Days 49 & 50 of my cycling journey
Cycling from Bludov to Svitavy, I had a relatively short trip of 56 km, but was ascending at the same time almost 800 m. It was a very hot day and the exertions from the day before showed in the form of heavy legs and a slight attitude problem. I wasn’t feeling the freshest all day and I knew the reasons.
The morning in my concealed camp spot was coming too fast. I felt a bit weak, and my legs were not really ready to start a new cycling day. In fact, I had to use all my willpower to extract myself from my sleeping bag. Not before, however, I watched a natural spectacle from my prime position in the tent. The “Return of the Slugs” featured for another instalment on my tent walls. The sun was shining in its brightest outside and in the tent I could see the familiar shadows of slugs crawling all over my rainfly and the inner tent. It almost felt like watching the performance of an Indonesian shadow theatre, “wayang”, but much slower. Super slow-motion, if you like. The action highlight of this performance was, when one giant slug extended both its tentacles simultaneously – exhilarating stuff. However, snail watching wasn’t on my agenda this day and I had to get out to do something much nastier – slug removal. Equipped with a knife I went and removed all the snails from my tent. If you wonder why I need a knife for that purpose, I can tell you that removing slugs with your bare hands is not the most pleasant of tasks, especially if it is before breakfast. The slimy character of the slugs is best approached with a knife when you gently push the knife between the tent wall and the slug to scrape it off ever so gently. I am an animal friend after all.
At one point I couldn’t delay my departure any more, and I had to move on. The whole day I cycled through the foothills of the Jeseniky mountain range. Up and down, it went, up and down. Not the friendly gradients of 1-4%, but rather steeper ascents within the 6-8% range. I soon concluded that my legs would need some rest at one point. Consequently, I rented on my app a room in the little town of Svitavy, where I would also stay the next day. Slightly re-energized from the thought of a rest day, I cycled through beautiful countryside. Forests and agricultural pastures dominated my views, interwoven with small picturesque little villages. Arriving at my guesthouse after 56 km I was very much exhausted. Having cycled another very “hilly” day had finished me off. Time to rest the “Old Man”.
My rest day in Svitavy was mainly spent with doing some office work. Amongst others, my website had crashed and I had to “repair” it, an undertaking that went completely haywire. I worked diligently, and nothing happened to the site. Well, on another day I would have to watch some tutorials to find out the problem. I wrote some blog entries, and I filmed a video about my dead power-bank to back-up my claim for a replacement.
Of course, I found some time to visit the lovely town of Svitavy. I was completely surprised by the beautiful old centre of the city, which was much bigger than a city of 17 000 inhabitants would usually have. It indicated that the town had seen before more prosperous days in the past, and indeed reading up on the history I learned that it was once a centre for the textile production with well over a hundred factories. These times have gone though, but the beaty of the city remains. One of the more prominent sons of the city had been Oskar Schindler, the man who saved, amongst others, Ben Kingsley in the movie by Steven Spielberg.
I was happy that I stayed a day in Svitavy and had a chance to explore this beautiful small town. I went to have dinner, watched an evening movie in my guesthouse and fell asleep, relaxed and ready for new adventures the next day.