Borotin – Hluboka nad Vltavou 75.5 kms 1968’ ascent
Breakfast, this morning was another bit of pantomime while we tried to convey what we would like to drink. Our fellow guests were Dutch (who can always speak other languages) and they knew that the Czech for tea was chi (ironically the same as in India). They wanted chi and we wanted coffee. Somehow I ended up with raspberry tea! Ugh! Alan, however, pointed at the coffee jar and enjoyed a cup of coffee. Despite these difficulties of language, our hosts were delightful and always eager to please. I used Alan’s trick of pointing and succeeded in getting the flask filled with coffee.
Bikes loaded, we pedalled just over a kilometre before we had to partially unload to find the magic tool for fixing a suspect link in Alan’s bike chain! Reloaded, bike fixed, and off we set up the first of quite a few more hills! Much less complaining in the muscle department today, so last night’s rest paid off. We are though, more or less convinced that our beloved track planners have been determined that we should view their country from every high point available. Even beautiful panoramas pall after hundreds of feet of lung bursting ascent. The incline of the hills reduced a little after lunch and we were enjoying a moment of flatness, when a passing cyclist waved us down. Had we passed his mate? No. Somehow the two of them had become separated and it seemed they had no contingency plan. We agreed to tell his mate, if we saw him, that his friend would be waiting in a village whose name I have forgotten. Over an hour later we waved down a fellow who fitted the description of lost and lonely cyclist and passed on the message. We hope they were reunited.
The ride today has been a real pleasure and at its end we have treated ourselves to a hotel and a meal in the restaurant. Alan is now busy trying to find the Czech for dumpling having consumed main course dumplings and dessert dumplings! He is confident, however, that they will fill out the wrinkly skin which has not shrunk with his weight loss. Could be a whole new market for dumplings!
Tomorrow awaits with 4000 kilometres on the clock.