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6/10/2010 – Stollberg to Jirkov – Can we sleep in your garden, please?

October 15, 2010
  • 92.46km travelled
  • 16.8km/h average speed
  • 57.7km/h maximum speed
  • 5hrs 30minutes spent in the saddle
  • 1033.6km travelled so far

Packing up the tents a man approaches wearing a dark green military jacket and brandishing a bucket full of mushrooms.  We soon find out that this character is Heinz Lassig the magic mushroom picking (Hagimash to him) communist.  We talk about Marx and Lenin briefly before he divulges that he’s a ex soviet spy, How many mushrooms has he eaten this morning?  Perhaps he’s telling the truth we’ll never know but he brightened up my morning no end despite skirting my requests to hold onto some of his bounty.

Heinz, such a dude

Leaving the campsite we get lost on some tracks trying to make our way to Zwinitz, reminding us that there’s more to these country’s than the main roads we’ve been attached to for the past week or so.

The quieter alternative

I thought yesterday was big in terms of climbs, it’s not a scratch on today, we slept beneath the gods last night but today we’re cycling amongst them.  Feel the pain but the more you do the easier they seem to become – and with big climbs come big descents.  Pay for your ticket and take the ride.

We eat lunch in a large, cold Soviet square – it’s bleak but strangely beautiful.  Pepper has made a welcome addition to our pantry alongside some shiny new Tupperware.

Marienberg - pack your gloves

1000km! Well 999km plus a few laps around the square


We make it to the Czech border and leave the behemoth Germany behind having topped the 1000km mark!  Entering a white abyss that seems to await us over the border, spirits drop slightly at the prospect of our warm weather spell ending, we keep them high by pushing on and decide not to camp early in the bad weather.

Czech border, can you see it?

Through the thick fog, preventing you from seeing anything more than 20metres away, we encounter some brick-a-brack shops who try to sell us water.  We find a plush restaurant with a warm a welcoming interior making it hard to leave.  Radek the bar man fills our bottles and gives us a quick Czech lesson in please and thankyous and the currency they use – shame on us.

Pushing through is the right decision and we’re treated to the best descent so far of about 20 minutes, the road completely clear, the fog clearing and the warmth of Chomutov rapidly approaching us.

High on the accomplishment we search out the campsite we had aimed for laden with beers – heading down a dark path marked by a sign reading ‘autocamp’ we quickly discover that Czech campsites are seasonal but decide to double check with some people living next door.  It is indeed closed but we ask on the off chance if it would be ok to camp in their garden.  Laden bikes and sad faces help our situation and they oblige to our surprise.  Pasta and simple sauce follow – it goes down well and is a great end to a mental day.

This small plot of green space doesn't look like much but it meant the world to us


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