The first day in Bialeska-Biawa was so busy, I had 5 interviews with newspapers, local radio and TV and I was at home almost whole day. We were planning to see the forest but I was enough tired to skip the plan and just stay at home.
My plan was just to stay there one day and leave on Wednesday but I just felt I need to stay one more day doing nothing. After Krakow and a lot of sight seeing, riding to Bialeska-Biawa and that big pain I had on my knee, I just felt which I need to have a day off from everything and sleep. So I decided to postpone my departure and keep silence on a corner in house. So after having breakfast with Grezegorz and Anna I went to my room, closed the door and lied on bed. Just relax and I was not thinking of anything. That’s true which there was a beautiful forest nearby and some mountain but I needed to keep my power and I should avoid of getting tired or exhausted.
Just in the afternoon I went to the city for a walk and at night I cooked some Iranian dishes which I was missing.
It was Thursday and I was on my deadline to leave as I should be in Budapest on Sunday and 400km a head. I could make it in 4 days if everything was fine but because of that pain I prefer to avoid of any hilly route and I took the flat one, so then I should ride 450km and it means I would have 4 hard working days ahead.
I left home at 9:30 and I should go through some little hills and there was no choice to skip them. I was very slow and I didn’t push myself at all, I had to take care of my knee and it took me longer time. I was glad that still no pain but on hills I was trying to do not use my left leg very much and the other one had to work harder.
hills finished and on the flat road was ahead. After I crossed the border the main city was Cadca and I should pass it as quick as possible to get to the smaller road and get rid of traffic. But always when I am pushing myself to save the time something stupid happens, I was on the road crossing a big bridge and I saw a police man, I wave a hand for him and he smiled but after 2km he passed and stopped me. There was a tunnel a head and he told me I am not allowed to go through the tunnel on bicycle and I have to return and take an alternative road. No ..you should have told me while passing you and now it takes me almost 20min to go back and find the other road but he smiled and said it is impossible. “ could you support me to go through the tunnel? It is just 400m and I don’t need to return few km! I asked” there is a camera and we are not allowed to let you go through, also it is forbidden to ride a bike without helmet in Slovakia and you will get fined …was his answer!! Ok ! no way I should do it while time was important for me. I didn’t want to be on the road at dark in that road with so many trucks and no shoulder on the road. I like a bit my life and I should take care of it, also I should get to the Budapest on Sunday, so I had to push myself all the time and short days also was extra limitation over my work, just I was lucky with the weather which was enough good.
again it was almost dark and still I didn’t cover the distances I should cover. I jumped into a supermarket and grabbed some stuff quickly, I paid and just hung them on my bike and returned to the main road again searching for a camping place. It is funny which even in this kind of situation I am a bit crazy to find a beautiful spot and I don’t look just for a place to sleep, it should has a nice scenery and view too.
trucks were passing by and their wind pushed me out of the road and also I was cycling on the edge of road to be on the most certain point even though there is no certain point in such a situation. Finally I saw a river at dark and some bushes, so I got off the road and hided on the middle of bushes. It was beautiful but not quiet but I was enough tired to do not understand any sound while sleeping.
next day I should start earlier to cover more distances as I cycled just 83km last day, so again I knew I have a day without rest and just cycling till the last min of daylight.
after just 30km I passed Zilina and afterward I was in a very small road and that road would take me all the way to the last point of Slovakia and there were no any trucks. A very small and quiet road all the way along the river and it means I was going to have a flat road all the way.
It was good but still I was worried about my knee and still I didn’t push it hard. I was thinking of that pain and I saw how quick I may lose everything, with that kind of pain I would never be able to ride even 10km while I was feeling so strong physically and mentally. Life is like that, just in a finger tip we may lose it and knowing that would help to appreciate what we have. Cycling and traveling for me is almost everything I have to do in my life and cycling itself is just wonderful for me. Just for some min I was thinking how everything in our life is fragile and very close to lose. How everything could be gone so quick and how little time we have in our life. So many deep thoughts came to my mind over small circumstance and this is consequence of being alone on the road.
I had to cover the distance I didn’t cycle yesterday, so again no way and I had to push. To save the time I made some sandwiches in the morning as I knew there wont be anytime for lunch and just few min of rest.
I kept cycling all day long till the last point but I was quite fine because the road was not busy and I didn’t have any problem if even it would get dark . on the last 30 min I had to pass over a big city where there are so many junctions and not enough sign roads, so I missed the road I should take to continue on the quiet one and I just saw myself again on the middle of main road. The next access to the little road was after 20km and it was not a good idea to ride overnight to reach it. Again it was dark and I was cycling in the main road. 123km and there was no way to continue last 10km to the other road. I just saw a line of trees stretching out to the field and a little path of grass side of the line. It was a 1 km path between a highway and a motorway and I walked to the middle to be as far as possible from either of them. I checked few spots to find the most comfortable one to sleep and a long night was ahead.
next morning after 10km I went to the smaller road and fortunately there was not any big city and intersection to the main roads, so I was quite happy to cycle in that road but again I had to push myself. I had 120km ahead and no time to rest. I was thinking if I cycle 120km then regarding to my map there will be 100km left for the last day which was fine.
it was about 12 and I was passing a small city, I saw 2 cyclists and I asked one of them for direction because I should save every single min to be able to cover 120km in daytime. Going through a wrong street would cause me delay for 15min and I was about to reach my target.
one of them told me which he can company me for few km till the first small town, it was great of course to have a company and talk with a local.
Peter and I were climbing a hill which he asked me to wait for a moment, he made a call and talked in his language and then we start cycling again. Then he told me that he called his wife and he is willing to have me for lunch in his house!! It is true which I was in hurry but I am not that stupid to lose a chance of meeting and staying with locals too!! I happily accepted and we went to his house located in a small city called : Bojnicky.
On the way to his home we met another friend of him Boris and he also joined us.
I was there till 2:30 and while leaving his wife prepared me some sandwiches, cakes bananas and she gave me a big pack of food and Jurai who was their 9 years old son promised to draw something about trees!! It was amazing and I had a beautiful joy in my heart. Just before giving them a goodbye hug she handed me a beer and said, enjoy it tonight in your tent!! And Peter told me he likes to make some donation for my journey. The money, food, …they are not important at all but the feeling of being a human being among those beautiful hearted people. Among those who has warm hands and big heart, I am glad to be a human and live in this world even though it looks very ugly now but still there is a beautiful side of the world we can see and touch. A big thanks to you Peter and your lovely family. I love you all.
After 100m I looked back and waved my hand to a friend I may never see again but I will keep them in my heart forever.
I was on a quiet road again listening to my chain voice tires touching the ground. I was almost crying for the big joy I had in my heart and nice feeling.
just a day before my friend told me that the school in Budapest is not going to pay for trees and I replied her no matter, it would be just a meal and I will pay it myself and the money for the tree came earlier with the food as well.
while having lunch Boris asked me what do you I feel about the food? I answered which is great because it is like home as the food was like some kind of kebab we have in Iran, I told him it remains me the food in Iran but when I left there and I was thinking I realized the feeling was not the one I said. The food was great not because it was like our dishes in Iran, it was wonderful because it came from a human being heart, it was from their kindness, it was from their love to a human being. The food was great because they served it with love…I had tears in my eyes while pedaling.
No way!! I had to cycle overnight to cover the time I spend with Peter. It was some extra gift for me too. It was not cold at all and no wind, very peaceful with a beautiful moon shining the white lines on the road and just the sound of tires and my chain and sometimes a bird or dogs.
It is hard to explain that night.
after 127km I saw a row of trees behind a little hill off the road and I went toward them.
It was a beautiful and quiet spot for camping. That night was the first night in Europe I could sit outside of the tent because the weather was so nice and warm.
I sat in front of my tent to look at moon and sip my beer to enjoy those wonderful moments.
Just for a moment I thought of being alone there and soon after I realized how I love it being alone there. I realized that after 6 years of travel, now I know the value of being alone much more than before and I appreciate it more too. I remembered many of my friends and I thought of them.
next day was the last one in Slovakia and I supposed to have 100km to Budapest. So I was not in hurry and I started cycling at 8:30 but soon after I realized I will have head wind all the way to Budapest.
after 23km I reached to Danube and I had to cross it to Hungary. There was a sign board telling that there is 101km to Budapest!!! Oh no… means again I should do a lot of hard work all the way to Budapest with strong head wind.
No way Mohammad..it is the last day, so do as much as you can and I started pushing myself hardly. No time for lunch and even having snacks, just I put whatever I had in my front bag to have easy access and I was just pedaling. Still 20km to Budapest and less than an hour before it get dark.
I stopped for 5 min to have a short rest and then I told myself “ Hey guy, there is a time trail for 45min ahead. You can use all your power as it will end afterward and you will have enough rest coming days. So just concentrate on the road and go…”
after 35min I saw a sign board for Budapest but still I should continue to reach to the first street with light and in 10min I was there…happy, tired with a feeling of success.
I followed the road to Michaela’s house and I was there in her house ready to take a shower and having a big dinner.
29 November 2012