Niether one of us got any decent sleep, because apparently we both snore (I fear I am probably a worse offender than John). We finally roused ourselves to get breakfast and then reapportion our belongings to balance the panniers. We then set off for the Donauquelle (the spring that is the source of the Danube), but stopped at a small market to pick up forgotten provisions and to top off our water. Unfortunately, when I put my backpack back on I discovered that the tube of my Camelback had come loose, evidenced by the cold, wet sensation on my backside. I immediately stripped off the backpack and removed my laptop, which had been saved from catastrophe by the InCase sleeve I bought for the trip…hooray! After tossing ruined papers and drying other things out as best we could, we stopped to get money, but John’s card got refused. We topped off the air in our tires and then finally got to the Donauquelle. Or, at least, near it. There were a step set of stairs by the church with a sign pointing down, but we thought surely we could access it from the other side on our bikes. After several minutes of searching for a way through, we finally gave up, locked up our bikes, and walked down to the spring, taking the de rigeur “start” pictures.
We then backtracked to the bike store, made a turn, and 12:06pm local time became the official start down the Donauradweg (Danube Bike Path). This first section is extremely well marked, almost always paved, and more often than not dedicated to bikes only. We would have made better time, but we were constantly stopping to gawk at the beauty and take pictures. Except for some stiff headwinds at times, we had a fairly uneventful ride to Tuttlingen, where we stopped for lunch and another try for John at the ATM, which also failed. We then tried to get online so he could Skype his banker, but after lots of frustrating attempts, he finally just called directly, and got matters straightened out. The winds had picked up during our break, and biking across open fields, though gorgeous, was exhausting. We took a break in Stetten? (not that one), where John’s bank card finally got him some cash, then had some ice cream and coffee, and got some bananas to take with us. We then hit hills, which we hand not been expecting, some of which were quite steep. We took another break at Hausen, tried to order apfelstrudel, but ended up with apple cider. The proprietor, though, loved the USA, and was telling us all about his family in California…I think. We decided to ditch the path proper and stay on the roadway to eliminate the worst of the inclines, which turned out to be a very good move. We stopped briefly to eat our bananas, and finally got to Sigmaringen at 9:30 (still plenty of daylight). We found a great hotel (this time Jägerhof as opposed to last nights Jägerhaus), with free (strong!) wifi and a very loquacious host, with whom I actually managed to converse decently in German about our ride.