SLOVAKIA

2nd MAY 2011

DAY 31: VIENNA – BRATISLAVA (SLOVAKIA)

START: 8:45 – FINISH: 13:30 – DISTANCE: 72 KM – RIDE TIME: 3H 30

It was a relatively easy ride out of Vienna and Austria to the next country Slovakia. It was very flat again as we followed the Danube. We saw a deer along the way and as usual lots of birds. The English guy Jeremy who is a geologist is heading in the same direction for now.

So we headed out together. Good to have some company for a change………….though giving him the map was a bad idea as we had to double back after going the wrong way. In the end to be fair he did get us to the camp site which was some way out the other side of Bratislava. So he did redeem himself. We got to Bratislava in good time. So we had the afternoon to go up to the castle and wander round the old town, which was very busy because we have arrived in the middle of the ice hockey world cup which Slovakia are currently hosting. It certainly brings a bit of atmosphere. The beer was cheap $1.10 euro for 500 mls.

DAY 32: BRATISLAVA – KOMARNO
START: 8:30 – FINISH: 18:15 – DISTANCE: 118 KM – RIDE TIME: 7H 00

I went to bed last night with the information that it was going to be a bad day weather-wise. Sure enough I woke up in the night and could hear it raining.

It’s not a nice feeling when you know later you will be cycling in it. Though some hours later when we did get up. It was damp and cloudy but not raining which was good. It took us a bit of time to head back into the city through peak hour traffic, so we could pick up the Danube again. Most of the morning we cycled along a quiet road below the stop back of the Danube. Slightly sheltered from the wind. Just before lunch we crossed the Danube and joined the canal which was just 30 km of straight. To cross the canal we needed a boat. But they had stopped for lunch. So we pushed on, another 15 km to the canal dam. After crossing we stopped for lunch and could see in the distance the very dark clouds that had been on our backs for some time. In no time a very strong wind arrived and soon after heavy rain with the the odd flash of lighting. We were lucky enough to seek refuge under a small picnic shelter and were soon joined by a local guy and a couple cycling the other way. After about 45 min the storm had passed and we were left with light rain and the decision was made to push on the last 50 km to Komarno. It wasn’t long before we were wet and cold…………..but at least we had the wind and the rain on our backs. We started off making good time on the sealed part of the trail. But once we hit the small gravel trail it was a lot slower and harder going. Finally after getting to Komarno and getting numerous directions for the campsite a guy at the gas station kindly escorted us there with his car. It was so good to get there and have a nice hot shower and warm up and be able to put on some dry clothes. Unfortunately, my sleeping bag got a bit damp so it wasn’t pleasant to get into………nor putting on wet shoes again the next day.

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