05 Jul Bike touring Poland, part one
The following morning and after a short cycle up the Oder, we decided to cross over the border to start bike touring in Poland.
As soon as we crossed, we lost our nice, quiet bike paths and had to share the road again. Fortunately, the roads were quiet and the drivers kept their distance.
We already had looked up a campground past Szczecin, Poland, where we planned on staying the night, but as life goes, our plan failed. Probably, because somebody had a much better plan for us in mind. As we rode into Szczecin, we were stopped at a red light. Another cyclist was stopped in front of us. He turned around and said something in Polish to which Ron replied: “Do you speak English?” “Yes of course” After finding out where we came from and where we are headed, his answer was simple “Fu*k, are you for real?” …And so it started, a nice little chat, which ended with “Where are you sleeping tonight? I have room in my house, you can stay with me and be my guest and I’ll show you around my town.”
Sebastian, aka Super Ninja or Professor, got back on his bike and we followed. At his house, we talked some more. He showed us where we could find everything we needed in the kitchen and the bathroom, he told us to feel at home and headed to his Jiujitsu training. The hospitality and trustfulness is just amazing! We made sandwiches, with food we just had bought before getting into town, took showers and waited for Sebastian to return.
He came back with a couple of beers and we ended up talking until late at night…or better until early morning. This was good for us, because we learned a ton about the area and its people from him. But it was bad for him, because he actually had to work on an important paper that had to be finished two days later.
The following day, Sebastian worked on his paper, while we worked on getting our website going again. Apparently it was shut down because it was bombarded by thousands of SPAM messages. However, none of us really felt like doing much of any work. So later in the morning, Sebastian took us to pick up his daughter and showed us around town. Later in the day he took us for a hike to his favorite place in the hills and of course we did a lot more chatting. We ended up snacking on a couple of traditional blood sausages, which we needed a little getting used to, and had some other sausages filled with potatoes and bacon, which we had no problem getting used to. Over all we had a fantastic time hanging out with Sebastian. Although, Sebastian offered us to stay even longer and wanted us meet more of his friends and family, we felt it was time for us to keep going. We would have really liked to stay longer, but for some reason it makes it very difficult for us to leave the longer we stay…and we still have a long way to go before making it to Norway.
Before we left, Sebastian gave us a couple of ideas of which route to take through Poland, along with a map that he had in his car. He said that we could give him back the map when he comes to visit us back in Florida! Sounds great to us! So, instead of riding along the coast, we opted to go through the middle to see more of the ‘old Poland’. Along our way, we ride through many little villages. The area is fairly flat and loaded with beautiful forests, so we are able to ride long miles again.
We cycle past old monasteries, little old towns with towers and gates still in place, until we reach Borne Sulinovo.
Borne Sulinovo, is a little town, that nobody knew even existed until the “Iron Curtain” fell. Well, sort of. Before WWII the German regime knew about because it was a military training place and a German POW camp for the Polish, Russian, and others. After the war the Soviet Army knew about because it was used by the Soviets as a secret military base. For the rest of country though it was non-existent. It did not even appear on a map until after 1990.
After checking out the small town, we searched for three campsites that were supposed to be in the area, but never found them. So we ended up wild camping in the beautiful pine forest. The next morning we are up and moving by 05:00 and before 09:00 we had already cycled about 30 miles and hit our next milestone. With another 14 hours of daylight, we decided to take ourselves a nice little break, after all, we have reached our 7000th mile mark!