Day 94 - Gdansk to Orneta: Rushing across Poland - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

April 19, 2015

Day 94 - Gdansk to Orneta: Rushing across Poland

I left Gdansk with the attitude that I should go as far as possible today because I don't know what wind or sand I will be dealt over the next few days. And I'm on a deadline. It's a matter of pride to bike the entire remaining distance, and a matter of logistics not to push back my flight a few days.

Getting out of town was okay, as once again Sunday morning proved ideal for leaving the city. The smooth sailing didn't last--actually, there wasn't any sailing at all. At the turnoff to the coast, there was a big sign with the ferry information. Nailed on top was a smaller, though still quite large, sign that said NIE. Okay, I guess this route isn't going to work.

The alternative was highway S7, the road to Warsaw, quite busy but with few trucks on Sunday, and a wide shoulder, making it okay in the wind, which was only blowing me around a bit today, just enough to make me concerned about traffic. So I turned south to join the S7 just before the river crossing. With the ferry not running, you'd think the bridge wouldn't be under construction, but you would be wrong. That spacious road became very narrow, and traffic became impatient, particularly as I had to walk my bike over several tire-swallowing metal plate expansion thingies. One man shouted something in Polish as he passed, a couple others honked, but with a metal guardrail directly beside me, there wasn't much I could do except mentally tell the drivers I didn't want me on that bridge either.

Other than that, it was a fairly uneventful ride. Aside from a couple mysterious barricades blocking my planned route, the roads were good today, and it didn't rain. I also passed an area teeming with storks, seriously, every nest on a pole had at least one stork in it. I tried to take a decent photo (impossible, given the lack of zoom on my camera), inching closer and closer, the stork high above me looking increasingly nervous. Do storks attack pedestrians? I decided not to find out.

I escaped the storks, but got chased by a big dog today, the first in a very long while. In this part of Europe, only hilariously puny dogs roam free, and all the guard dogs are in cages or behind fences or I can hear that reassuring jangle of a chain. This one was loose and coming right at me. Balkan instincts kicked in and I stopped, dismounted, and took a menacing step toward the dog, which turned out to be a total coward.

Needing a good sleep, and with overnight temperatures supposed to drop below freezing, I opted for a room instead of camping. There wasn't much in Orneta, and I reluctantly gave up and was heading out of town when I finally spotted the wonderful 'noclegi' sign. Warm, cheap, quiet. Just what I needed.

Isn't this a great house?
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Storks everywhere
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Today's ride: 123 km (76 miles)
Total: 4,630 km (2,875 miles)

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