Last night, my Czech friend Mirek wrote to me, offering to pick us up. He said the weather looks really bad, and you don’t want to finish the trip so wet.
I ‘politely’ declined. Tony and I both agreed that it would take something horrendous weather wise to agree to that. We wanted to finish, what we started, on our bike. Besides, our final day was a shorter, easier ride…well on paper we thought it was!
We checked the forecast. We could see his point. Weather forecasts can change overnight, and we had our fingers crossed. On the plus side, it was not going to be cold.
Waking up I checked and it was pouring down big time.
By the time we finished breakfast and changed clothes, the rain was easing! YES!
We headed out of Kutna Hora, up a hill and onto nice quiet country roads. The first village was Grunta, boasting about 20 houses and this amazing church.
We passed through the large town of Kolin but did not stop until we were back onto a bike path that followed the river Elbe. We had ridden through Kolin on our very first day.
It was a great sealed path and we enjoyed it…shared pathways are slower to ride on, but you can relax as there is not the traffic to contend with. Many are also used by local residential traffic so you can’t totally switch off.
Some photos from this section. There were taverns along the way. I imagine on a sunny summers day it would be a very pleasant place to chill out.
Note the cycle path signage. The Czechs have done a great job. No new infrastructure for bikes. What they do is use existing infrastructure, work our routes, map them, signage and at infrequent intervals larger area maps on the side of the road. This would be simple to do in Tasmania with minimal $ spent.
The plan was to stop in Podebrady for a coffee. I like Podebrady. The weather was looking ok.
The approach to Podebrady was very nice. Different aspect to my previous visits there.
We headed straight to a coffee shop we were familiar with adjacent to the main town park. We had not seen this part of the park before.
Whilst sitting in the cafe I was texting Mirek our whereabouts. I asked him the following…and then his response…
Awesome! We had enjoyed our ride on the sealed bike path to Podebrady and we looked forward to continuing on a ‘sealed’ path to Cekalovice, which is situated adjacent to the same river.
It started off nicely. The town in the distance is Nymburk.
The town fortification was interesting. It began soon after the town was established around 1275, with the more significant work carried out during the reign of King Vacaville II from 1288 to 1305,and a latter section in 1337 during the reign of John of Luxembourg.
The fortification is around 7-8 metres high, and had 50 towers. A deep defensive moat once existed in front of the walls.
The walls were badly damaged during the Thirty Year War in the 17th century, and reconstructed during the early 1900’s.
The town has a nice tower clock.
On the other side of town the sealed path turned to a single track. Narrow and slow. As we went on it became quite muddy and slippery in patches, and I ended up walking, pushing or using my bike as a scooter for the worst sections up twisting slopes.
I made a mental note to have a chat about the word ‘sealed’…I don’t think it translated! 😂😂 . Having said that though, it was ‘kinda’ fun, and slowed our progress to finishing our odyssey. Let’s face it, I did not really want to finish.
After fiddle farting around on the dirt for 10 km or so, drops of rain were felt. Wind was getting stronger, and we were at a bridge crossing the river Elbe.
We made an executive decision to hit the true, sealed road and head directly to the finish post.
12 km or so, and it was all over bar the photographs, memories, some scars from falls, 2 refrigerator magnets ( our sole souvenir purchases), 2 dirty bikes and lots of stories to tell.
Would I do it again? Heck Yes! I would start it all over tomorrow, no questions asked.
Tomorrow we train into Prague so keep,watch!