Tuesday was a page taken from the manual for bad weather: 9 degrees, torrential rain and a storm wind from the west. I left Austria quite early and as I left it started raining (again). I did a good 230 km before I stopped for coffee the first time. I passed Prague in the rain and my only memory was buildings and more buildings as far as one could see, and even more cars and tracks rushing to and from the different lanes on the highway. It helps if one knows where to go.
At noon the wind picked up. The previous night on TV the weather bureau warned about the wind, and they were right. The ride on the KLR was fascinating, if one could call it like that. With the side panniers and top box it was rolling in the wind, leaning to the left, then to the right, feeling like an aircraft on a very windy final approach.
A few cars didn’t enjoy the rain and wind and within about twenty kilometer there were four accidents. In only one incident there was another car involved. In the other three cases the cars just left the road and turned over.
Wednesday was a much better riding day, still cold but no rain. But … road works. In all the countries in which I travelled since the start of this tour the highways had road works on. Sections of high ways were closed, detours were used, and in most cases all the traffic was diverted into two narrow lanes. If you were stuck behind a truck you had one of two choices: Stop for coffee or sit half a day behind the truck. Riding like this I managed only 272 km today. Of course the fuel consumption is fantastic because the speed limit was the whole day 70 km/h!
At lunch time I made a huge mistake. I was hungry. Really hungry. I followed a track into a forest as there was a signboard indicating an eatery. The menu outside was only in Polish and the lady couldn’t speak any English or German, which was understandable. I pointed at three of the cheapest items on the menu and sat down outside. Then she started feeding me:
Item 1: Slices of bread with fat. Lekker! We had it in the Eastern Free State when I was a child.
Item 2: A huge bowl of soup with sliced sausage and boiled eggs in it. That could have been a complete meal. The cost R 15.00.
After the soup I was full (satisfied not descriptive enough). Then she brought the last ordered meal. I haven’t even finished a third of it. Have a look at the photographs.
Poland is one of the cheaper and more interesting destinations that is worth a visit.
Most probably I will cross into Lithuania tomorrow and for the first time on this ride I will be in a different time zone.
Today I felt the colour of the weather and the neglected grey buildings of the Communist era in my soul. It is normal in the beginning of a long trip.
And all my maps of Russia got soaking wet ….