Mon 26th Aug.
I’d organised with the hostel owner to go into town and come back to get my stuff before check-out time, although it could run over a bit. She didn’t mind. I walked into the main shopping area and found the electronic store I had looked up. It was on the top floor of a mall complex. I checked with the guys there for a wire to charge the iPad and the best he found was a wire and a plug that I couldn’t test for £30. I wasn’t sure. I was also very tired and short-tempered, but had to be patient with this guy who was being patient with me. I decided against it and he said there was an Apple shop nearby.
I looked around and asked a few people before finding it. Same deal. Charger £15, wire £15 from an official Apple store. Why were such a bunch of cheating bastards that they make their cables so expensive. It was like taking a sucker punch right to the gut, but if it meant I was back on track then so be it. Then the guy asked me if I wanted the 1 metre cable, or the 1.5 metre cable. I hate retail.
I got back and got my things while the french guys were just getting up. I said goodbye and that it was nice to meet them and they wished me luck, which at this rate, I needed.
It wasn’t a pleasant stop to Prague. It rained a lot, was constantly grey and I slept so badly that I was looking forward to getting back in the tent tonight. Leaving the city wasn’t easy either. I crossed the river and had a road I wanted to get on, but wasn’t sure how to get there. Still without GPS, I had to go on instinct and check the iPad, which I had managed to charge while getting a coffee and reading.
I got where I needed to and found the road, but went too far on it and didn’t exit when I should have. I backtracked and exited where I thought I should and almost immediately it was like I was out of the city. I dropped down into some woods and went round a few turns and was on the road that would take me where I needed to go. The landscape was totally different and never would’ve guessed that this nice path that went through a dense wood was metres from the city edge. I was relieved to be out of the city and got pedalling.
It was already quite late before progress could really begin as I’d over stayed in the cafe to charge the pad. But I was happy and just needed to put some distance between me and Prague. I went to a shop and used the last of my Korunas on chocolate and water. The essentials. Then I was back in the Czech countryside for a few hours.
The last point of the day was a town called ‘Roudnice nad Labem’. True to form I went wrong here and went east out of this town instead of north. I saw a field that would’ve been well suited to camping outside the town, but decided to get on the right route then camp, giving myself one less job in the morning. I went back into the town and crossed the bridge over the river while the sun setting. The colours were very vibrant and it was one of the occasions where I stopped to take in the river in the colours of the sunset with a Gothic Czech town in the background, spires and all.
I crossed the bridge, heading north on the right path. Luckily for me when I got there it was all long roads, fields and no houses. Perfect. I went into the first lot of woods about a kilometre from the bridge. There was some marshy mud paths going in that I managed to avoid losing my shoes in when I broke into the woods. I heard something in the woods, probably and animal and as I went further in to find a spot for the night, I saw a deer skeleton lying on the floor. It was by far one of the most sinister things I’d seen on the trip, I studied it very briefly, then decided to bolt as quickly as possible as I had got the willies being in the woods on my own at nightfall.
I went around the large field I came in on and found a trail for walkers. I followed it for a bit and then camped under a few trees along the path. I was exposed to the road and could hear every vehicle that went past, but was slightly covered by the trees. I slept well and was grateful to be out of Prague and hot on the tail of Berlin.