Hoooooorray readers! This will be a quick series to update during the cycling - The tough days!
Current Position: Lyon in France.
The trip restart in Austria after fighting the harsh weather in Hungary felt like a refreshment to both mind and body. The days became brighter and the sun showed up, even tough it was still cold. Over hills and muddy trails I made my way through the last bits of Austria and eventually into north of Slovenia. I didn't know what to expect, nor I had a clue of where I'd go, I just felt like exploring.
Seeing the sign on the border of Austria with Slovenia was one of the happiest moments on the whole trip, there was this sensation of accomplishment, of closing one more chapter of the winter cycling trip.
When I started in Poland I didn't know which direction I'd go on the map, I could go anywhere if the weather conditions would have allowed me. It's true, the freezing days of the winter were approaching fast, leaving me with only one option - to go south as fast as possible!
For some reason, while looking at the word map, Slovenia felt like the one place to go and it immediately turned into a major objective to be accomplished. How long would it take me to go from Poland to the coast of Slovenia? Would I make it further? Where would I go after that? All those answears I didn't have, but I knew that I wanted to reach Slovenia no matter what. And I did.
The Emptiness of the Winter
For the most part of the trip so far I had been cycling across cold and empty villages, all I could see was the smoke coming out of the chimneys and eventually some curious inhabitants looking at me suspisiously, as if I was some sort of different creature.
The smells were aways changing as I cycled through those small villages; some of them smelled like wood burning, some of them had a strong diesel smell, others a strong cow manure exaling from the farms nearby. This is one of the things a bicycle trip will provide if you one day decide to accept the challenge - you'll not only feel the slopes on the road, but you'll get to experience life in a slow paced way, with all its peculiar characteristics.
I picked these two pictures from a village before getting to Slovenia, because I think they somehow represent how empty those places were. Where's everyone? What do they do when winter comes?
And just like that I found myself in Slovenia, a small and exciting country that I was curious to discover. Will I go over the Alps or seek for warmth by the coast? Will the weather conditions force me to give up on this crazy idea of cycling during the winter? Am I still sane? We'll see on the next reports.
Come with me ladies and gentleman! Are you enjoying?
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~Love ya all,
Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.