Margowo to Augustow, Poland

Lake country!

With a road that belongs in Romanai!

On my way to Lithuainia

I rode 92 miles today, with 1450 feet of climbing in six and a half hours. That is an average speed of 13.6 mph which means that the road was mostly good and the wind was mostly at my back. However, of that 91 miles, about 10 miles of it was nearly as bad a any road I have ever ridden, I felt like I was in Romania! And, during part of that ten miles and some other parts of the day, the side wind was so strong I had to struggle to keep my bike on the road and, when a double trailer semi passed too close, I had to fight to keep from being sucked into his second trailer. It wasn't an easy day of riding despite the relatively high average speed.

Despite its number, 16 was a small road for much of todays ride

Breakfast was excellent at my overpriced hotel, and I had full use of one of their office computers for half an hour or so this morning to upload web pages and repond to email. If the price had been 200 Zlotz instead of 400 Zloty, it would have been a good deal. Oh, and it cost me 5 Zloty more for 'parking' my bike overnight. Tonight, in Augustow, I'm paying 87 ZLotys for bed and breakfast. The room is half as big and I have no internet access, and I don't have to pay to 'park' my bike. I know I'll sleep better here but breakfast won't be quite as varied as it was this morning. All for less than 1/4 the cost of last night. I skipped supper last night, but tonight I indulged myself and had a great supper - 'Pike with vegies and potatoes' for 30 Z including a three Z tip. And of course that include a .5 l. beer. Life is good.

Part of my sleeping problem last night was due to being pissed off about the cost fo the room, but more it was trying to decide how to go on from here. Robert, another phred who lives in southern Poland and who I visited last year, will not be home till next Sunday and I had sort of planned what I was doing based on getting to his house on Friday ;-{. Now I have several extra days to play with so I'm going to Lithuania. That will take me three days - 400 km round trip - and that doesn't leave enough time to bicycle to Robert's house. What to do? Now that I'm in Augustow, I asked the woman at the hotel desk and she looked up train schedules form here to Krakow. There is an overnight train with no train changes that I can take. If I take the next three days to ride to Vilnius and back, then I can rest and expolre Augustow on Saturday, take that train Saturday night, spend Sunday morning in Krakow without having to worry about finding a room, and ride to see Robert and his family that afternoon. That sounds like a good plan to me!

Here is an image of 16 on the way to Mikolajki
When I looked at it, I thought it was a picture of 530 from yesterday

I had expected todays riding lto be like the ride from Biskupiec to Mragowo on 16 yesterday. Much of it was more like yesterdays ride on small roads. The biggest difference was that yesterday's small roads were in better condition than 16 after Mikolajki! It was so bad, I was going to head south at Oryzs if it hadn't gotten better. It did get much better, and stayed that way till 10 miles from Augustow where it got bumpy again, but not really bad. On that last section, I came upon a car/semi wreck that had happend just minutes before I got there. I don't think anybody was seriously hurt since the ambulance, which passed me on the way in to Augustow, was not running with its siren.

As I approached the scene, it looked like a white tarp was covering an area from the road to a building. Then I realized that the tarp was the top of a semi trailer on its side and the semi was stretched out from the road to the building, perpendicular to the road. as I passed the semi - lots of glass and metal bits in the road - I saw a car whose front end was demolished. It looked like the car had pulled out into the semi's path and been hit by the semi at about 45 degress, but well in front of the passenger compartment. the semi then swerved, turned over and slid on its side to where I saw it. I hope no one was in the space 'swept out' by the semi. It seemed unlikely that the semi driver or the car driver were seriously injured since both passenger compartments were intact. Earlier in the day, I'd come upon a grass and tree fire being extinguished by a fire department. In both cases, I rode through , but without getting wet - from the fire hose they were using to try to put out a fire in a tree by the road - or, I hope, getting tire damage from the bits in the road after the accident.

The forest has changed to what looks like Beech

There was lots of construction on 16 today
I had to wait twice at one way sections where they were paving one side

After Elk, the paving was done, but the shoulder wasn't

This is the good older pavement near Augustow

My hotel is on 16 in Augustow and, as I write this after breakfast, I can hear the steady flow of trucks. 16 isn't the big road to Lithuania, but it seems to have a lot of traffic. Over here at the eastern end of what I think of as the 'European' time zone, the sun comes up really early. There has been a lot of truck traffic on 16 since before 5 AM this morning. I got up at 6:30 - earplugs are wonderful things for sleeping.

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