Ostrada to Margowo, Poland

One of many pretty small lakes I saw today - near Lukta

A Polish farm

A beach in Kikity on lake Luterskj, a large lake
593 runs along this lake for many miles

I had a good day, but made a tactical mistake at the end of it and am getting seriously ripped off tonight as a result. It isn't the first time, or the worst time, that this has happened to me while touring. It is always a danger when I go to areas that are too popular with tourists. Tonight I'm near Polands most popular tourist spot and the only room I could find costs 100 E. It isn't worth it.

I'm at the Mercure Mrongovia Resort and Spa. It is an oasis of western European prices in eastern Europe, run by Accor Hotels who also bring you Novotel, Ibis, Orbis, Etap, and Softel. I think I've stayed in all of those except Softel, always a high price for what I got, but this one is, by far, the worst value of the bunch. Still, it isn't as bad, or as expensive, as the hotel that ripped me off in Barcelona. There is another hotel in town. Three star, like this one. The lady there was terribly apologetic about having to send me here. Now I know why.

My last nights hotel, which cost less than a third what this one does, was nicer and more helpful. My route today followed the advice I got there and, since the wind did not blow hard today, was a very nice ride. I even met two other bicycle tourist today - met in the sense of waving to them and saying hello as we passed - and I noted bicycle marking on one of the roads, including a 'TDP' - Tour de Poland? It was pretty, had low traffic, and mostly good pavement. Unfortunately, I got bored with it and, instead of going on to Ketrzyn for the night as suggested, I came down to Biskupiec, had a good, late lunch there, and rode 16 to Magrowo. An expensive mistake.

Leaving Ostroda on 7, a highway to Gdansk

I soon turned onto 530, a small road to Dobre Miasto
This is the road with bicycling markings

A storks nest on the roof of an old barn
I saw several of these today, as well as the, more common, nests on a power pole

A tower, with storks nest, in Dobre Miasto

In addition to being easy - not too easy with 2600 feet of climbing in 90 miles that took me almost seven and a half hours - my route today also passed at least a dozen stork nests, only one of which was empty, so I feel better about the stork population ;-}. It didn't however, pass any open restaurants so I stopped at a very small country store to buy yogurt, bread, and a few cookies for lunch. This is a good way to deal with lunch, but it wasn't as good as spaghetti with seafood meal that I had when I got back to the big town of Biskupiec at 3:30. The small roads with low traffic are nice, but having a restaurant to eat at is nice too.

530, on the way to Dobre Miasto

530, nearer to Dobre Miasto

593, on the way to Jeziorany

My route: Ostroda to Dobre Miasto on 530, Dobre Miasto east to Jeziorany and on to near Luty on 593, then south on 57 - very low traffic - to Biskupiec, and east to Mragowo on 16. The only heavy traffic section was in the 10 km before Mragowo where the road is not very good and traffic backs up. Riding on 16 was not as relaxed as riding on the other roads today, but I saw local riders, including a middle aged lady on a city bike and, separately, two kids around 10 years old on MTBs on that road, half way between the two cities. Neither the kids nor the lady seemed bothered by the fact that they were sharing a highway - no shoulders - with a moderate amount of traffic, including big trucks.

I am probably the only rider on these roads that has, and uses, a rear view mirror. The other riders just assume that the drivers will look out for them. It seems to work. When I moved out into the middle of the lane to avoid bad pavement - watching overtaking traffic carefully in my mirror - I sometimes got polite beeps from drivers who assumed I didn't know they were coming. I did get off the road twice in the congested area in order to let big trucks, and all the cars behind them, pass me. I don't know if local riders do that or the other drivers just wait, patiently, until they get the opportunity to pass safely.

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