Photos sorted but camera screen is busticated

Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
1
10
27
Trip End Dec 03, 2009


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Where I stayed
578 km so far

Flag of Slovakia  ,
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

4th September

Woke up early and saw the dawn, a grey was awoken.  Lulled around the centre of Spisska Nova, brought food to re-energise my legs.  I rubbed it all over them but it didnŽt seem to help so I purchased some more and retired to my disintegrating communist hotel cell and this time cooked my acquisitions under the window and watched the rain clouds building.

With a stomach as full as the rain clouds I went for a walk and got soaked.

5th September

The rain was persisting but not enough to dampen my desire to continue east.  IŽd poured steak , salad and fruit into my stomach, my tiredness was alleviated and my legs no longer screamed "stop"!.... I was ready...to go back to bed.   Instead I overloaded the lurid-leg breaker, as usual it took far to long, waved goodbye to the ice-maiden receptionist and weaved my way through the pot-holed roads in search of a back route towards Kosice.  

Using my compass, 1:200 000 map and my expert knowledge, I got completely lost.  Lost in the Slovakian sense of the word, where the road should have been there was an almost track and various trenches in the mud. Having already compromised my "no downhill braking policy" I wasnŽt about to negate my "no going back" policy and so continued onwards through quarries, rivers, up and down dale, through forests and meadows, Gypsy / Rom / Romani people settlements.  People wanted to talk to me, and did, well, we made our own phonetic sounds and gesticulated and smiled and eventually I was pointed in the right direction and left with a feeling of peace with the world.

After my huge detour, I was on tarmac and heading east, the afternoon almost gone.  Evening was approaching by the time I approached Kompacy.  The first thing I noticed were Police buzzing around everywhere and then a skinhead, then lots of skinheads wearing bomber jackets and looking very moody.  I decided not to greet them with my best Slovakian and headed out of town waving to the Gypsy encampment on my way, who in turn cheered and waved back and tried to sell me mushrooms.

There were so many police motorbike, cars and I kid you not, police tanks that a police biker had actually crashed into one of his colleagues. Very embracing,  for my part I got away without a fine for not having my helmet on.

A day of rain, sunshine, peace and hostility came to a close for me on the banks of a river near Margecany.

September 6th           71 km  Total so far 449 km

I awoke at dawn to a cold misty morning, which would have made crawling out of my cocoon highly debatable if it hadnŽt been for my about-to-rupture bladder.    I packed up and back-tracked along the river bank to Margecany where there were already an array of fishermen all dressed in camouflage hiding from the fish.

I had to go up the mountain the river went through and then met up with it again and took a tea-break. There were two other cyclists next to the river, half dead on benches.  I wrongly assumed they had drunk so much Boroviska the night before that they were seriously hungover, I boiled enough water to make tea for them too.  They enjoyed the tea but not as a hangover cure but mere refreshment after their 40 km ride from Kosice which started at 6 a.m after a night spent in a bus-shelter.  Michal explained that he didnˇt want the extra weight of a tent.  Youthful thinking, I remember it well.  I was very impressed with TomasŽ innovative cardboard mudguards, as well as their supply of chocolate which was to be their diet for the next week.  Youthful thinking, I remember it well.

 After a fantastic ride on a good and unfrequented riverside road I was invited to join fellow cyclists, Joesph and Veria on the road to Kosice.  I accepted their invitation but was secretly thinking it would be a bit slow and tedious.  How wrong I was.

Joesph knew the area, it was his hood.  We crossed rivers, railway tracks, followed paths IŽd never have guessed existed  and twice traversed train bridges.  Train bridges, long train bridges, for trains not bicycles, train bridges where if a train comes while you traversing it, you die or jump.  The first bridge was no problem or more accurately no train.  The second involved a hastily aborted mission.

The advertised 20 km by road to Kosice turned into 20km as the Joesph flys.

We met  a couple of Joesph and VieraŽs friends on the way into Kosice and the four of them escorted me through the city and on to a campsite which was under and next to motorways.  We grank a lot of beer together before they departed. 

A day of meeting the young and old drifted away as I went to sleep listening to the paralyzing drone of motorway traffic on the outskirts of
SlovakiaŽs second city.

7th September  115 km 

I awoke to the memory that I had a headache for a good reason, thanks to my Kosice cycle posse.  I eventually overloaded the chain-driven rolling apparatus and slowly, very slowly, left my motorway residence.

I trundled around the beautiful streets of Kosice, drinking water and eating unripe fruit... I remembered, that the day before Joesph had taken me to the famous "aqua minerale" fountain, where I had guzzled and nearly vomited, it was that revolting spa bile, Id drunk about half of the periodic table.

I left Kosice and vaguely headed east along back roads, my hangover passed and slowly my strength returned, that was until I forced to take a main road.  Cars, motorbikes, trucks, cruise missiles and the space-shuttle all shot past me, draining my energy but answering my prayers by not hitting me.  At about 3pm I was faced by a hill that was just to big and I could no longer deal with the motorization dimension, it really was like being trapped in Mario-Karts with nothing but a a pair of budget 1982 roller-skates.

I spent the next two hours getting lost in woods and amongst other things exchanging noises and hand gestures with a kindly old woman, twice.   Once on my way into the woods and once on my way back to Mario Karts with my policy of no return in shreads.

I re-entered the game.  This time I picked up some power-ups and rode non-stop for four hours at an average of 20kph.  It was dark by the time I reached my lake Zamplinska residence about 30 km from the Ukrainian border.

8th September 0 km   total so far  564

Observing the lake. Rest.
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Comments

maryfrance
maryfrance on

Wow!
Some incredible experiences in there!

Keep strong

Love you

Mum xxx

davemac77
davemac77 on

Oh my God!
Quite an eventful few days!

I'm on the edge of my seat, can't wait for the next installment.

MarioKart with Rhys at Christmas wasn't a complete
waste of time then. Lol

Are you picking up emails?
Thought it might be nice to write to you.

All our love! Dave and Amanda. XXXXX

wagthedooge
wagthedooge on

Yo-Jimbo
Great fun reading what you've been up to MacFadge...keep the stories coming. We all miss you here in Bergamo and talk about how cool your journey is...we too would like to be offered mushrooms by gypsies and have Chav dogs. (but if pressed I'd go with the dog) Tanti baci from the gang 'back home' boyo..PEDAL ON DUDE!!!

ch1mp
ch1mp on

sup?
oi oi, mailed you man, will phone today, ho goes it?

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