Daily Archives: 21 June 2016

High water on the Untersee

June 21st

First part: Romanshorn – border on the Rhine after Constance, by bicycle

Distance: 24.1 km
Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (plus 20 minutes for stops)
Vertical distance: 75 m uphill; 80 m downhill

Second part: Customs post Constance – Ermatingen, by bicycle

Distance: 7.1 km
Time: 40 minutes
Vertical distance: 20 m uphill and downhill

Third part: Ermatingen – Eschenz, in the kayak

Distance: 17.4 km
Time: 3 hours 25 minutes (plus 25 minutes for stops)
Vertical distance: 0!

Overcast, gloomy weather but no rain. My right shoulder still being painful, I could not risk 45 km by kayak. I left with Roger by bicycle, following the footpath that is closer to the lake (but sometimes not allowed for bicycles). The official bicycle trail is often too far from the lake and less interesting. The lake level was quite high, there were a few large puddles to cross. Reaching the Rhine the other side of Constance, we find flooded fields and give up on the idea of putting the kayak into the water, especially with a wind from the northwest (i.e. the wind would be against us). Decision to go on to Ermatingen by bicycle.

The level of the Untersee (that part of Lake Constance that lies to the west of the city of Konstanz/Constance) was 70-80 cm higher than normal: the footpath was often flooded up to about 40 cm, good fun going through on the bicycle, shoes and trousers getting wet or soaked through.

At Ermatingen we have a picnic with Sally and change the bicycles for the kayak. Several roads near the lake are flooded and closed to traffic. So we start kayaking for a section that is quite tedious because of the headwind, finally reach the border between Stein am Rhein and Öhningen (D), then paddle back on the Swiss side to our accommodation in Eschenz. Nice dinner in Stein am Rhein to bid farewell to Roger who leaves tomorrow morning.

Photo 3:  Ermatingen

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