Our last blog post was the one about all the rain. On the sixth day of our long week we awoke, again, to heavy rain. We packed away our things and got on the river which widened and slowed to a displeasing pace. Nevertheless we were on the Danube and, to be honest, the positive feeling that brings should keep us happy for a fair while. The morning continued and the rain got heavier, slowly soaking us through. Fortunately, lunch saw a convenient break in the weather where we ate under a large tree and I changed clothes, hanging my wet ones from the branches.
Despite the weather we continued to find positives. We got to use two boat slides, which save any carrying around the locks or large hydro-power stations. We waved at tourists through cruise liner windows and tried to surprise people looking out from their private rooms. And we passed the Walhalla, a famous landmark and replica of the Greek Parthenon that stood on a hillside next to the Danube shrouded in the thick rain clouds. I studied the Walhalla briefly at university and insisted on telling Nathan about it since we first arrived on the Danube. We both looked at it, tried to take a picture through the rain, agreed it looked decent, then paddled off, my classics module well utilized.
The afternoon saw us portage a lock onto quicker water which took us to a canoe club where we spent the night. The bad weather and busy garden also meant the canoe club put us in a bunkroom, so, for the second time this week, we managed to sleep in beds and dry out the tent.
The next morning the steps where we had landed the canoe were totally submerged as the week of rain had began to raise the water level. Despite the thick clouds, rain never came and instead the high water whipped us along down the Danube. There wasn't a single lock all day and before we knew it we were in Deggendorf where we planned a short break. We moored Dora in, what turned out to be, the police station and walked into the town where we bought camping gas and coffee, a true traveler's mix.
Back on the water we continued to wait for the rain to come and the water to slow, but both remained well in our favor for the rest of the day as we floated with a mass of branches and debris that the flood water was carrying along. Since we knew we would be going to Passau there was no pressure on us to cover further distance, yet by the time we came to camp we had covered 71kms making it, by far, out longest day.
Satisfied, we found a perfectly placed rowing club who were happy for us to camp in their garden and, in the evening drizzle, we cooked and ate underneath the building which was raised on stilts. We even found the time to congratulate ourselves by crossing the river to a small town and eating an ice-cream, just to remind ourselves of the summer. We had gone miles that day and the route to Passau would be short.
And so it was that the next day I wandered, bleary eyed, into a swish rowing club and had a warm shower with a brilliant view across the river, again shrouded in grey gloom. We paddled off for a 30km day and made it to Passau by 12o'clock. The water slowed as we approaches the city but, having passed the lock, it was quick through the centre to the river Ilz. Here we turned at the confluence and paddled 500 meters upstream to a quaint, tents only, campsite where we now reside. We cleaned the barrels, made our shopping list and did odd jobs before walking into the city.
Since it was Election Day we found our way to the town hall that night and went inside with a few people dressed in suits. Unsure whether we were actually meant to be there, we milled around with a few reporters and photographers, watched figures going up on the boards as the poll results came in, looked extremely pensively at bar charts and walked around behind the film crew when the reporter was live on TV. It was a good evening that rounded off our nine day week and marked, quite nicely, the end of Germany. Tomorrow we go into Austria.