Cycle a bike

So we finally started!

Jonny and Radka on 24 May 2011

We were immediately blessed when Jonny rolled his bike out of Radka's mum's house straight into a massive dog muck. In Czech this means good luck for the future.

Our cycling began heading south from Kourim across the Czech Republic. We passed through the area of Sazava with deep forests and steep climbs centred around a picturesque river, which was very memorable for Radka as she used to spend summer camps here when growing up..

The first interest in our trip came from a four year old girl who shouted ''where are you going?' to which Radka replied ''to see the elephants!'' she kept repeating her question until her neighbour shouted ''stop being so nosy!'', peoples interest hasn't stopped since, which is very encouraging. People have been incredibly helpful to the extent of a transit van (pimped into a camper van) pulled up just at the start of a massive 6km hill climb. The driver jumped out with a massive grin on his face and said ''fancy a lift!?'', threw open the back and stuffed us and the bikes in the back. He drove us 6kms out of his way to the top of the hill and wished us good luck. We spoke briefly and found out he was 'Mirek', a hitch-hiking paraglider repaying the kindness he'd received from others.

We've camped four nights so far. We successfully started our wild camping in the forest smack bang in the middle of a huge thunderstorm, you can imagine we were a little on edge. It was like someone kept turning the lights on and off all night, and the loudest thunder we've ever heard. This was repeated on the third night when we'd found a quaint little flooded quarry and the perfect spot for camping. They say the water's warm before the storm, we've now tested this theory. The heavens opened whist we were in the water and soaked our tent as we jumped out and threw it up as fast as we could, which is pretty slow right now!

Really enjoying the scenery and wildlife of which we've seen wild deer dashing across fields and Jonny even ran over a snake today! The insects like us a lot, especially mosquitoes with Jonnys... they must love getting drunk on the rare O-rhesus negative! Ticks have been a pain in the bum, literally for Radka! Jonny kindly removed it then spent the next 10 minutes in silence.

The bikes and baggage were so heavy that we stopped at a post office on the second day to post a 10kg parcel to Radkas mum, we still haven't called her to let her know it's coming.

We're not completely happy with our leaky tent so we'll be contacting the manufacturers soon hoping to get money back and buy a new one, fingers crossed. All other equipment seems ok so far.

Yesterday we received a massive discount on a glasses case for Jonny which seemed quite appropriate considering we chose a charity for blindness.

Today we woke at 5.30am and had a great 30km morning cycle leaving the region of Vysočina which is the equivalent of the English Peak District and famous for Salami, although a little unfitting for two vegetarians. We'll keep heading south-east into Moravia, specifically the wine region, so should be a little flatter from here, or at least our legs are hoping so!

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