Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 50: to Bad Muskau (76; 3205)

Slightly amazed that I've been on the road fifty days.

Early morning downpours and general laziness delayed my start. I cycled back through town thinking 'well, Görlitz is jolly lively for a Sunday morning', then on checking the weather forecast realised it was actually Saturday. So perhaps the 50 days are starting to show!

A breezy day, not too hot but humid (sweat rolling down between my bum cheeks humid).

The path has little to do with the river at this point, instead taking me through cornfields, pine forests, and meadows. 

I lunched in the extremely empty main square of Rothenberg,  a completely tumbleweed town by noon on a Saturday.

In the afternoon I thought: let's see a bit more of Poland. There was a 20 km detour marked on my map, and it was nice country - unsurprisingly a lot like the German side, but with less herbicide use, fewer habitations and almost no cars.

Oh, and 5k of awful jarring cobbles. I suppose they were actually rather beautiful but I have a bit of a dicky tummy, so they were not that welcome! The worst thing was having to keep going fast enough so the flies didn't catch me - I've been bitten by horseflies on my right knee twice in two days. 

Then just when you think you've seen it all, out of the forest comes a completely deserted, brand new, 89 metre high wooden viewing tower. With a stunning view of the local area. Thanks again, EU money.
Got quite lost the last few k back into Germany. First a (legit, marked on my map) cycle path ended at a big gate with barbed wire and an angry-looking sign. I feel somewhat less inclined to trespass in Poland, even if I could get round the wire. Then I end up in what I think is the right town... but which direction is the river / bridge / Germany? I try navigating by cigarette shop density but this surprisingly fails. I realise I'm getting nearer however when I find myself cycling through a full-blown border market, like in Mexico. Knock-off goods and pleather bags and cigarettes and multipacks of everything. Complete with police checking car boots once back on the German side. All in all rather odd - still Schengen but perhaps the first real economic 'border' I have seen all trip!

Bad Muskau, the German side of this, is a perfect little town with yet more cobbles, and a beautiful public park containing a couple of castles, follies, etc. I tried repeating my luck at tourist info but turns out it doesn't work so well in German. Even so I ended up at the perfect little camping spot in a hamlet a few km on from the town. I believe the set-up is actually a barn converted into a bell museum (?) but also has rooms.  Right now, Horace and I have the peaceful little orchard all to ourselves. Couldn't be happier!

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