I had a strange nights sleep and was pleased to also find out that I hadn't been dreaming in hearing the strange noises outside our tents. We camped on the edge of a forest overlooking a field and hadn't really thought too much about our location at the time. We had obviously missed the signs informing us of deer in the area as both Tom and I were aware of the sound of hoof steps very close to our tents in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if one of us moved to frighten them but they shot off at a rapid pace once they realised there were others present. Subsequently I spent the next half an hour in fear of being trampled by more passing deer during the night; thankfully that wasn't the case.
It was porridge for breakfast on a slightly damp morning before we hit the road and our first stop of the day in Strakonice.
We've changed our route slightly and instead of heading directly south in the Czech Republic and picking up our cycle trail in Passau Germany we have decided to head West and a more direct route to Ratisbone or Regensburg as it seems to be in German. This also looks a very scenic route which takes us through two national parks one on either side of the border.
The upside to taking the more scenic route away from the main highway has been some quite stunning scenery but with every upside there is always a down. We find ourselves doing a lot of climbing and in this heat it is quite strenuous. Also because we are now off the main drag we need to be more focused on making sure we take the right turns. Each small village presents us with a whole variety of options and we need to make sure we get it right. It would be awful to find ourselves heading in the wrong direction especially in this terrain for half an hour or so.
We are taking it very easy though and it's been a real pleasure just to take the foot of the gas a little. In Strakonice we took the opportunity of a nice café to rest up a grab a cup of tea. We have a little Czech money left and want to obviously use it up before we leave the country. The café was very nice and set in the main square of this small town. I took this rare opportunity to test out my very limited Czech on the waitress serving us. If truth be told limited is stretching my language ability somewhat and one of the few sentences I can always remember is that of “One more beer please” The waitress obviously not realising I was just attempting to show off appeared five minutes later with a tray containing not only two pots of tea but also and ice cold pint of beer! Well it would have been rude to send it back so it was supped back with consummate ease. The combination of ice, sugar and ubiquitous Czech hops made for a unexpected treat in the afternoon.
Both Tom and I can't quite believe how quite everywhere is, granted we are riding through small villages but everywhere looks totally deserted. Some of the villages have wonderfully curious names such as Laz, Dom and Lom or always seem to end in 'vice' or 'ice'
We hit Suscine late in the day and soon found a decent place to set up camp right by a river at around 5:30. With the late evening sun still shining down on the river it meant there was enough time for a short dip and wash in the cool water.
Refreshed and more importantly clean it was back to the camp for a feast of pasta , garlic, tomatoes and olives. With my time in the Czech Republic coming to an end it was only right that part of our daily shop went on two 'original' Budweiser’s. River chilled they certainly went down an absolute treat and aided our 8:10 bedtime.
Tomorrow we will head out of Czech Republic and into Germany. I've loved being back here, spending time with old friends and more importantly rolling through the magnificent Czech countryside. If you have a bike and a couple of weeks to spare there surely can't be too many better places to come with you bike