Day 38, Near Olecko to Ketrzyn, PL

A self portrait of my TZ-3
Note the abrasions on lens mount, the finger rest, and the upper left corner of the body
There are similar abrasions on all corners

Today I want to start by praising my Panasonic TZ-3 camera. This my second year of touring with it and, in addition to taking fine images over a 28 - 420mm 35 mm equivalent focal length (for 3MP images, which is what I take, at 7MP it only goes to 280 mm) it has proven to be incredibly durable. Today it survived its worst fall yet. It fell out of the pocket of my shirt as I rode through roundabout at about 15 mph. There is a small velcro tab that holds that pocket closed, and I must not have stuck it together properly. The camera has fallen out of that pocket several times on this trip, but usually when I'm leaning over and the pocket is closer to the ground. This time the pocket was at least four feet up and going at least 15 mph.

The camera hit the ground and bounced and slid out into the middle of the traffic lane. I quickly stopped my bike, waved to traffic to stop, and got my bike over to were I could pick up the camera. Then I got back to the middle section of the roundabout and checked to see how damaged the camera was. I had to re-seat the SDHC card, there was a new abrasion or two on the rounded metal corners of the camera and, maybe, a new chip or two out of the edges of the LCD display.

Digital cameras are sturdy things, but the Panasonic Travel Zoom 3 is truly amazingly well built!

Starting out from near Olecko

My $25 room last night was excellent as was my breakfast this morning. I did have to wait till 8 AM to get breakfast, but that is about my only complaint. Tonight I decided, after two days costing a total of less than $100, to indulge myself in a downtown hotel room in Kertzyn. This way I'm a few blocks from an internet cafe - my room has a strong wireless signal but my eeePC no longer sees its wireless card - and in the middle of a nice town. I enjoyed riding and walking around town and doing a lot of people watching and a little food shopping.

My room tonight cost $80 and is not as nice as my $25 room last night. I expect breakfast tomorrow at 7 AM to be good, but I had the best omelet of this trip this morning. Staying in town is fun, but staying out in the country is a lot better buy! Note: last night was the best value room I've had in Poland, and probably on this entire tour, and tonights room is the worst value in Poland, but it is a decent hotel right down town in a nice city. It just cost about twice as much to stay in town as out of town. It also is the first room on this tour to have bathroom scale. I now weigh 75 Kilo or 165 pounds, my ideal weight.

Riding today was very nice. I still had the west wind in my face much of the day, but the wind today caused a windchill problem rather than slowing me down much. It was about 55 F (13 C) starting out this morning and I debated putting my extra knee warmer on my bad knee and rode wearing my wind vest till 1 PM. I did see the weather forecast on the TV this morning and it was good - partly cloudy and cool - for the area I'm riding in. There are still storms south and west of here and there were ominous looking clouds here this afternoon, so tomorrow may not be as good.

Pretty fields and hills early this morning

I didn't want to do a long day today. I wanted to do a really nice day of riding in this good weather and great place for riding. I did just that and throughly enjoyed doing it.

A gmina - county - border roughly in the middle of my ride to Gizycko

A farm near highway 63

The view across highway 63

The ride after Olecko was on 655 for about 50 km. I stopped after about 25 km to buy some snacks at a service station and again after 40 km to rest, snack, and just enjoy being there. I had a pizza and beer for lunch in Gizycko. It was good and the people watching was very good. The beer was .5 l of Warka Strong which has 7% alcohol, but I don't think that had anything to do with my dropping the camera...

The last 6 km to Gizycko was on 63, a much busier road, and the ride from Gizycko to Ketrzyn started with about the same distance on another busy road, 59 - where I dropped my camera - before going on 593 for about 30 km. Riding on 63 and 59 was tolerable. Riding on 655 and 593 was wonderful. It was the kind of riding where you don't want to get the end because the riding is so good.

Near the start of 593

The end of the big lake 559 goes south around, as seen from 593

Storks with a chick who is now big enough to be seen in nest

Two years ago, I rode near to Ketrzyn coming from the west. I went down to Maragowo (16 km), rather than up to Ketrzyn (10 km) when I reached 591. All I knew about Ketrzyn then was that it was near the place where Hitler had a bunker. I didn't want to see that bunker. I passed a sign for a place to stay near that bunker on my way into Ketrzyn today. I still don't want to see the bunker, but now I know that Ketrzyn itself is well worth visiting.

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