We finally make Poland
Trip Start Apr 28, 2010
58Trip End Jul 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
It's just before the Slovakia - Poland border on this very rough old bitumen road. We've got some video of the short ride through Stalites and to the border which will probably interest Di's rellos rather than anyone else, as it shows Di's bike reaching the Polish border.
The photos below show how desolate this particular crossing is. The old border guard's buildings have been torn down but the foundations are still in place and it all looks derelict
Our GPSs - them again - took us on a lovely winding back road through beautiful country and Polish villages which are obviously doing a little better than Slovakia's. Eventually they led us, predictably, to a "road closed" sign after we'd followed their directions to Krakow for a long time. Once again our luck was in. Yet another encounter with the cameraderie of motorcyclists.
European bikers are enthusiastic users of the cool flick of the hand to acknowledge one another. After a while you can start to think you'll get RSI if you keep waving your hand around, so you can wind up leaving your left hand slightly out from the bar in a long term nonchalant signal if theres'quite a few going the other way. However it's definitely not faked - pull up looking like you could use a hand and it's usually not long before a bike slows down to see if there's a problem. Doesn't happen when you're in a car in my experience.
Piotr is the 1st Polish person we've ever spoken to on Polish soil. He also had come to this closed road (bet he has a Garmin GPS)
He must have ridden with us for a good 30 minutes to an intersection where even we couldn't miss the road to Krakow. He wasn't even going there himself, he was just out for a sunny afternoon ride. Then he asked us to come back with him to his home town and go to a gig with him. We were a bit sad to have to knock him back. We already had accomodation paid for in Krakow. We would have loved to make another friend but anyway, thanks Piotr, you're another top bloke. It was a great conversation on the roadside before we parted ways
He took us over the most awful paved roads. They're really really bad, even hazardous. And packed with traffic. He warned us that Polish roads are so bad they're even a joke to Poles. And they are definitely the worst bitumen roads of any country we've been to so far. Both out on the open road and in Krakow, they're shockers. We think there's a law banning the use of all surveying and levelling equjipment in the Polish road maintenance fraternity. If there's a bitumen resurfacing crew out doing the business and they come across a dead cow on the road, we think they just wack the new surface straight over the top of it.
And that's the only criticism of Poland we'll be writing. It's a great place.