2,276km down: 3,949km to go.
Up 1,700 meters today, along highways 964, 28, 95, 47, 958, 959, 520.
This day was hot! I was already dripping hot and sweaty before even leaving the hotel! No doubt it did not help that my phone took the only opportunity it had had all trip to mask a pocket call. Usually it is kept in my pannier on riding days and in my walk around bag on rest days. However I had put it my back pocket today as wanted to ring my friend Pat to wish her happy birthday before starting (due to 10 hour time difference).
Due to the peculiar way the travel sim works, when I ring someone it says they are ringing me, but – it also says this if they ARE ringing me. The phone seized its opportunity today and dialled my daughter Lizzy – so I see she is ringing me and I try to pick up the call, but nothing happens. Lizzy is 34 weeks pregnant and is going to ring me when she goes into labour, so then I started to worry “Oh no, it’s too soon, but at least well within viability etc etc”. I try a few times to ring Lizzy back but can’t get through, by which point I’m a bit worried. I finally get through and ask her what is wrong and Lizzy is like “Um you rang me, and I couldn’t talk to you before because I’m at work with a patient”. Oops! Then my friend the phone considers its work is done for the day and refuses to connect me to Pat! It keeps telling me it is not an option etc. I finally left a message for Pat for a mutual friend to pass on.
We set off from Krakow in a convoy for 19k, it took ages as the group kept being separated by lights etc. At the end of the convoy we were just by the salt mines from last night! The first bit was up a really steep hill with uneven paving stones so I took the cautious approach and walked up it.
It was really, really hot so once again I resorted to pouring cold water over my head at regular intervals and drinking heaps of water. There were some significant climbs (no wonder with climbing 1,700 meters today) we had been told it was easier after lunch. After Dan and I spent two hours post lunch steadily climbing and up a hill that went on for about 5k (we called it the hill that just kept on giving) we decided the person who said it was so easy should have to come and ride it. Thankfully we reached the top eventually and had a couple of kilometres down and then flat for awhile.
I must tense up my shoulders going uphill as I had to stop a few times to stretch them, including at one point lying on the ground outside a dairy (there wasn’t a convenient bus stop handy).
Just before the border we went through town called Chocholow, it had a shrine with a Maori figurine in it in full cloak and dress, certainly not what I expected to see in Poland. Sadly my camera was flat so I do not have a photo but I will google it and see if I can find anything. The houses here were different than I have seen anywhere else, they were four stories high with really steep roofs. We joked that the snow must get really deep and maybe they can only get out of the fourth floor in the middle of winter (I will see if anyone took a photo).
Once again it was not a real, formal border crossing. There were two police down the road from it that laughed as I went past, why I don’t know. We had been told there was very big hill just after the border (oh joy, 100k into the ride ) but turned out that although it was 12 percent it had a good descent just before it so I got a good run up and was three quarters of the way up it before having to do any work.
I arrived weary but happy to be there at the auto camp in Oravice at 5 pm, making it a 10hour day – 1 hour in breaks and 9 hours riding – I was stuffed! Walli and I once again have a room, very basic just two beds and a table and two chairs but inside and across the hall from the toilet.
I had time to clean the bike and have a shower etc, then the riders meeting was delayed as not all the riders had arrived. While we were waiting, and during tea, there was a thunder and lightning storm and lots of rain.
At 7:15pm I headed for bed, the late night in Krakow and the big riding day had caught up with me. Being a Friday night and school holidays, a number of campers had music blaring and there was laughter, loud voices and camp sing songs so I put on the earphones and music, and then had no more background noise worries.