2 August 2011

Up early to pack and the weather is looking promising. After two days off the bike I’m looking forward to putting in some miles again today. It could be a long day if I make it to Slovakia as planned. But I want to see some Czech towns on the way to my overnight stop in the Tatra Mountains.

Everything is charged up – helmet, phones, camera, GoPro HD etc so time to pack everything away and take a few items at a time downstairs where it can wait while I go and get the bike.

It’s a nice sunny morning and at around 0730am as I walk around the corner to get my bike out of the carpark – it’s still there with no dramas. Always trust local advice.

A short drive back to the hotel and I’ll park it up outside on the pavement while I have breakfast and load it up.

Ready to load in Prague

Ready to load and hit the road!

I say farewell to our host, Katrina, of the past couple of days. Her advice and knowledge of Prague have been great – plus she speaks about 5 languages fluently (I am so envious of this).

Farewell to my host in Prague

BrettfromOz bids Katrina farewell

I bid farewell to Kalahari Geoge and we exchange our individual plans for the next few days. Likely we will catch up again in Poland. It’s almost 0930 – time to leave now.

The routes were planned some time ago and are all loaded in the GPS. Today I’m planning to take routes C2 and C3.  C2 takes me west through the Czech Republic to Kromeriz and C3 from there to the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia – about 400 miles all up if I feel like going that far.

I recall some interesting towns are planned on the way – with minimal motorways.

First stop is in Kutna Hora, courtesy of the local police.  Seems like about 10 other cars I’ve gone down a road that I shouldn’t have. Very scenic though but I tell the officer I don’t understand and I never saw any signs, honest. Off the bike and out with the licence and passport – a good time for some photos too.

Seems the combination of an international drivers license and Aussie passport are too much for the local law keepers so I was asked to move on – good result. I even got a police escort out of town (well there was a police car in front of me for a few miles – but this sounds way better). I saw more police around Kutna Hora than I had all the way there from London!

Some more miles covered and soon I’m arriving at the town/city of Litomysl. Looks interesting – maybe I’ll stop here, take some photos and stretch my legs. I’m glad I did – see for yourself why.

Back on the bike and some time later I arrive at Kromeriz. Again very interesting – but I feel like I missed the best bits of this city. That’s the problem with high mileage days. Can’t stay too long at any one place. Coffee, water, quick walk around, some photos and back on the road again. A bit like travel lottery – just have to cross your fingers that you get a couple of jackpots from all the miles travelled.

Anyway – here’s the highlights of what I did see – let me know what I missed out on if you’ve been there.

I left Kromeriz around 15:00 with still a further 164 miles to get to the Tantra Mountains region of Slovakia. Seemed like I had only just made it to the Czech Republic and had thoroughly enjoyed my brief stay. But a new country beckoned.

It wasn’t long before I was crossing the border into Slovenia – I hadn’t expected the roads to be this good. Good weather, good (traffic free) roads and a great bike are all you can ask for on a trip like this. Scenic too.  Good time was made in spite of a few wrong turns.

Got to my planned overnight stay (no bookings though) only to find they were booked out. Back on the bike and my inquiries at another 3 guest houses by the lake yielded no success. It’s starting to get dark now and I’m getting hungry. This game of not knowing where you will spend each night is both exhilarating and stressful. But in the back of your mind you know something will always work out,

I stopped at another guest house this time a little further away from the lake. No accommodation available but I’m welcome to have something to eat in the restaurant. Good feed too – and good value.

I logged onto their WIFI and found a hotel room about 30 minutes away – so I booked it on-line. On settling my bill for dinner I was informed that the guest house had a late cancellation and I could stay the night. I was devastated – this place looked great (see for yourselves):

Tatra Mountains Guest House

Would have preferred to stay here

Total miles today 415 (668km), cumulative 1,336 (2,150km).

Update: This was a great day on my Turkey motorcycle tour, having the freedom to stop in some wonderful towns all of which are well worth visiting if you are ever in the Czech Republic.  The scarcity of accommodation in the Eastern Tatras was unexpected but on reflection it was summer and a very scenic region of Slovakia with numerous lakes and holiday makers. Maybe I’d better reconsider my strategy of ride somewhere and cross my fingers I will find accommodation for the night.  I was getting a little anxious as the late afternoon sun was setting.