Well, the hills are indeed alive with the sound of music, unfortunately last night most of it was by Dr Dre with some seriously ‘kick ass’ drumb & bass. Yep, the camp site I picked happened to also be the camp site of choice for a group of English students on a rafting trip. When I arrived they were out so I foolishly assumed that it would be a nice quiet place. I chose my spot and set everything up. When they arrived back is quickly became apparent that it was not going to be a quiet evening at all. Their group was comprised of around thirty people in, I’d say, their late teen or early twenties. I said hello, they said hello back but it was apparent that talking to me was not what evenings were for, which was fine with me as I had a blog to write! With the blog written and my evening coffee finished I decided it was time for bed. And that is when the music started. Luckily, being a sensible biker, I’d packed my super-mega earplugs. I popped them in my ears and said good night to the world. Obviously the young ladies were bitterly disappointed and spent most of the night weeping into their pillows.
I woke at about a quarter to six in the morning with the sound of banging coming through my earplugs. I popped them out and stuck my head of of the tent to investigate. I found an old fella on the roof of a nearby construction banging nails into some timber, at a quarter to six in the morning! I was tempted to ask him if he would be so kind as to shut up and fuck off but decided against it. I glanced over at the kids tents but they were all fast asleep. I got up, packed up, checked the map and buggered off.
I rode through a number of town and small villages as I made my way through Austria. I noticed that the mountainous areas were impeccably tended and immaculate. Everything was green and perfect. In every village there was at least one person out doing something, I even saw one chap washing a road sign! Then I really started looking and the thing that really got me was that for about sixty miles I didn’t see a single item of rubbish, and I do mean a single item. Not one!
As I came down to the lower areas of Austria it all changed. Not only was if far less green, it was also a bit more natural. There were things like weeds and the odd piece of rubbish in the road. Don’t get me wrong though, in comparison to an English village it was still immaculate.
After a few hours in the saddle my mind switched from taking in the surroundings to concentrating on my sore arse, aching back, roasting feet and sweaty body. I tied all the things any long distance biker does but none of them really made any difference. I stood up on my pegs quite a lot and did my best to massage my bottom (which the elderly couple in the car behind found very funny) but even that only improved things for a short time. The long and the short of it is that it hurts riding long distance on a motorbike, and it’s something I just have to accept.
I would love to say that the border was this and the border was that but the truth is that there wasn’t one. I’m sure there is actually a border, but there was no evidence of one from what I could tell, not even a ‘Welcome to Slovakia’ or a ‘Good riddance from Austria’. Nothing, nowt, nada.
As evening approached I started looking for a camp site, the first one I found seemed okay. I parked outside and made my way into the reception. When the chap told me the price was thirty-five Euros I assumed I’d misunderstood and asked again. He repeated his answer. Feeling that I was being bent over I just couldn’t stop myself
“Christ almighty, does that include your daughter?” I decided that, judging by the chaps face, I’d probably be best served elsewhere. I made a quick escape and continued my search. As this was the first time camping in Slovakia I didn’t know if all the prices would be high. The camp site I’m currently at was a rather pleasant seven Euros. Now that’s more like it!
My evening meal was going to be grilled chicken but they didn’t have that, so I chose fried chicken with salad but they didn’t have that either, when I went to choose something else I was told they only had goulash. I chose the goulash and enjoyed it.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what Slovakia’s like, silly me. About one hundred yards from the place where the imaginary border should be the road turns from a beautiful quality black tarmac to a terrible quality miss-mash of bodges from God only knows how many years. Every now and again it improves a little but never by much, then it’s back again. The most fun are the ruts that the trucks make as they ride over the hot, low quality tarmac. Great fun on a bike. What I’ve seen so far certainly seemed to be beautiful, in a more wild way that Switzerland or Austria but I will report back when I’ve seen more of it.
Here is the list of places I travelled through today: Pilfau, Gostling, Gaming, Muhling, Pulln, Erlauf, Ornding, Melk, Aggstein, Rossatz, Scholberg, Plank, Gars, Rosenberg, Horn, Grund, Hagendorf, Hausbrunn, Hohenau, kuklov, Senica, Sobotist, Hrasne, Banov, Horne Vestenice, Benice, Martin, Sucany and I’m now in a camp site 2 km’s from Sutovo.
Good night and sleep tight.