Upon my wheel again the winds of England blow me up to Harwich and soon the fast boat carries me to Holland. Straight away it is up on the dykes, but now the air gusts from the East and makes it very hard going.
Across the Dutch flats my machine and I ride, and heaven is sent when the German forests appear to give protection from the wind and sun. Pretty towns are passed through and I'm oft accompanied by whoops of laughter and joy; the people always wanting you to ride even on their uneven cobbled roads.
One night while camping in the forest great swarms of mosquitoes descend upon me, I have inadvertently pitched near a swamp, and pay the price with swollen face and great lumps on the head.
The mountains of central Germany with their rocky tracks slow me down again, and many a time I am forced to take to my feet and push up the muddy paths. So bad are the tracks and jarring to the machine on its solid tyres I wonder how much of this pounding it can take. But on we push, and finally the mountains are left behind and the land opens up again into easier wheeling.
From the town of Blankenburg a change occurs, the Eastern parts are less prosperous and unrestored, you ride through villages in the middle of the day and hardly does a soul stir, I never expected to see this in Germany, it very much has an Eastern European feel to it.
The rains come now, and it pours, but the wind is as strong upon my back as the smile is across my face as the miles roll by. Muddy tracks are the norm and the machine handles them well as we trundle along, and soon the Elbe River is found, so we turn south and head towards another country.
For the first instalment of Joff's big-wheeled odyssey see http://www.cyclingplus.co.uk or for more details and to support the causes he is raising money for, see his own site href="http://www.pennyfarthingworldtour.com" target="_new"> http://www.pennyfarthingworldtour.com