Another chillaxing start to the day provided me the opportunity to catch up on blogs and respond to some messages received. I think my body is starting to ‘normalise’ as I awoke about 545 am so sat outside in the early morning sun enjoying a few cups of coffee, while the Horak family slept.
Mirak is very clever having built the house himself ( he is not a builder), and developed this backyard, which included hand excavating and removing many many tonnes of soil to create the sunken garden.
Sarka is the keen gardener, as on a number of mornings I found her out tending her garden. She is very proud to report that there are 10 cherries on the trees along the back fence!
The plan today was to drive out to Hrad Korkorin for lunch, and then Mirak and I would ride home.
Hrad Korkorin is yet another impressive Bohemian Castle constructed in the early 1400’s only to suffer severe damage during the Hussite Wars.
Today it stands magnificently perched high above its dominions.
We enjoyed a lovely traditional Czech meal. Mine was a spinach crepe, with beetroot and apple salad. Although I should have known better, I also succumbed to a tiramisu.
The restaurant famously boasted this giant horse, the work of many craftsmen and women.
I visited the toilets….and learned the name for men and women…this was the men’s loo…
So here we are dressed for a ride and ready to roll, including Sarka and her new skateboard.
We started on a plateau so immediately descended and then climbed again…that is when I regretted the tiramisu…I was pretty sure it was going to be leaving my body as I climbed the hill with cold legs and lungs…Sharron, Sharron, Sharron when are you going to learn!
The road through the forest was narrow ( two way) but very scenic.
So we descended again to ride along the gorge, with Hrad Korkorin high above. There were so many families out riding.
This has been a consistent feature in the Czech Republic. The number of cyclists of all genres and capabilities has been astounding. The roads are narrower, yet the car drivers would be by far the most patient and respectful I have ever encountered.
We stopped at this really cute lake along the gorge.
Directly over the road from the lake is this renovators delight. In its hey day I am sure it was magnificent boasting a fantastic lake view.
We left the gorge and littered along a myriad of country roads. I am glad Mirek knew where he was going! We stopped at a little village for an icecream…but Mirek, found this instead.
The pub was intriguing. The only sign of life in this quiet village was at the pub. The old fellow in the photo below has an electric trike. He came for a beer and a smoke…
As we neared Celakovice there were fields and fields of yellow flowers. I am pretty sure it is rapeseed (canola), that is also grown along the north west coast of Tasmania. In Czech this flower is crushed for the oil, which is added to fuel to make it ‘green’ and more environmentally ‘friendly’.
We arrived on the opposite banks of the Lube river via a series of dirt trails, walking across this pretty pond.
Another great ride came to an end.
The Czech Republic is a beautiful country to ride in. Having now ridden around 480 km in my short stay here, I am blown away by the beauty and variety. Sure there are some very pot holed roads, but there are also some excellent roads and cycle trails.
I felt safe riding on the roads and did not experience one abusive driver, or anyone buzzing me closely.
Will I be back? Absolutely. This visit came about based on a promise I made Mirek last year when I participated as a member of the Aussie Battlers in a 24 hour event. Mirek wrote to me asking me to put an Aussie team together. I was like ‘no way..24 hours ? You have got to be kidding me’ !?!
History shows that I sought out the three most crazy zwifters I knew who were Aussie, who had endurance and perhaps as crazy as me. So I approached Tim Searle, Steven Fielke and Matthew Double.
Without hesitation they agreed and we won beating other teams that included the super awesome Andy Jackson ( aiming to break the world indoor record) and Chris ‘Hoppo’ Hopkinson..
As a result, I agreed to coffee in Prague, 2019. I delivered, one year ahead of schedule!!! No one can say I don’t live up to my promises!
So my stay here has come to a close. I am writing this blog as I sit in Prague airport, having arisen at 330 am! My flight is at 1025 am, but Mirek needed to go to work, but insisted on driving me to the airport ( opposite direction to his work).
I am not good with farewells… however, I have promised to return and Saskia (senior) and I agreed this is not farewell…it is SEE YOU LATER!
Whilst waiting at the airport Mirek sent me the following photo…he told me I would need to buy some new shoes in Italy…
So Czech Republic….I will be back! Need to collect my boots!