Day 25

Out of Dresden to sleep next to a Czech railway line. The glamour never leaves this life.

We leftthe hostel in Dresden (which has banned any excessive swing on a hammock..) fairly late as we wanted to take one last look at what my forefathers did not manage to destroy and then found the road of the city and headed due south. Because of the late start we ended up cycling in the dark down the river Elbe into the Czech Republic. No big fanfare, no marching band but for me another country to add to the list and the very special moment that I will treasure for a long time, the speedo hitting its first 1000. Childish I know but in less than a month I have made it a lot further than I had originally envisaged.

As it became too dark to cycle we ended up sleeping next to a picnic bench which backed onto a railway line. The continous rumble of freight wagons through the night that appeared to be coming out of ford factory somewhere further away, the incessant rain and the bemused looks of the morning joggers did not detract from the fact that it was a great spot.

We left the cycle path when we saw that it would be an extra 60 miles to Prauge so we decided to take a short cut duirectly across the hills. through old mountain villages that have stood still, very reminiscent of Romania. Imagine Germany but everything is worn out. Older cars, lots of Trabants and Skodas and homesteads or smallholdings in every village. All with a crazy dog that for some unkown reason is worked into a state of apoplexy by the sight of a bicycle. People are fairly friendly but the overall reaction when people see us riding through is one of bemusement. I think it is more to the weather but people are still fairly distant but by no means as bad as in england where the cloud of paronia hovers over us all.

So after slogging it up more hills than I care to recall on our ’short’ cut we decided to call it a day after a beer and ended up sleeping in a field between two small villages. I spent the night contorted in the tent trying to stay dry as the weight of snow that had fallen during the night meant that the water was running straight through onto my sleeping bag. Fun.

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