Day 38 – Podzamcze to Tworog (Poland)
KM – 81
Avg – 18.8
Saddle Time – 4:07
Man what a day – It rained from the moment I put my tent up last night until just now (8pm tonight). It was a real heads down bum up kind of day and not much time to experience the day. I’m getting better at wet weather riding regarding organisation. I had the gear ready to go in the morning and my handlebar bag is the only real non waterproof one so everything was already in watertight bags but riding in the rain definitely takes it out of you mentally and physically. It takes a lot more time (until I get better at it anyway) – anytime you want to do anything – toilet, check map, check phone, eat, make coffee – off go the waterproof bags, off go the gloves blab la bla and it just seems to take forever – I still managed a decent distance although it would’ve bewen further if it wasn’t raining. Doesn’t matter though. I still wish to make it Wroclaw and catch a train to the border of Germany (make up the kilometres I did in getting to Krakow as that wasn’t on my agenda so I can get to NL on time for some family get togethers).
On my first break today I was seeking shelter and was thinking that for a place that rains and is cold a lot of the year you would think that a lot more shops/pubs etc would have shelters or enclosed areas in Poland but hardly any do – really strange. Anyway my first coffee stop was about 1.5 hrs into my morning ride and I was seeking a really hot one but nothing – that’s ok – **looks for shelter** – nothing but that’s ok – I just sat on the supermarket stairs where there was .5 of a meter overhang and just boiled up some of my own coffee and was a happy man. Onwards and upwards Red. I haven’t had wireless in a few days and i’m starting to get the withdrawal shakes.
Regarding Poland and cycling – Unless you have been riding for some years I would not recommend riding your bicycle in Poland – there are trucks everywhere and on every road and there is nowhere to cycle on the side either. The roads are well worn meaning that the side of the road is lifted and you can’t cycle on it so you have to cycle a little more towards the centre – people overtake anywhere and i’m talking on bends and small crests not knowing what’s upcoming. I even have a few that’s heading towards me from the other direction and still decide to overtake a truck and it forces me off the road – the roads are really bad here and the cities are even worse BUT – having said that – This country is so beautiful and it’s really nice to ride through and some of the cities are totally worth the visit and are amazing so if you don’t mind all that and would like to meet really nice people, see loveley scenery and culture that oozes out of every street then it is a good place. There are many small bicycle tracks so if you spent a few weeks planning small loops on this and that track it would be even better as there are many beautiful forests here. But for riding to get from city to city it’s difficult I would say. Ok that’s it for Poland.
I tell you one thing – the old Nescafe Blend 43 3 in 1 packs are holding me up on bad days – it almost rivals Italian Coffee on cold wet days like today.
I ended up in a little town and said i’ll have a look for a pension and if not – i’m fine – ill have my tent like last night and crawl up and go to sleep – I saw what looked like restaurant but I wasn’t sure – there were no signs and no one in there – I walked in anyway and asked for a room – YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS – I was so happy. The owner is really nice too – let me put my bicycle in her office and asked what I wanted for breakky – breakky in bed hahahaha – i ordered eggs, ham, cheese, toast, juice – WICKED….I talk about price a lot I know – not that I care about money but it’s more of just a topic of conversation I think – what’s dear and what’s not – so this room that’s quite nice with breakfast in bed is $22aud – one happy red man sitting right here right now – I won’t plan the next two days – just like the last few – sometimes hard sometimes easy but mostly something good happens.
My back is holding up REALLY well – I am so amazed – Whenever I have toured or gone on long rides I am so sore for days and it was a big worry for me but perhaps the constant riding and not pushing it when it gets sore and listening to my body, stretching, and the anti inflams – all in conjunction are actually working – I mean I do feel it but it’s more like a constant annoying niggle rather than a debilitating injury where I can’t go on – good signs so far.
Seeya soon peeps.
Day 37 – Krakow to Podzamcze (Poland)
KM – 72.5
Avg – 16.3
Saddle Time – 4:26
Hit the 2000KM mark today WEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Had a great night last night with my new Italian friend Martino and his colleague (damn I am so bad with names sorry. We walked around Krakow for an hour or so and then chose a place to eat. We were talking all night and had a great meal and it was a really good feeling to be doing so with him again. What a strange world hey –Some strange guy I met in Italy invited me into his home, I slept and ate there and now we catch up again in Krakow. I still think it is part of his big plan to take one of my kidneys – I mean it’s a pretty damn good kidney. I think He hired an actor to say he is a colleague, flew over to Krakow – asked to meet me again – and then pretend they were at a conference all day and then they spiked my drink – replaced my awesome high end kidney with a prosthetic and now he is probably laughing all the way to the bank and I feel more like a machine then ever – I guess it’s a win win. It was a great night though = Martino if you are reading this – you are a bloody legend man and please say Hi to Manu for me…we will meet again I know it – thx.
After walking back to their hotel I made my way back to mine but heard some live music and it was in Polish and acoustic – I had to stop for a few more beers – I rolled out of there at about 2am (if only we saw them when were walking around together Martino) – anyway I made my way back to hotel and checked the internet for a bit and then fell asleep. I was grateful that I had the room of 8 beds all to myself for both nights – that so so great – it helped me just sprawl my stuff everywhere and get ready whenever I want. Lucky I didn’t end up getting the brokeback mountain room though – I could’ve been bedding up with some big polish guy named Manski. Of course me being me set my alarm and snoozed it about 7 times and left way too late. It was a shame to leave Krakow as that place as I said before is so alive and brimming with life, music, culture, lovely buildings, people, coffee – everything. One thing I will not miss though is cycling around – Krakow drivers are krackers. It’s crazy – the taxi drivers are nuts and there is nowhere to cycle and trucks go on all roads – It was fun though to zip in and out of everywhere – would’ve been better without my panniers – always stopping to jump up kerbs etc.
So I rode about 4.5 hours today decided to take the hilly scenic route – it was a winner but still traffic like you wouldn’t believe – a lot of awesome castles high up in the valleys with forest surrounding them – it was really nice – I wish I left earlier though as I was ticking along and really enjoying being back on the bike – it was getting dark (getting dark earlier now) so I decided to look for a place – and there were so many little signs saying ‘Potoje’ so I knocked a few doors and got some grunts and knew they were not open hehee and then this one looked nice – lush green grass attracted me. I cycled up to this old lady in front of the house and smiled – she straight away yelled in bad English – HERE NO CAMP NO CAMP and walked inside – OK THEN….But my instincts were telling me that she was just a grumpy old polish lady and if I stick around and just wait there someone else would come out – I was right WOOT WOOT. A man grunted at his wife and said something like ‘shutup you dont know anything now go back inside and make me a soup’ well that’s the tone anyway hehe and then said camping no problems – $3aud and no hot water – as if I care about hot water – so I paid my 3 bucks and setup my tent quickly as it looked like rain was approaching. It was – I had a shower (a cold one brrrrrrrrrrr) and cooked dinner in my tent – it was nice. The local cat came up for a bit of a gander and I ended up patting her for a while and she stayed around my tent for ages wanting more pats and some food so I obliged – I hope cats like pea and ham soup and bread cos this one did. So the cat and I (i’ll name her polski) shared a meal together and then she was off. You know what – Poland doesn’t know how to make a good coffee but they sure do make a damn good soup – i have had a few in restaurants and from supermarkets and they are all great.
There is a massive castle very close to me high 9n the valley with spotlights on it and it looks amazing – I’m in someones backyard pretty much and alone – its very quiet and no car sounds and the scenery is amazing. Happy to have a full stomach (felt like a smorgasboard how hungry i was) and raining on my tent and i am showered and nice and warm with my thermals on– might watch a movie and go to bed ahhhhhhhhhhh. I wanted to ride more today so if the rain stays away tomorrow ill try to get away earlier so I can hit the road longer – i really feel like ticking the legs over for a bit – the good part about it is – see what happens. Night all.