We’ve spent the last few days chasing our final Airbnb place, it’s been cancelled by the “host” but he has promised us that he has sorted an alternative. He won’t tell us where the alternative is, or what it consists of. When pushed he admits we’ve swapped a whole house for a studio in another village (later turns out to be a cute as hell loft on a farm that is hotter than the surface of the sun). Initially he suggested that we should cycle to his house and then he would drive us to our new accommodation but this involves relying way too much on someone else who has already let us down so we get the address of our new accommodation and make our own way there…

It’s another long day and we get a late start after last night’s opera. We’d, OK I’d, wanted to visit Kunsthaus Bregenz yesterday but it was 15 Eu each, however they said last night that our opera tickets got us a discount so we spent an hour or so in the morning bumbling around their Joan Mitchell retrospective. Kunsthaus is amazing, just an absolutely stunning exhibition space of exposed concrete and glass – but Joan Mitchell is a bit beyond us so with not one yellow taxi, of any size, in sight we leave.

It’s the last real day of the holiday and we take our time enjoying the view and NOT stopping as only the headwind makes the temperature bearable. The path dips inland a few times now as we have to cross the Rhine again and it’s cutting the corners that the lake has carved for itself out of the landscape. We stop for lunch in the shelter of some trees next to a nature reserve, as we explore a nature hide we spot a Kingfisher before it flies off across a pond!
We’ve literally no idea if our accommodation will have any eateries nearby so after stopping in Romanshorn for a quick swim we decide to have an early dinner before pressing on to our destination. As we’re back in Switzerland we are the only people in the restaurant (we strongly suspect that Switzerland seem to so empty because everyone nips over the border everytime they want to do any shopping or eating). So we have a couple of extremely average pizzas which costs more than last night’s opera tickets but it’s our last night and it’s not like you can take Francs back with you.

A Kingfisher! OK A dreadful picture but all the same…

Because this is an unplanned diversion it also means we are off Suzy’s map so we have put all our trust in the GPS – this starts well but the destination just seem to keep getting further away as it starts to get darker. The GPS has decide that Landrover tracks in the forest are as good as roads so at 2100 we find ourselves in a darkening forest when a too hasty gear change on a chain that hasn’t seen oil in 2 weeks, snaps. Heroically it’s fixed in a matter of minutes until I realise that inexplicably the chain no longer routes through parts of the bike it used to. So I have to break it again and take much longer to replace my increasingly shorter chain the second time.

Did I mention we have no lights? (Except those little flashing LEDs which I’d only packed for an emergency. On the encroaching gloom they are making no impact.)

Then Suzy gets a puncture.

So the puncture is fixed (and I get a chance to use my CO2 gizmo) and the bike put back together and while Suzy starts to put her panniers back on she tells us to set off and she’ll catch us up. And yes, we have all seen horror films. And yes, in a darkening forest we split up.
“I’ll catch you up.” Is the last thing she says to us.
“Just go straight ahead then” I reply looking at the sat nav.

“Was that really a straight ahead back there Daddy?” Millie asks as we stand a mile through the forest wondering where on Earth Suzy is. “It was more of a left then a right. I wouldn’t have called it a straight on.”
We turn round back to where we broke down and there is no Suzy. What there is are an elderly couple who ask us if they know where the pub its. (Bear in mind we have been in this forest for 20 minutes and have seen nothing other than midges.) “There is no pub near here,” I reply. “Have you seen a really angry looking Scottish woman?”
They haven’t so we turn round and go left instead of straight on. 5 minutes later we pass a pub, well a collection of wooden buildings and a couple cars with folk sitting outside drinking. They have seen an angry Scottish woman so we set off in hot pursuit, alternately relieved she hasn’t been eaten and somewhat scared about how angry she’ll be when we catch up with her.

When we do catch up with her I make a point of emphasising how clever I was to ask onlookers if they’d seen her, something she didn’t think of doing as she decided to use the force to find her way through the forest. I’m somewhat surprised to discover this doesn’t make her recognise me as the world’s smartest husband and we continue our journey to the farm in a mixture of companiable silence/barely disguised fury.

When we finally arrive at our destination we are met by the nicest landlady who offers us freshly pressed cider and a tour of the farm. In return we snatch our room key, stomp into our studio and slam the door. It’s nearly 2300, we are very hot, very tired and not the nicest guests..


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