Today was long day - about 100 miles - that took from 9:30 in the morning till 7:30 at night. I rode from Lublin to Warka, a small town about 50 km south of Warsaw. On the way, I stopped for lunch at Kazimeirz Dolny ;-).
That really is misleading. I rode to Kazimeirz Dolny, a spectacular little town on the Wisla river about 50 km east of Lublin, then I rode up the river toward Warsaw and left the river, going west, to find a place to stay. It was a (too?) long day because it is a long way between towns that have hotels. I stopped for supper after about 115 km, but that as too soon to stop for the day. The next place with a hotel was Warka, some 40 km farther north and east.
My hotel at Lublin was very nice, but too expensive, and they charged me 10% more than they said the room would cost. I didn't have a good night there, but that really wasn't the hotel's fault. There were several contributing factors, including staying up past my normal bedtime waiting for something that didn't happen, and the hotel provided alarm clock that went off, very loudly, at midnight, waking me from a sound sleep.
Since I had a fast internet connection, I was able to complete my web page and put it up from my room. I finished that, packed, and left about 9:30, riding down the main street in the old part of town to get to 830, the road to Kazimeirz Dolny. Other than having to wait at too many lights, getting out of Lublin was OK. 830 was more than OK once I got a few km from Lublin.
I really enjoyed riding 830. It was a bit hilly near the Wisla, with some steep grades, but mostly it was gentle hills through very pretty country. As I rode it, storms built up ahead and around me, and near the river, I was rained on hard enough that I stopped, in a bus shelter, to put away my camera and put on my parka. Of course the rain died down almost as soon as I did that. The rest of the day included intermittent light rain and one short spell of hard rain. I just ignored the light rain - except for dodging puddles and trying to avoid getting too much road spray - and I was lucky enough to have shelter for the hard rain.
Kazimeirz Dolny was fun, and I had a good lunch there. It wasn't raining there when I got there, but it started while I was eating lunch. I |ooked at the sky and decided that heading north was less likely to get me rained on that staying there, so | headed north on 824. 10 km later, in Pulawy, I continued north along the river on 801. That lasted till Deblin where I switched to 48 because it crossed the river and ran thought towns large enough to have services. 801 only has small towns on it before Warsaw. Warsaw was too far to ride today, and I wanted to avoid riding there in any case, so 48 made more sense than 801.
48 was really very little different in size or traffic from 801. I was able to cruise at 15 mph or so on both of them, although 801 did have a long stretch of new pavement that made that easier. I was drafted by a group of local riders - probably riding home from work - for many miles. A loaded bike punches a good hole hole in the air which makes drafting really easy. I waved when these guys - the youngest was in his 30s - riding mtn bikes or city bikes, turned off to go to their homes.
I rode to Kozienice, about 30 km, on 48, then looked for a place to eat. There is a hotel there, but it is part of a large sports complex, which was swarming with teenaged kids, so I didn't stop. As I rode out of Kozienice on 79, the weather ahead was not looking good and I was facing 40 km to the next place I could stay/eat. Then I saw Texas.
Texas is the name of a restaurant/ bar / gas station a km or so north of Kozienice. As I pulled in, the rain started and it was pouring within five minutes. My bike and I were sheltered under a big umbrella, and I was watching the cars and trucks go by with rooster tails of spray on the highway. That was a nice bit of luck!
I had a good meal - steak since I was in 'Texas' - and asked my waiter, who had a little English, about hotels in Warka. He didn't really answer that question, which I took as saying there was a hotel here, but was quite insistent that I use a particular route to get here.
I was on 79 and planned to ride it some 24 km to 736 which goes west to Warka. He wanted me to take a small road over to 48 - which goes west from Kozience - and then take 730 to Warka. He even wrote out the route for me on a small piece of paper.
By the time I finished my large supper, the rain was over, the sun was out - I hadn't seen it earlier that afternoon - and riding conditions were great. I took the waiter's route and discovered that 48 was much better riding than 79. It has wider lanes and less traffic and is reasonably smooth.
The highlight of the next two hours of riding occurred in Broza, a town on 48. As I approached Broza, church bells began to ring. When I rode in, I saw the church, with its bell tower backlit by the evening sky. The big bells in the tower were being rung by white robed figures and a few people had stopped to watch. I stopped and took a picture. Then, as I rode closer, I saw a large procession, led by a white robed priest, walking towards the church. I have no idea what the occasion was, but the ceremony was very effective!
48 becomes 730 in Glowaczow, the town after Broza, and most of the rest - about 20 km - of the ride to Warka was on straight road through forests. Pretty forests.
When I got here, I looked for a hotel. It didn't look very promising. I stopped and asked some young men at a store. One of them told me to go west on the main road. I did, still no hotel. I stopped again and was told keep going that a way. Finally, I saw a restaurant and asked a fellow there who told me that it was the hotel.
I came inside and spent 15 minutes trying to communicate with the owner who was friendly, but kept asking me questions I didn't understand in bad German ;-). Finally, I got a room - not fancy but comfortable - and, after cleaning up and transferring images from my camera to the Zaurus - went back and had a beer while selecting the images for this web page and converting them for web page use. Then I worked on this report till I fell asleep. A good day.