Friday, 28 March 2014

The road to Krakow

OK so the show is on the road! AT LAST!!

Rhonda and I have made it to Bruntel on the other side of Czech on day 5. Over 1000 miles travelled and very little drama to report so far!

Here is the route so far

http://eventeagle.com/Map.aspx?EventName=OneStephBeyond

Rhonda is doing really well. Even with the weight she is pulling well and sitting comfortably at 65. She will do more but trying to keep the speed down. The seat is not even bothering me despite long days in the saddle. Perhaps my own personal padding is keeping me from feeling the pain!


I'm getting roughly what I expected out of the tank. Just over 200 miles (ish).

My first 2 days were cushioned by having my lovely friend Pete Bog with me (the "bog" was added after a small off roading incident several years ago. The name stuck, as did the bog).

The sun shone and we rode first of all to Dinant, a small riverside town in Belgium. Beautiful place with Saxaphones everywhere. We spent the night eating pizza and drinking Belgiun beer before crashing in our nice warm hotel room ready for a big ride the next day.

From there we rode to Nurburgring and sat watching the cars go around before settling in to our hotel once more and then going to the best little italian restaurant where we had steak that we cooked ourselves on hot stones at the table. MMMM! Very very nice.

Pete is lovely! He waved at cows and laughed randomly, making me giggle as well. He has an infectious nature and I'm so glad he was there to calm my nerves and also pay for my food and hotel rooms otherwise I would have been camping in below freezing conditions! I was happy with the little detours he made, bypassing the campsites!!! 

Pete left the next morning and I headed out on my own on a 250 mile leg to Weimar to meet Max, my first host. Max is an 18 year old civil engineering student who found my blog and offered a place to stay, some food and a tank of petrol.

Only 60 miles in to the leg to Max's though, I dropped the bike trying to get it on the stand. Easily done as it is a very fine balancing act when you are sat on it. A very nice man (who has 5 bikes in his garage apparently) helped me pick it up but after he left I realised the throttle was sticking. After many failed attempts to loosen it off I realised there was only one thing to do. Ride the bike to the nearest town very carefully and see if I could find a bike mechanic.

This was rubbish. Only 60 miles after Pete left me and I had already dropped the bike and had my first problem. I was happy that I got it sorted though and fairly quickly so I decided to carry on the rest of the journey and get to Max's house before dark.

I braved the the autobahn on Rhonda to make up the time and lived to tell the tale despite a bully lorry driver coming right up my arse and honking his horn! Rhonda and I decided to pick the speed up to 70 after that! 60 is clearly not an option on here!

Max was waiting for me in Wiemar, a lovely little cobbled town. He showed me the sites with a walk around town and then insisted on buying me dinner. I know this was the offer he had made but as he was a student I suggested I pay as Pete had saved me some money over the first few days. He may only have been 18 but he certainly knew his mind. A stern reply came back at me "NO! You were invited!".
The next morning we rode out of Germany to the Czech border, via some beautiful roads, where we had birthday cake and said goodbye before he turned and headed for home on his XR250. Top Bloke.

I carried on the 103 miles remaining to Prague. No dramas on the road. Bit chilli but in good spirits.
I drove straight in to the centre of Prague to Meet Steve, the physics teacher, originally from Liverpool. 
Steve was my second host who I found on couchsurfing.com.  What a lovely guy. He helped me get my bike in to his rather spacious shared hallway and once I got in to the apartment, his girlfriend made me a
"proper" brew and ran me a bubble bath. She even gave me a glass of wine to have in it! Now that is a welcome and just what I needed. I was shattered! It had been a lovely but long day.
Steve then took me for a walk around Prague showing me all the sites before buying me dinner on one of the floating restaurants. What a lovely birthday.
We then jumped the tram to get home as we had no change to buy a ticket! : 0 )
What a lovely couple and a great apartment. Wish I could have stayed longer.

After getting any email from Russian John last night telling me I was about 50 miles away from
 the Church of Bones in Kutna Hora I decided to head for that first thing. I managed to get Rhonda out of the hallway on my own (thanks to her slim figure) and on to the cobbles before loading her up and heading off again.

Now I am in Bruntel. A small town between the Jeseníky mountains, the highest mountains in Moravia and Silesia, and one of the largest domestic water tanks – Slezská Harta. I picked it at random on the map and headed for it. It was a lovely ride over but to be honest I have no intention of checking it out any further tonight. I've checked in to a cheap hotel as my friend Wozzy put £30 in my account for a meal for my birthday but as Steve bought my dinner I have spent it on a room and a burger today instead. Cheers Wozzi.

Tomorrow I head for Poland! I will be staying with Ulka in Krakow. A fellow biker who is going to show me the town and the best local biking roads!!

Cant wait.

25 comments:

  1. Nice read, lets keep it coming Steph :-)

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  2. Steph - so great to read your account. Keep it coming and all the best....!

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  3. Inspiring hospitality can only get better good luck Steph

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  4. Happy belated birthday, glad everything is going well. You have made good progress in a week already. Some good Polish beer to look forward to.

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  5. keeping an eye on your posts Steph keep it coming

    Dave
    trefnant north wales

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  6. Glad to hear you are meeting some wonderful people and your journey is going great. I know it's a long way off but I have shared your profile if that is the correct term lol with some biker friends in Vancouver and Calgary and they seem to be planning on meeting with you when you get there good luck.
    Alan G.

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    1. Hi Alan. That's great. Yes a long way off but good to know there are more bikers waiting to meet me! Hooray! This trip is just bloody awesome so far!!

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  7. Nice to see you are enjoying yourself and meeting great people. I know it's a long way of but I have shared your profile with biker friends in western Canada Vancouver and Calgary and they are hoping to meet with you when you get there.
    Alan G
    You might get this post twice or even not at all because I just wander through computer land now and again and usually make mistakes Lol.

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  8. Excellent, glad all going well for you...
    I sent my correct bike trip blog link to your email as there may be some useful info on there re places your'e heading...
    all the best
    Mark Gutteridge ( Sundance)

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  9. Goin great so far then Steph? :-) xx

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  10. Great to read your first trip report Steph. Can't wait to read more!

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  11. VIET NAM - Steph I know this is way ahead but I'm sure you will make it !
    Heard from my friend Cuong Doc who runs Cuong's Motobike Adventure out of Ha Noi . His contact details are his website at :
    www.cuongs-motorbike-adventure.com
    Mobile ; +84 918763 515

    We have spent time with Cuong and I know he will be a very useful contact for you at some point . ENJOY have a great time .

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  12. Sounds like the start of a great adventure!
    Looking forward to reading all about it.

    Steve R

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  13. Pete started singing to sheep when he was about 14 years old actually - glad to hear his talent has progressed to large breed animals now!

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  14. Watch out for that Duvelk beer Steph. It sneaks up on you.

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  15. Hi steph, Firstly congratulations and the very best of luck for your RTW adventure. I've just discovered your blog after reading the article in Ride march ed. Krakow is a very beautiful city and the main square is a wonderful place to hang out. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
    I did the South Africa trip in 2010 with global enduro and found it a real life changer too, I've just returned from a 3 week circumference off road bike tour of Cambodia which was absolutely fantastic. Just got back to work with intention of grafting, saving and planning next bike adventure hopefully with Nick from GE which was going to be poss Nepal in August but now out of the blue and five days in hospital later am laid up with double pneumonia and stuck in the house back in Scotland on doctors orders for the next six weeks!! Haven't a clue WTF this came from, anyways it's allowed me the chance to re-read the Ride and Bike mags from start of 2014 which has lead me to tracking down your blog and catching up with where you are and how you are getting on. Taking on bike adventures really does get right under your skin and deep into the blood so I can only begin to understand the exciting feeling you're experiencing with undertaking this magical adventure. anyways I'll be certainly following your blogs and looking forward to hearing about your travels and happenings.Great stuff. All the very best of luck. Dougie.

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    1. Hey Dougie. Get well soon and thanks xxx

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  16. I'm reading your blog from Ohio, USA. I read the blogs from those two brits who went around the world last year on Drz 400's. I'll be following you on you blog. Godd luck and be safe.

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  17. Happy Belated Birthday! Thank you for your reply to our questions, we hoped you liked Prague and are safely on your way in Poland. It's inspiring to hear about your sense of freedom because we're stuck in school and we would love to be travelling with you! We hope you visit all the places we are from too: Slovakia, Russia, South Africa, Denmark, Tajikistan, Sweden, Vietnam, Amsterdam, Korea, Pakistan and you have a warm welcome everywhere you go. We'll follow your blog now and hope to hear how you are getting on!

    Hodne Stesti! Good luck!

    Year 8 - Prague British School

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    1. You're very welcome! Just for the record...Your teacher did not jump the train!!! He had a pass!! That was just me!!! ha ha!! Thought I had better clear that up! I will be going to most of those countries and if the welcome I have had so far is anything to go by then I will have no problems at all. Thanks for following and stay in touch!

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  18. Nice photo from the church of bones i believe, i have been there.

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