After 1628km I can give Roman a hug!
Trip Start Jul 23, 2008
24Trip End Feb 04, 2009
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Have been here at the resort now for about 12 days already but time seems to fly really!
During those days we have also been on a 3-day cycling trip together, photos and story in the next blog...
I arrived at Svata Katerina resort with an eye-infection...after a total cycling of 1628km. I was very happy to see Roman again, eventhough I could not really SEE him ;-)
Of course lots has happened between crossing the border and this lovely moment, which I of course will share with you!
Crossing the border into Czech Republic...what a great feeling! Getting closer to my final destination. One thing I notice straightaway is the asian market, which are at many bordercrossings nowadays. Selling things cheap to Germans and Czech people. This country has become far more expensive since the joining the EU, so it harder for people to make living. Ok, the pivo (beer) is relatively cheap, but cannot live only on that!
In the first place, looking big on my map, but is really only a small town, I realize they do not have euro here yet, aha, will have to find a bankomat first then. I also try to get my waterbottle filled here, the waterpomp does not seem to work, so I 'ask' a local. Bit difficult when you do not know the words 'water, cold, I like, please' etc. But I manage to get it. It is a real gipsy home, with little things inside. The son also begs for money. Hope this is not the normal situation in Czech, cos I find it difficult for them and me to deal with begging children. Love to help them all, but cannot of course. Money I never give, some candy I do have. Not the best as well I know, but wanted to give him something.
On my way to a bigger dot on my map: Horsovsky Tyn
This is a lovely little town, with an information center, where a girl speaks some english. So I take the opportunity to learn my first Czech words and also important, how to pronounce them! Also the stop to get good bicycle maps, they turned out to be very handy. After conquering my first Czech hills, I take a break here, enjoying my ' lunch' watching Czech street life doing its daily things. Then my ear hears Dutch language...I meet Andries, Inge and their daughter Anna-Lynn. They are on holidays here, staying in a house about 25km from here. After some talk they let me stay the night at their place. A huge garden and swimmingpool await me when I arrive that night after an intensive up and down the hill journey! A Dutch night with a beer, tea and talks, what a way to spend my first night in Czech Republic.
After breakfast I am on the move again, following this cycle route mentioned on the maps. If I would have known before, I probably would have chosen a different one...this day I understood why Roman told me I could come by train if I wanted to. Hills, Hills and more Hills the whole time! 93km that day, complete madness. Even had to get of the bike and push it up a few hills, cos they were so steep and my legs were protesting too much. And no, I could not stop before as all pubs, pensions and hotels mentioned on the map seemed to be closed or disappeared all together. I had to continue to Blatna before I was allowed to fall of my bicycle... After this I decided I deserved a normal bed to sleep in that night! Cheap hotel of course, so I walk into this shabby looking building...
Humm, looking very basic, well, will ask reception what the prices are, shit the door to upstairs (where reception is) is locked, bell wire broke, no way to get in contact. No problem will find another hotel....but the outside door is locked as well, so I find myself trapped in the hallway! Shit! What to do?
Cannot do anything really, but bang on the outside (half-see-through) door very loudly, yelling for help when people walk by. So I do, and the people walk on, probably wondering what a crazy person I am! Luckily for me
after about half an hour a couple with children stop. Even more lucky they speak English and German! So after explaining what happened they go find the owner. But he is in another town...on the phone he tells them I should just wait till someone comes in or wants to go out....great! Just what I need being dead tired. They also think it is a stupid idea, so we try to open the door with force, calling the police if things do not work. With combined strenghts we can open it, screws flying around! But, I am ' free' again. They feel very sorry for me, my first impression of Blatna being this lock-up, so offer me to stay at their house! That night I sleep in a bed, after spending a Czech night together. Funny how things can work out...
The next day Markčta shows me around and we end up in this tea room with friends of hers. After a typical Czech soup with egg, dumpling and meat I am on my way again. Less and less kms to go. More hills to overcome, but I seem to go more downhill then up, Dekuji (thanks)! To get some distance done I cycle till evening, going for a meal in a restaurant. First I stop at this little shop for some milk (for next day breakfast)... and end up drinking wine with this old local Czech guy, who does not speak a word of English/German! In the shop they have their own supply of wines on tap. It took some convincing by the shopowner, but I have photos to show you this funny meeting haha
After a lovely fish meal I cycle the last kms to what I think is a campingsite. Planning not being one of my strong points, I arrive in the area when it is already getting dark. I ask a couple of guys how to get there...Not to easy to get to, so they offer me to stay at their place. That night I taking part in a Czech bachelor party with 12 guys, lots of beer and Fernet (local licour)! Result: throwing up, falling asleep with my contact lenses in, feeling more than crap the next day after little sleep. At 09.00 when the offer me more beer and Fernet, I decided to bail out and jump on my bicycle!
Of course the cycling did not go well at all. I manage to get myself to Tabor (only 25km away). My eyes giving me a hard time already, my stomach not making it any easier. Feeling very sorry for myself I decide 'give' myself another night in a normal bed. Tabor is a beautiful historic city build on a hill! Sunny days, great for sightseeing. Unfortunately I hardly saw anything of it as I spend 2 days in my Pension room, in bed, as my eyes could not bear the sunlight! Only going out once, with one eye open, half walking/half cycling I made it to the pharmacist 4km away for eye drops. So much for a night with the boys, ahhh!
After 2 days I am getting restless and frustrated, only one more day of cycling to go, I am almost there now. So with a cap and sunglasses on I am forcing myself to cycle the last 65km to the resort! Monday 1st of September I arrive at Svata Katerina to give Roman a hug! I made it and am damn proud of it ;-)))
Lots more happened after my arrival, but will tell you about it later!