Fri 23rd Aug.
Czeching out the countryside.
I left my spot in the morning and went past a watermelon vendor when I got to the road. I suspect they lived in the houses nearby. Even if they did suspect me for camping in their area, I was rolling down the hill now and there wasn’t anything they could do. I always made sure that I was a respectful camper. I never left any waste and did my best not to leave any signs or damage the land. There was the occasional day were after being drenched in natures wonders and short in patience you frantically mark your territory against nature and devise your sleeping quarters for the night. Snapping twigs and stamping the ground down.
I had a very methodical system for rubbish. I always ensure I had a few plastic bags on me and as I always ate the same food, I could put one can inside the other and all the other rubbish in that, but that in a back and drop it in the first bin I find the next day, usually the first task I’d have to perform.
I got into Znojmo quite early, I looked around and found a nice place for morning coffee. The town felt remarkably French to me, which made me feel more comfortable in these surroundings, which did me a lot of good, like I was staying with a friend or some familiar aura. I drew out some money (Czech Korunas) and went back to enjoy the coffee. The town was coming to life for the day ahead, church bells ringing, and a few people out on the streets. I got a yogurt drink and some bread from a nice shop nearby and left.
I got on the main road which I knew would get me to Prague in three days, averaging around 100km a day maybe less. After being on this road for a few hours through more relentless countryside and a constant onslaught of truckers mowing through the countryside, swerving around me. I decided to leave the main road for a bit of peace and quiet, taking a gamble on the smaller road, which I knew would take longer to get me there, but at least I would do it one piece. Almost instantly I was rewarded, the countryside changed as it went into a forest and there were barely any other vehicles out here to worry about. I also had the rare gift of a tailwind that was rare over the last few weeks, that gently pushed me through the country.
I stopped in a small and decided to spruce things up and enjoy a beer, that is so famously cheap in this country. I got a half pint and it came to less than 50p for a good Czech lager. Not bad. They were playing footage of some snowboarding competition with a lot of Canadian snowboarders in the bar. I had the beer outside. I few locals were on a bench having a drink. Guys in their later twenties. A young lady came over with a kid and spoke to one of them before heading back in the direction she came from. I made the most out of the Tesco in the town and then got back on my country road through the woods.
I went through another town called Telč, which had a nice open town centre, a few charity shops and a bakery. I later found out this town was where Werner Herzog filmed ‘Woyzeck’ is third film with actor Klaus Kinski. A creative partnership I admire (see film ‘My Best Fiend’ for more), for its turbulence and contribution to film.
I played music again as the roads were quiet. At the end of four months I had exhausted every thought imaginable and music was a good antidote. It complimented the scenic views of the forest that I was going through. I descended into a very small and beautiful town situated on a lake called Horní Cerekev. It felt like I was starting to discover some of the gems of this country and it was a nice variation to the mundane few weeks I had. It was surrounded by trees and there was the occasional building snuck into the surroundings.
When the time came to camp, I was clear of these lakes and in a bit of a pickle. Long roads with not many signs of a good spot. I thought about going back to the woods, but couldn’t do that. I found a small industrial building with no-one about. I snuck in under the gate with the bike and had a nice expanse of field to myself for the night. Although the smell wasn’t great, it did the job.