Saturday, 30 July 2011


Hluboka nad Vltavon  -  Willowitz    69.3 kms      1641’ ascent.
Well, what a day! We passed our 4000kilometres and crossed into Austria and all before breakfast: well, not really.  Can’t do anything too taxing  before we have recharged batteries with a hearty breakfast. Nonetheless, it has been a very positive day and even the weather was inclined to celebrate.  The forecast rain was notably absent and instead, we enjoyed warm sunshine.  The first 15kms ran along almost flat country with excellent signing (we didn’t get lost once.) Didn’t last though. Shortly before we reached the inevitable hills, we met again the Dutch couple who had shared the hostel with us in Borotin. Like us, they had found the steep hills of the previous day a real challenge and were less than optimistic about reaching Austria today.
Despite Mr. Master Navigators best efforts, we still went up/down, up/down………hot/cold, hot/cold……… The last 14 kilometres were necessarily along the main highway and, if we thought this would be any flatter, we were WRONG. The biggest ‘up’ was 12% - again, but made even more exciting by the roar of lorries rushing up our bums. Lounging in the laybys we saw an eclectic mix of prostitutes. The best offer Alan got was a half- hearted wave from a very pretty young lady. She probably decided he couldn’t afford her fee! Or maybe it was the smell emanating from his feet!
It had been our intention to spend this last night in the Czech Republic in a border town and use up the Kronor we had left. Not a chance. The suspect morality theme was even more evident in this unwholesome little town. Every ‘hotel’ was a club or a casino (it really was very, very seedy indeed). Feeling very uncomfortable, we rapidly made the decision to continue over the border, despite having no maps and very few euros. Fortunately, within a couple of kilometres, a guest house hove into view.  Having garnered together our pathetic collection of euros, we hoped we had enough of them to buy a night’s accommodation and a couple of beers. We did – just. After one beer, I felt quite squiffy and realised that the stuff we had been downing in the Czech Republic had about as much potency as orange squash!  As ever, our best laid plans had gone tits up. Actually, plans are becoming ever more flexible.  Quite a departure for Mr. Organised.

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