Day 31: Jelenec to Bratislava – 120k

2,669km down: 3,556km to go.

Highways 75, 562, 62, 572

I was hoping for a shorter ride today, and the information “It’s like yesterday afternoon” did not actually help, considering I was lost in the middle of nowhere yesterday.

Not sure why but I was one of the last out of camp today. The first 20k was up and down hills, but not rollers – in my definition a roller you can get two thirds of the way up it from the downhill beforehand. These were not rollers. Lots of ups and three big towns to navigate through before Bratislava: Nitra, Šaľa, and Galanta.

Lunch stop was at 70k, there was a boring 15k before it that was flat / slight gradient uphill and a cross wind, I was nearly blown out onto the road a couple of times. At 60k Michele came up beside me, he had made a wrong turn in the previous town, and we rode into lunch together. The 10k of highway was like it had been poured in 10 metre segments at time, each one allowed to dry before the next segment was poured as there was a lumpy crack between each of them, it was uneven and unpleasant to ride – but as I kept telling myself, it was still way better than a 12% hill.

After lunch Michele and I rode the rest of the way to Bratislava together. It was hot and windy, slightly uphill and I just concentrated on keeping up with him. There was nothing of great significance to see during the day until we got to Bratislava.

We are in Bratislava for two nights, with a rest day tomorrow. We are staying in a Botel (hotel on water) called Botel Gracia! Thankfully the boat is firmly fixed to the bank so it’s not a sailing sensation (thankfully as I get seasick as well as carsick) unless of course you look out the windows and see the Danube River flowing past!

Botel Gracia

Once we had unpacked and cleaned up we met up the top in the bar for a cold beer. A group of us went out for dinner to a local place, but for the first time we chose badly. The food was fatty, cold and unpleasant, but the company was fun. I had an early night, and I was looking forward to sleeping in.

I was talking to Ciran who had been the sweep yesterday when I got lost and it turned out he had also gotten lost where I did. He only found his way because his phone was working and he was able to ring, which made me feel a bit better.

Only a short time now before over half the group leave us. We have six more riding days then another rest day and then three more riding days till we arrive in Venice. Walli, Daphne, Shirley, Gen, Rob, Brian, Louise, Gareth and Ciran all leave in Venice. This leaves Jan and Danya, Brett, Scott, Daniel, Michele and I going all the way to Lisbon, and David and John who go until Barcelona.

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