The cool early morning sun woke us. It was a peaceful kind of waking, realising that the tent was dry, nothing needed to be packed and we didn’t have to cycle anywhere. I rolled over in our comfy bed and went back to sleep. Much later I awoke again, grabbed my book, puffed up my pillow and read.
Eventually I rose, cooked a ham and egg breakfast, percolated our coffee, we ate then settled on the balcony with our coffee and read. It was wonderful, but nowhere near as fun and relaxing as spinning the cogs and watching the road pass beneath us. I ventured outside, found my bike and set about repairing my peddle-clips, it was a five minute job that I have been meaning to do for the past 12 months. Then of course to test them, I needed to take the bike for a very quick spin through the village and around the ski-fields. I felt both naked and free without my panniers.
I returned to the penzión, read a little more and set about convincing Sharon to cycle four or so kilometres up the hill to an ethnographic museum. Quite soon afterwards we were both back on the road.
The museum was a lovely wee place, with lots of old traditional log buildings, a beautiful church and many cheap souvenir shops. I had to pay a camera fee, this resulted in taking way too many photos. It was also quite strange and a little painful reacquainting ourselves with our walking legs. A lot of the path was gravel, which meant when I walked the metal cleats on the soles of my cycling shoes made an interesting clicking noise. I must have been quite a sight hobbling and clicking about.
It was a lovely cool ride through the trees and back down the hill. There seemed to be a senior citizens cycle-club cycling back. We rode past many Lycra-clad old men steaming their way up the hill. Beyond the museum apparently there is quite a climb. The old guys looked kind of humorous, but at least they were out there doing it and I so hope I can be as fit as they looked when I reach their age.
We cycled a different way through the village, again past many two-storied pastel-coloured houses. In my experience Slovakians keep to themselves, this was a Sunday, we overtook many church-goers strolling home seemingly studying their shoes. We stopped at a pizza shop, braved the bad service and enjoyed a long slow and very delicious pizza. The afternoon was wiled away on our penzión balcony resting, reading and watching the ‘Tour of Spain’ cycle race. The light turned soft in the early evening and I ventured out one final time for an hour of taking photos.
It was a very relaxing ‘forced’ rest-day and a chance to have a good poke around a village. If I could have, I would have done more miles in the saddle instead, but we were kind of hemmed in by a notoriously busy European road called the E77. The day off was a good test run before we eventually do our first big bike ride and are actually riding long enough to need a rest day. I was also thankful for my Kindle. It was super light-weight and allowed me to take a variety of books with me.
We had another early night as we prepared for our final day in the saddle. On our rest day I cycled 12 kilometres, with an average of 12.18 kilometres-per-hour and a maximum speed of 33.59 kilometres-per-hour.
Day 1. Mountain Mist and Burbling Brooks
Day 2 Lonely Roads & Hectic Highways
Day 3 Up, Up & Up
Day 4 Into the Heavens
Day 5 Quiet Pizza
Day 6 Polish Roads
Day 7 The After Chapter