Autumn Leaves Lift The Spirit (Powerstation Plumes fill the Sky): Radzyn Podlaski to Somewhere beyond Pulawy. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

September 29, 2013

Autumn Leaves Lift The Spirit (Powerstation Plumes fill the Sky): Radzyn Podlaski to Somewhere beyond Pulawy.

Saw a sign for a Lidl supermarket "800m" ahead, early on, on the ring-road round Radzyn Podlaski. Though it wouldn't be open until ten on Sunday morning, if at all. Overcast today, meaning there's no threat of rain which is one good thing as I ride with dull skies; though, the road is a tree-lined avenue, where the leaves have turned from green to yellows and browns, willing me to visual enjoyment.

Nice even without the sun.
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I wonder what I'll eat for lunch if no place is open. Supermarkets are few and far between, in this part of Poland anyway. Presently, I'm riding through the built-up approach to another town, D, e-Deblin, probably isn't pronounced anything like I'm saying it. I see an Inter Marche just ahead. There's cars in the car park and a person taking a trolley out front. Luck is in.

The security guard is ejecting a drunk man as I lock the bike, who staggers this way while shouting abuse at the guard who is saying nothing while standing barring the automatic doors. I don't need him to begin on me, so getaway and pass the guard who turns sideway to let me pass.

There is everything. I feel through nectarine and pick two I suppose to be ripe and juicy. Then have a walk around the aisles to the sound of Amy's "Rehab." Some of the beers in the fridge are nine per cent alcohol; as the line goes "No no no. Yes I'll be fine....." So, I settle for a can of Lech, which in Poland is a light beer at only five per cent. Then there are too many different pastries: vanilla Danish and jam filled half moons and no donuts. The song finishes abruptly and loudly with the promotion "Inter Marche......." then follows the next song, The Bee Gees "Staying Alive." The music is even piped out to the car park as there is a speaker above my head where I sit eating a salami sandwich.

From Deblin I take the road south for Pulawy following a river to the right which is only visable in places through bog with cover of willows. Ahead to the left, there's a low wooded hill, beyond which I see a distant red and white striped smokestack with a wisp of steam going up like a twister into a long cloud across the grey sky. This is the view for the next twenty kilometres; the twister growing to a massive billowing white column until the end of the woodland reveals a colossal area of construction site, cranes, domes and a dozen or so cooling towers with vapour columns rising straight to the sky.

An eyesore but also a dramatic scene which makes a good picture.
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There follows the way into Pulawy with a big French superstore, a burger chain and a Tescos: a fair sized town with signs for places of historic interest to visit. I keep riding through and the urban spread continues well to the south which is now along a narrow valley with wooded slopes either side: the sort of country where it is going to be hard to find a level place big enough for the tent. But then comes the turn off which I had been intending to take. The road is for a place called Annopol and climbs out of the valley and sweeps down the other side into a river flood plain with villages and small towns ever few kilometres and open farmland in between. Not much hope of wild-camping. There is a patch of green on the map about ten kilometres ahead, which'll take all my time getting there before nightfall. I enter one town with a grand church. I hear music which I first think is from the church but as I get closer it sounds nothing like gospel; its more ump-paa-e. Then round the street corner, the way leads along the main square where there's a stage with a canopy to protect against the elimments. On stage the band is in what seems traditional dress. There's an accordion player with bushy black mustache, white shirt and waistcoat. Two female singers in wide flowing dresses. And the area in front of the stage is full of middle-aged couples dancing.

It is now long time I'd stopped as I leave town and turn for Annopol at the roundabout. I turn on the blinking red light on the rear of the rack to make myself more visable. Then I see a laneway leading into the reeds along a lagoon. It goes in a long way: a narrow grassy passage between reeds and open water with swans and ducklings either side. I came to a place wide enough for the tent but at that moment a dog starts barking and comes running towards me. I see two figures following. I crouch down pretending to calm the dog who comes to a standstill and continues barking, glancing back at two men that are close behind now. They are in hunting cammuflage and one is wearing a rifle strapped across his back. Both men smile and shake my hand then continue, dog following to heal. I was concerned as I thought I was in a nature reserve, but later when I went a little further and set up camp in woodland to the side of the lagoon, I heard the regular ricochet from the direction the two hunters went.

Polish Folk Music.
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Today's ride: 123 km (76 miles)
Total: 6,833 km (4,243 miles)

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