(written by Dave)
It was a quiet night in our hotel/pub, and equally quiet this morning. Guess not much happens in Sedlcany on a Sunday night. I thought that we might have been the only guests but when we got ready to go, I noticed that our bikes had been moved to make room for two additional bikes. We never saw the other riders but we saw their bikes. Brekkie was good and though skies did not look great, we hit the road about 8:30. We made to the edge of town, about 500 meters before it started to rain enough to make us stop, ducking under an awning at the last servo in town to take cover. We waited for about 20 minutes before the rain eased and we headed off again.
Today’s route put us back on highway 105 for most of the day. It was just as nice today as it was yesterday. The roadside continued to be lined with various fruit trees though today we didn’t see any more cherries. Today plumbs made an apperance but like the apples and pears, they were not ripe. I searched the internet but couldn’t find any reference to these trees but given that we saw them lining the road for the better part of two days and over 150k, somebody had to have had a plan. Maybe we’ll ask at information tomorrow – I’m sure we’ll not get an answer as most people travelling in cars would probably be going too fast to even notice the trees were there.
About 20k from Sedlcany we came across another biker stopped at one of those roadside crosses that Nancy mentioned yesterday. I have to admit that we are now in full European mode – that is, don’t stop when a tourist comes the other direction. There are too many of them and most seem to have no interest in stopping for a chat. Today, Nancy caught eyes with the lone cyclist and decided to stop. I followed but didn’t expect much. It turns out that the cyclist was Patty from Portland, Oregon. She is on a solo trip from Prague to Vienna. What a small world – that’s our home town in the USA. We talked for 20 minutes or so as the rain steadily intensified. Eventually we had to say goodbye or all three of us would have been too wet and cold to ride onward. We didn’t get her details other than her name – but we were glad that we stopped and chatted. As usual, a serendipitous roadside meeting brightened our day.
Somewhere along the way we passed a massive solar panel array. It was nice to see this after passing the nuclear plant yesterday. Several people asked about the plant yesterday – no, the road did not go between the cooling towers; rather it went beside them – all of them on the one side. I liked the long shot photos that made it look like were going straight at them so I posted them. As we’ve travelled this trip, I’ve often asked the locals we meet where their power comes from. I admit not being fully aware of this myself before the trip but I am more aware now. We’ve passed coal fired plants, solar plants, nuclear plants, hydro plants and even geothermal plants. In the outback, many towns had massive diesel generators. Thus, my question, “where does your power come from?“ I have been surprised how few people actually know what sort of energy source generates their power. Our trip start coincided with the disaster in Japan so I guess that made me more curious… Here in CZ, I’m afraid that the nuclear plant was much bigger than the solar one – and given how little sun we saw today, probably slightly more reliable.
We stopped for morning tea in Jlove, then stopped again about 5k later at a roadside bus shelter when the rain picked up. The shelter was big enough for us, our bikes and it had a bench to sit on – perfect. It rained pretty hard for a spell and we were more than happy for the timing of the shelter. We left the shelter now both in rain coats, with Nancy even putting on her booties and legwarmers. It is supposed to be summer here but we are not seeing much sun.
Eventually the rain ended and we followed 105 to where it terminated and joined busier highway 603. This was easy to find as it was more or less a continuation. We only had two more turns to make from this point – if we were to follow my planned route. The first turn was at a bike path that cut west to the river that runs through Prague. The second was a right turn at the river to follow another bike path into the city. Entering cities with 2 million people is never fun but today it worked out pretty good. Both of the aforementioned turns were hard to find and required a few extra map check, but we eventually found them and ended up with very little heavy traffic. On the riverside path, Nancy spotted a sign that made reference to a Ibiza Beach Party with one of the headline acts being Peter Costa. Well, we were quite taken. We knew that my lifelong friend Peter was skillful but good enough to headline in Prague – wow, how does one man have so much talent?
Long-time readers will know that Peter turned 51 last week, when he turned 50 last year, we posted a special note for him: https://leavewithoutpay.com/2011/07/01/park-to-park-ride-katherine-gorge-to-edith-falls-925013k/) happy belated 51 Pete!
Getting to our hotel was easy as well as it is just two blocks off the river. We are right on the edge of old-town in a nice little neighborhood. There are lots of great buildings, restaurants and bars all around us. We are both pretty tired tonight so we hit Tesco for dinner supplies and a low-key dinner. We walked right to the store but they call it by the Czech spelling. We were in the store and I asked a security guard where Tesco was. I don’t think I was the first to ask him but I felt pretty silly when he told us, “all five floors”.
Nancy has been on the web and found all sorts of things for us to do the next two days. I’m not sure what the list covers as she has fallen asleep and I don’t think she’d be impressed if I ask her for a review right now. Check back tomorrow and see what we’ve discovered.
(In fact, the senior editor is sound asleep now, and will not be editing this post… All speellng errors or contextually using the wrong word, well, I’m to blame – sorry)