Private Room in the Czech Republic – Bicycle Journey Day 2
I have found myself in a private room for five dollars while traveling by bicycle in the Czech Republic. It is a little stuffy, the walls and floor are bare concrete, the beds are hardwood with no cushion, and there is not only one, but an entire room full of showers. I have commandeered the locker room of an outdoor athletic complex in Kromeriz.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Hodonin, Moravia, Czech Republic- Late June 2008
Travelogue — Travel Photos
I rolled into this town the night before and camped on the sly in a wheat field after a failed search for the bicycle campground. The sleeping was good and my free bed was comfortable. I awoke at first light and rode back into Kromeriz to shudder with a shock when I saw where the hands were pointing on the clock tower: it was but quarter after four in the morning. This is too early in the morning to wake up and do anything, and, as I wanted to have my bicycle repaired, I did want to leave the city. So I plopped myself down on an old park bench by the Morava River and fell into a couple of hours of restless sleep.
Bicycle repair at a Kelly’s bike shop in Kameriz, Czech Republic. I just bought the parts for around $50 and the labor was included. Not a bad, it beats wrenching it on the side of the road.
Upon waking, it was time to go off and search out the campground and a bike shop who could replace the rear end of Kamila. I went into the local tourist information office, and the lady there spoke good English and gave me a free bicycle map for the Road ahead as well as directions to the cyclokemp. She also let me know that their office offered travelers free WIFI. This solidified my ambition to bunker down in this town for a day of rest and repair.
I then went to the bicycle camp and had a difficult time communicating with the lady in charge. She did not believe that I had a tent – she was correct – and also seemed apprehensive about the fact that we could not verbally communicate with each other on any level. But when I placed my hands up by my head in a “sleeping” gesture, she nodded her head yes, and I went around to the side of the office building for a quick wash up in a outdoor sink. This felt good. The lady soon came and gave me a couple of bike riding pamphlets and good wishes. She was alright.
I then went about getting my bike fixed, restocked my food supply, showered and did some laundry. One day of summertime bike travel and night of camping on the sly makes clothing almost un-wearable filthy the next day. So I realized that I must stick hard to making sure that I always have a backup of clean clothing. I only travel with one additional set of clothing other than what is on my body, so this means that I must continually be scrubbing my reserves clean.
Once finished I went in search of a bicycle repair shop to replace the rear wheel, tire, and sprocket of my bike. I went into one, my bicycle was put up on to the repair rack, but then I got the feeling that the mechanic was pulling a few fast ones on me, taking me for a dumb tourists. So I told him to take my bike off the rack, and I quickly left in search of another repair shop. I found one easily, and the people working were decent and got right to fixing my bicycle. For around $50 the entire rear end of the bike was completely replaced and the labor was included. Not bad.
I was now no longer riding upon the back of a “kostitras” – a bone shaker – the Czech way of saying “crappy bicycle.”
I then returned to the bicycle campground, whih was at an outdoor athletic park, and was simply a place where bicyclers were permitted to set up tents, sleep, and make use of the facilities. The evening manager of the bike camp gave me the keys to the bathroom when he knocked off his shift at around 9PM. I took these keys with a smile, and promptly barricaded myself into the locker room, pushed two benches against each other, and laid down to a good night of sleep. This was far better than pretending that my rain poncho was a tent and trying somehow to seek shelter under in the cool, breezy Czech summer night.
Luxury, I tell you, this was luxury.
As I laid on the hard benches in the stuffy locker room I could hear the wails and laughs of Czechs drinking at a little nearby beer stand. They seemed very happy. It was Saturday night.
I wrote a little note in my moleskine from my hiding place in the brink walled room:
“Sound of people laughing brings sad, bitter joy to the traveler.”
I thought for a second of going and joining them. The Czechs had thus far proved to be very friendly drinkers. But no, I decided that I would remain quiet on that night. Locked up soundly inside of an old, stale, and stuffy locker room.
Hotel Accommodation in the Czech Republic
Private room in the Czech Republic- Bicycle Journey Day 2
Links to recent travelogue entries:
Camping on the Sly in a Wheat Field
Photos from Prague Czech Republic
Czech Republic Bike Trails