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03/11/10 – Banska Stiavnica – Demandice – hit the apex take the racing line

November 10, 2010
  • 63km travelled
  • -381m altitude gain
  • cool, cloudy and hazy weather


you wanna piece?

taking notes on the mornings events

I was woken by howling deer in our field at 4am, their rather harrowing barks echoing through the valley and waking the slumbering canine population of Banska. Sleep is never easy in tent, at least not for me just yet, and strange animal noises are rather disturbing, Not such a good start to the day.

gives us the horns maciej

and again

We all rise around 7 (the clocks went back 2 days ago according to Maciej, though we are yet to know this and refuse to adjust to the new time) so for us it was 8, a decent hour. We pack up and make more eggs for breakfast, something it is becoming a strong contender for staple breakfast meal. We have lots of tea and discuss good locations to take a dump in the woods, then get off the field and back up the hill towards the castle that we promised we would see yesterday.

this sign did him a lot of good

Maciej parts ways with us, as he is heading on to Bratislava and Prague for new year. We will endeavour to stay in touch, and Maciej if you are reading thanks for the great night and the eye opening stories! and worst of luck as well!

our Horny Kostol

We slog slowly up the hill and make it to what we think is the principal UNESCO site of the town, though it is in an acute state of disrepair and is wholly inaccessible (one very bumpy dirt track) It is (appropraitely?) named Horny Kastol, and we leave the bikes and hike up the switchbacks to take a look.

horny kostol

small outhouses on the way up to the horny


boiz woz ere 9t6

work had slowed down to a stop

It is a very peculiar place, seemingly only containing various religious paintings on the route to the chruch itself, which only contains one small room with nothing in it except the painted ceiling. The whole place is locked down and they seem to be renovating it, though at a very slow rate. I cant imagine its an easy job, as the only access route to the building is a very bumpy and steep track, so unless they have a helicopter which I assume they dont, theyre going to be there for a while. Two guys smoke a cigarette near the top and ponder what to do next. I’d probably go back down mate.

breaking and entering

private view

we leave Banska eventually after yet more climbs and come across a burning statue of Jesus outside a cemetary (dont think it was intentional – one of the candles must have fallen over and the tray of gifts has caught alight) it was quite dark, and definitely worth a picture or two.

think this was an accident

We need to get to Budapest by Friday, so we have a few kms to cover over the next couple of days if we are to make it. Luckily for us, we just embarked on the best downhill of the trip to date. we pound through 15km free-wheeling at 40km/h out of banska and towards Lecice. The road meanders and switches back effortlessly through the valley – we are alone enough to take the racing line and pretend we’re formula one drivers as we pound the corners without breaking, hitting just the right speed the whole way down for a total coasting. It was pure bliss, and really therapeutic after the several days of tough climbing we have endured through Slovakia.

taking pot shots at the road signs

car bodies for sale?

The hill ebbs away and we run on to the flat, a degree we are to get used to for the next few weeks as we pick up the Danube to Bulgaria.

pink bucket on grey background

some peculiar protrusions

funny face of the week

With the new terrain though comes groggy weather, and the clouds cast over a gloomy end to the day. it starts to rain as we set up camp on a tatty football pitch on the edge of Demandice. Julian gets a helping hand from a friendly drunk to push his bike up the dirt track and we make camp in the wet. I pass out for 2 hours, not wanting to venture outside and quietly enjoying the patter of the rain on the tent. I muster up the energy to get to Julians tent and we cook a banging dinner (almost a curry) while Surgeon blares out of the speakers

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Birgitta permalink
    November 10, 2010 4:08 pm

    brilliant updates, guys! Your route doesn’t take you via Timisoara in Romania by any chance? We’ll be there from 24.-29.11.!
    I love what sort of people you are meeting en route!
    Hope the ‘Mourinho’ long johns keep you warm ..;;)))

    • Julian permalink*
      November 12, 2010 10:49 am

      probably not, hopefully well be on the serbia bulgaria border by then… leaving budapest in one hour, lots of miles to cover!

  2. November 10, 2010 5:05 pm

    Loving the blog guys – makes for a great read. You’re doing amazingly well, forge on! x

    • Julian permalink*
      November 12, 2010 10:49 am

      cheers tara, we dont feel like doing so well – two weeks off in the last three, lots of miles to cover! hope youre good x

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