Recovery day, the Yaxley way…..

Today was our first scheduled rest day, or potential rest day. Two nights in Wilderswil.

There were pre planned potential options:

  • Grosse Scheidegg high altitude loop ride (80 km, 2000m ascent);
  • Figure 8 loop ride of Thunersee and Brienzersee;
  • Circular loop ride Brienzersee;
  • Jungfraujoch excursion;
  • Diddly squat.

The weather ruled out option 1 and 4. Rain was forecast and by the time we returned from breakfast we could no longer see the Eiger, Monch or Jungfrau. We still cannot.

Grosse Scheidegg ride would be awesome but at around 1600 metres elevation pointless in such weather and risky. Safety first.

Diddly squat was never an option ba ha ha, perish the thought. When we did the supported rides with an English based business, there were rest days scheduled on three of the four trips we did.

It drove us nuts! On the third occasion we instead took off and climbed SuperBagneres overlooking Luchon close to the Spanish border.

Option 2 was ruled out as it was likely we would end up wet, and besides, we were in Thun yesterday.

Option three won, a circular loop of Brienzersee. Our thought process was a chillaxed ride, no pushing it.

Off we headed with a lot less gear in our bike, but the wet weather gear was with us. We rolled down the hill into the village.

At the bottom of the hill from our accomodation

Within two km we were in outer Interlaken, skirting around the outside on a busy arterial road.

The first view of the lake was of the ferry coming into dock.

We were not on the road very long, and we deviated onto the bike path that was well signposted. There were great views.

Then we had to climb, and descend steeply into historical Iseltwald.

The ferry on its way back up the lake to Brienze

The bike trail was interesting. It was very steep in parts with a. A maximum of 15.5% recorded with one section over 10%for far far too long.

We could hear what sounded like a bugle playing. Very loud and clear. I joked that it was ‘the last post’ as we were working hard on what was meant to be a chilled ride.

There was a sharp right hand turn and I needed a new cycling kit as a bus was rounding the narrow corner and playing its bugle sound at very loud decibels.

Those first two climbs are nasty pinches

As the path flattened out, we were passed by a young lady on a time trial bike, pushing limited gearing with very low cadence and sporting flash carbon wheels.

About five minutes later we caught her as the track turned to gravel and she asked Tony if we knew when the track would return to sealed. We did not know the answer.

There were some steep gravelly descents and we both walked our bikes down. We then arrived at Giessbach Falls, and I recognised them from a ride I did in the opposite direction in 2019.

There is a large hotel that can be reached from the water via a furnicular.

There are a total of 14 tiers.

After walking down from the falls, the bike path returned to sealed. Making our way towards the end of the lake, there were lovely views across the lake.

This is looking to where we need to head tomorrow as we make our way to Luzern.

We had originally planned to stop for coffee in the town of Brienze, but noted the growing clouds over Interlaken. I did like these two carved figures on the side of the road. There are some very clever people around.

The yellow bike below is Swiss Post doing deliveries. We have seen lots of these buzzing around in various towns.

More carvings.

Statues too.

We were then on the open road all the way back to Interlaken. Note the growing cloud cover. We had a beautiful lake view, and confirmed that tomorrow we would ride out on this lake side. There is a descent into Interlaken but that climb is far preferable to the bitchy pinches on the other shore.

In Interlaken we rode around trying to find a bike shop. We have seen so many on our trip and now we want one, the ones we did find were closed. Tony wanted some lube oil for the chains as we we are nearly out.

We stopped at a supermarket where I grabbed some lunch items that we proceeded to demolish outside.

We headed back to Wilderswil and chilled. 49 km ride, with a few harder climbs than ideal, but we will feel refreshed for tomorrow.

We went for a 4 km or so walk around the village, found a small supermarket and purchased items for a simple cold dinner.

I’m intending to sleep earlier tonight, which in turn probably means I will wake super early.

Tomorrow, we head to Luzern, a beautiful city and location. Hoping the rain holds off until we have crossed Brunig Pass, which is just over 1000 metres altitude. The web cam there is currently not working.

Thanks for reading, stay safe, smile on 😊

Aare River, Interlaken

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