Day 3, Sunday July 15t(129km) - On my bike finally

Trip Start Jul 13, 2012
1
4
35
Trip End Aug 16, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hotel Okatex

Flag of Poland  , Western Poland,
Sunday, July 15, 2012

So the bike trip begins. Deck out in my "Monkey versus Bananas" cycling outfit I am ready to go. Sometimes I wondered why people were looking at me funny. Originally I was thinking it was because it was strange to see a biker on certain roads. Then I realized it was the giant monkey face on my shirt!

I planned to start before 8:00 but slept a bit longer than I wanted (which is a good thing) and then I had to eat breakfast. I hope the guest did not think I was a pig for eating so much, but I need to fuel up. Just before I start my bike I encounter what might be the first major disaster of the trip and I have not even clipped my shoes into the pedals.  The gps is not showing any roads!!!. And it is having trouble picking up satellites - WTF!!!

I get the satellite to work by rebooting and start following the purple line on a blank green screen. I leave on a wing and a prayer. And since I do not believe in supernatural religious stuff I guess I left only on a wing!?! There are no gas stations or shops to buy a map. I felt blind and nervous as I can't fall behind on first day.  After about 15km I felt more at ease as I started going through small towns that I remembered the course would take me through. I realized two days later what was going on I only have Eastern Europe and Turkey map loaded onto the gps so it did not have info on Eastern Germany and for some strange reason the first part of my trip into Poland.
 
The German country side was very pleasant and only a few rolling hills. Other than the gps taking me briefly off road everything went smoothly. As I approached Gubin I knew I was near the border. I finally seen a huge road sign showing the speed limit signs for Poland. I started up my video camera and started to roll. Then I realized I was already In Poland and other than the speed limit sign there was nothing else to indicate I just crossed an international border. I was a sad panda :o(

Within one minute of entering Poland it started to rain and the Polish version of Gubin was markedly different than the German side. And not is a good way. But for me more enjoyable as this is what I want to experience on my trip.

Then I got caught in a rainstorm - it was only brief but enough to make my feet soaked and uncomfortable. But I am prepared for this :o)
 
I reached a small town called Jasien an witness an man stumbling in the middle of the road in a pretty tree lined road on the outskirts of the town. The cars were honking at him and zooming around him with the little space they had. I was getting worried as I had no idea what was going on. Was he a crazy drunk trying to attack people as he seemed to be trying to lean onto the cars as they were close?

Once I was closer I noticed he was a tall gaunt man and very pale. He was carrying a motorcycle helmet in his right hand and there was noticeable amount of blood running down the right side of his face from his forehead. I assume he was in a serious motorcycle accident. He was obviously in shock or just not able to respond properly. I can't believe all those cars honked and passed by him. This was a small town and the road was a small highway - most likely some of them were locals. I tried talking to him, but he either knew no English or was mentally not able to comprehend anything. I did not know the area so there was not much I could do. I helped wave down a car. Another person who knew no English but seem to be trying to talk to him.  I am assuming he received the help he needed. I did not feel like taking a picture or video of a person's tragic consequences. I did notice after that there were no signs of any accident near by and his clothes were not tattered. Also there was a service station about 500m away. It all seems very strange. 

Passing through the town of Zary I was fascinated by some of the old derelict buildings - look like fun spots for a party.

After 129km and over 5 hours on the bike I arrive in Zagan. My Hotel was part of a park full of smaller hotels (5 or 6 in total). Any way I was glad to arrive and get a shower and go foraging for food. Zagan is most famous for being the site of "The Great Escape" which was made into a blockbuster movie in 1962 starring Steve McQueen (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057115/).

The town was very nice. At the downtown core right by the river and main bridge they actually developed it as a skateboard park for youth. I thought that was an excellent thing. I know many cities create skateboard parks but I have never seen one in possibly the best real estate in town. I hope it makes the kids feel part of the community and not marginalized. You know the feeling they only created this park in some remote place to get the skateboarders away from major public areas.

Then I found a LidL - my favourite cheap grocery store while travelling. Kind of like a Food Basics but cheaper. Yay lots of affordable, yet probably unhealthy, calories!

When I got back to the hotel to settle in and eat there was a big black spider decidedly enjoying my towel. I gently let him out the window and wished him well, but I was not going to share my food with anyone that night! 
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Comments

Sara C on

Much easier than when I crossed the border 9 years ago. Back then canadians needed a visa just to visit and the guards were very much on duty!

duanet on

It probably had more to do with your sketchy behaviour than a product of the time ;-)

tomservo
tomservo on

Is it culturally insensitive to order a Bloody Mary in Poland?

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