Poland-Orzysz-feat

With Glowing Hearts

3408 km so far.

Just a quick note before we get started with our journal for today. We have been in and out of WiFi country for a few days now, and will likely have limited access for the next few days. Rest assured, we are still writing every day, and we’ll post a bumper crop for you when we get the chance!

We are so close to the Mazury, aka the Polish Lake District, aka Hawaii (according to Google Translate), that we can taste the lake water. Our little self-imposed race from the bottom of Poland to the top is almost complete.

And none too soon.

We have cycled more than 500 km since we left Kraków less than a week ago. That’s a lot for us. Getting on the bikes today is more difficult than it has been in a long while. We both have sore right knees, one of my quads feels damaged, and Stephen’s shoulder hurts.

Glorious…

Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day and we had a nice flat-to-downhill grade to move us along.

In Pisz, a small town on the south edge of the lake district, it felt like we’d crossed some invisible finish line, and finally we could relax.

We sought out the tourist office, since, even though this is a huge tourist destination in Poland, the online information is next to useless. Luckily, the helpful ladies there told us what we wanted to hear. It is beautiful here and there are plenty of campgrounds. After a quick pierogi break, we headed to Kaufland, a big German grocery store we have not yet visited on this trip.

They look so good, don't they? Too bad they were undercooked.

They look so good, don’t they? Too bad they were undercooked.

We wish we’d gone earlier, as they had several kinds of peanut butter, hummus, and tofu. All things we have been lacking since we’ve been in Poland.

And Free?

The 25 km to the first campsite was another breeze, with the perfect weather holding. Sadly, the campsite is a little skeezy for our liking. Nothing really wrong, just something we don’t like. Perhaps it is the sign that tells us they charge 1 zloty for the WC! We ride on to the next place, 5 km up the road, and this is better, if still a little bare bones.

There is no reception and no indication of where reception might be, so we just pick a nice spot in the big empty field (there are only two other families camping) and assume the campground owners will find us when they want us to check in and pay. Or maybe this campground is free?

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There’s not much in the way of facilities here, but the bathrooms are great. They are brand new (it looks like they were completed yesterday) and closely resemble the restrooms in a large swank hotel. Think marble floors, glittering faucets, and mirrors complete with individual make-up lights. They also boast toilets that self-clean the seat after every flush.

And no one has asked us to pay an extra zloty every time we have to go.

True North

Even though we went 50 km today, it feels like a day off. We had lots of time to lounge around and then cook our first camp dinner in ages. We chose a meal to specially honour Canadian cuisine on Canada day: a one-pot Thai green curry, with rice noodles, and the tofu we bought at the store today. Since Canada is so multi-cultural, we could have chosen just about any dish to celebrate our Canadian-ness.

After dinner, we walked down to the lake (20 m from our tent) and watched the sun set.

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The landscape looks so much like Muskoka, where Stephen’s parents have their cottage, that we started feeling a little homesick for all the homes we’ve made and left. Hi Vancouver. Hey London. What’s up LA? Our conversation turned towards what we’ll do after this trip.

No answers yet, but at least we are thinking about it.  

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