Friday, 3 August 2007

1st to 3rd August (Days 16 - 18 - 13 days with rain) Drawsko to Pila (100km) and then by train to Torun

After feeling refreshed after wild camping, we hit the road again, initially on the 181 which was fairly quiet and had a good surface all the way to Czarnkow. Some beautiful countryside and woodland (although most of it is under pines). The sun came out long enough for us to don sun glasses and suncream!

After Czarnakow we got on to the 178 - aka hell on wheels. Miserable, very dangerous cycling. We muscled our way through Trzcianka and on to the 180 to Pila. There was slighly less traffic, and quite a lot of climbing. We found the R1 again in Pila (which subsequently petered out having taken us a pointless cicle through the back streets). Found a hotel - the Gromada - over-priced and under-facilitated :-) Had a good meal out though, and discussed our options as neither of us were enjoying the cycling in Poland, nor the places that we were passing through (no coffee and cake for a start!! :-) )

We decided to hop on the train to Torun which meant buying tickets for us and the bikes in Polish (handy phrase book, and a helpful lady who happened to be queuing behind us), and then the next day turning up at the station, checking in Polish if we were in the correct place waiting for the correct train, and then, joy, manhandling the bikes on to trains that had three steps and five feet between the platform and the train itself. Not easy.

Once the train got going we were able to relax a bit. John helped a nun with her bags :-) At Torun, the fun and games began again - all the panniers were off the bikes because it was impossible to get the whole lot up that height at one go. Some, lovely Polish students helped us carry our bikes and bags off the train, while the old Polish ladies who were trying to get on, cursed us as we were trying to get off!!

It wasn't raining, but the first thing we hit was road works which meant that we had to cycle on the busy road across the bridge into the old town. The information center was extremely helpful, but because it is a busy time we have ended up in a tiny room overlooking a road that has a pedestrian crossing that beeps every one and a half minutes, very loudly! Ah well - it's dry.

It's now the 3rd of August and time to reasses our plans. I think because the cycling is so awful we are going to catch a train to Kracow and then cycle out onto the Donau (Danube)...we'll let you know in the next rain-sodden adventure from the Owen cycle tour :-)

1 comment:

Hugh Norris said...

I sent you a letter to Dubai the day you left Hull!!! I don't blame you for short circuiting Poland - busy roads from what I remember. Drop me a mail if you have time. Take care. H