheses got confirmed, since I hadn't approached my daily goal at all while was sitting in the café.

Is that a fundamental insight? Daily plans may, no, must be changed at any time if the change serves the greater good. It is only much more difficult to decide what constitutes the big picture if there is more than one person acting and negotiating. Hell is other people.
Not exactly hellish, but quite challenging was the rest of the stage. First of all I got wet. And then dry again. And then again wet. But this time in a way that I couldn't postpone the next break. After all, I found a Fish&Chips booth in which I could not only warm up, but also strengthen myself calorie-consciously. Meanwhile it was already a clear afternoon and I had barely covered more than a third of the distance. But on this third I had already met some of the announced seals. I pedaled along the coast, as so often, but with maybe 200m distance to the sea, and a little higher. Suddenly I heard an unusual noise, which I ignored at first. The second time I was able to better allocate the cheerful lament and to spot a group of funny sea residents playing. But I'm just reading that seals are not social at all. So maybe they didn't play after all, but it was a bloody fight for a fish snack. So, you can be wrong if you don't speak each other's language.
There were other communicational problems between me, the road and my navigation device. In contrast to roads that are displayed by the assistant when driving a car, not every path on the bike is immediately recognizable as such and sometimes runs very close to the path to the right or left and then divides later. On today's stage I had to turn around repeatedly because I had not found and hit a branch again. Also, for the first time I was confronted with rather rough ground (apart from the sandy path, but I don't want to be resentful. Yes, I do...), but the bags and straps didn't make any noise. All this would have been okay, but on the last 15, 20 km everything happened at once: Wind, coldness and a slope I hadn't expected. One after the other it went up and down a hill. These were only small elevations, it went up only a few meters, but in a strenuous repetition. I almost had the impression that I was driving in a circle, because the route led through endless fields, so the surroundings changed only little, but this hill rebuilt itself very regularly in front of me. The regularity of the terrain almost looked as if it had been modeled.
Anyway, after this section I was soft boiled and then at the end there was an ascent, which ate me up easily. After many days I had to get down again and push for a few meters, I couldn't manage any more. After all it was done afterwards. It had got dark already, I had just dawdled too much at the beginning of the day.

 

But even more I was surprised by the many lights that awaited me in Fraserburgh. I had assumed without further preparation that one of the usual villages would await me, a few hundred inhabitants and a few rows of houses. I had already been a little surprised about the number of hotels that would have been bookable, as I wanted to dry my luggage again this weekend. But Fraserburgh is by local standards a bigger city with 13.000 inhabitants. The very nice lady who then welcomed me to the hotel said that there were so many inhabitants, but she would always ask herself where they would be, as one would never see anyone on the street. That made me smile, but I couldn't confirm it the next day, because I found a quite lively cityscape. In the hotel I also felt very comfortable and my steel horse found a dry place on the cemetery of broken hotel chairs, which had been put on in the storeroom for years.

In the cycgo ranking, the stage receives the Dinner-For-One prize for most repetitions (look it up HERE, it is a German tradition).

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