ON TOUR! Latest GPS timestamp: 2019-07-17 18:11:34
  • National Holiday?
    • 06/07/2019
Didn't see this coming. Planned to end up in s campsite in the Moravian Karst, a gorge and cave ridden region, but everywhere is swarming with caravans and car camping families for the Friday holiday. Lots going on, every open space seems to have a bbq event, there's a big meet for owners of classic Trabant cars, another village has a fairground, etc.
After one look at the campsite and a quick pint of live giving pilsner its back to mapy. cz to pick out a prospective hill top away from the crowds.
Dragged Wallace up a rough forestry track and rewarded with clear skies for some night photography, accompanied by the strains of a cover band wafting up the valley until 2am.

Lots of casual railway level crossings

Recording a cicadas would make a great drum machine track

Peace and quiet punctuated by owls and woodpeckers

Next day, rode past all the tourist caves, too crowded to want to stop, but the scenery is still nice. And a big downhill to Brno. Wheeeeee!
Its hot again. Beer is cold. Pivo time.
  • Olomouc Almanac
    • 06/07/2019
Went underground today on a tour of caves at Javoricko, lots or stalactites and stalagmites. Unfortunately the village was torched by the Germans in the last days of the war so sombre edge on the place.
Also did some drone flying at nearby Bouzov castle.
Then descent to another nice little market town, Litovel, and following a popular riverside path to Olomouc for a day off.
Stayed at the very homely Poets Corner Hostel, a stones throw from the historic centre. What a pleasant little city, all the sights and barely any tourists, great light for pictures etc.

Apologies if I'm not writing amusing prose, I can't be bothered spending all evening tapping out sentences on mg phone.
  • On the road at last
    • 06/07/2019
First up, big thanks to Thomas and Ladi for organising getting my bike to the start line in one peice.

Scenery here is rolling hills, lots of patches of forest, roads thoughtfully lined with trees, ditches instead of hedges, massive fields, presumably due to soviet era collectivisation, lending the landscape a really open feel.

A fox with crosses the road ahead of me with what looks like a chicken in its jaws. Coasting silently down the road, all is quiet except for bird calls, the buzzing of bees, the flutter of butterflies chasing each other over wild flowers by the roadside.

Village tannoy systems broadcasting brief uplifting music followed by local news on the hour

Jesus on the cross, shrines everywhere, churches from tiny to oversized.

Splendid town halls, schools,

Most villages have a little bakery (great fresh pastries and bread), COOP (closed at lunchtime), and maybe a Pivovar (brewery)

Oh have i not mentioned castles yet? Castles!
In the UK we stopped building defensive castles ages ago, but here they were still a requirement until more recently. Therefore they come in all kinds of styles and such. Stopped at Svojanov for my first castle tour, including torture instruments and tales of wives bricked up inside walls and people going mad.

Camped in the woods at the highest point that stood out on the map, near an interesting looking meteorological station tower.
  • Svitavy stuff
    • 06/07/2019
Tak, two days of 5 a side football in 30 degree heat, a total of 9 twenty minute matches ending with elimination at the last 32 stage, although we were all still pretty happy with that achievement, especially as players were dropping like flies with injuries and hangovers. The stadium complex is relatively new and the pitches were the best surface I've ever played on.
For a humorous introduction to the national obsession with sport, have a watch of Sunday league (subtitled).

Off the pitch, a conveyor belt of £1 a pint Czech lagers, massive plates of goulash, sví?ková, deep fried cheese (the only vegetarian option on most menus), all left me pretty exhausted before the journey had even begun! So due to fatigue and the thundery weather forecast I stayed on in Svitavy with Martin's da [...read the rest]
  • Prague Prologue
    • 27/06/2019
I've arrived in CZ during a heatwave, so sightseeing has become an endurance sport in its own right - 24km walking in 35 degrees sunshine, tourists scurrying for shade, parasols and ice creams.
The traditional hot spots of the astronomical clock, Charles bridge and the castle were predictably swarming with tour groups beetling along behind guides wielding a variety of distinctive identifiers, but aside from that nowhere seemed crowded - I visited the Communism museum (disappointingly lightweight), Meda gallery (disappointingly brief) and Miniature (microscopic) art museum (downright amazing), Vitkov national monument, Zizkov TV tower, Vysehrad castle, ate some goulash, drank some beers, took a tram, detoured for various amusing sculptures, parks, churches, and gradually became desensitize [...read the rest]
  • Streets paved with gold...?
    • 22/04/2019
So the reason for no exciting updates recently is that i moved to London to work on a contract for 12 months.
This is my first time living in London, a place full of parakeets where it takes an hour to get anywhere in the city, no more no less.
Perks are that there are loads of gigs to go to, and i joined a football team, (last year they were effectively the 2nd worst team in London.) which turned out to consist of friends of my schoolmate and esteemed web host, Mr C. Black!
What else, what else. not much really. work, sport, noisy busy city where everyone seems to be looking forward to the day they can move somewhere else.
Colleagues trading war stories about their 3 hour horror commutes, while i walk 30 minutes to the office.
Cycling through the city is a bit crazy - happily the new [...read the rest]
...more blog
Eurocycle 2
latest trip pic
Taking the summer off to explore former Austro-Hungary, Western Balkans region

I've never been to any of these countries before, except for a brief school history trip, so this should be an interesting trip, expecting a mixture of western europe and communist influences, a mixture of mountains, rivers, plains, historic cities and rural villages.Maybe some interesting wildlife? I've mapped out a load of points of interest to visit, but have tried to avoid looking at photos so that everything can be a surprise! route plan on Google maps
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shameless selfie!
Hi, I'm Stu, and this is essentially my online diary.
Check out the trip menu, photos, interactive maps, and blog archive.
Have a nice day!
Trips!
Eurocycle 2
Taking the summer off to explore former Austro-Hungary, Western Balkans region
I've never been to any of these countries before, except for a brief school history trip, so this should be an interesting trip, expecting a mixture of western europe and communist influences, a mixture of mountains, rivers, plains, historic cities and rural villages.Maybe some interesting wildlife? I've mapped out a load of points of interest to visit, but have tried to avoid looking at photos so that everything can be a surprise! route plan on Google maps
Africa Overland 2017
Safari tour in a big yellow dustbin lorry
Travelling from Nairobi to Victoria Falls, through game reserves and whatnot, with Oasis Overland
North Sea Cycle
cultural bike ride around northern europe
Over a couple of months, i'll be testing my legs by riding from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Bergen in Norway. Approx 3000 miles, sounds like a lot but not very much each day on average...
Caribbean 2016
3 weeks of sun, sand, and craziness
A much needed relaxing break in the Cayman Islands... was what i expected, but instead almost none stop action, sports, sightseeing and partying. And then 10 days in Cuba, a beautiful, welcoming, and bewildering place like no other. And then back to Cayman for more awesome...
Tour du Mont Blanc 2015
A 10 day hike around Europe's biggest peak
The alps in the summertime are majestic. This walk, between 1500 and 3500m took in breathtaking views, high altitude camping, wildlife, and charming locals. After completing the walk i spent a few days relaxing on the shores of, and in, Lake Geneva.
Wales Walk 2014
A three week struggle across Wales on the Cambrian Way
Having skipped Wales on last year's LEJOG, i wanted to finished the job. The Cambrian Way provides 18,000 metres of ascent, the same as Everest - and twice that of the Pennine Way or Cape Wrath Trail. So it was hard work!
LEJOG 2013
1800 mile trek from one end of Britain to the other
After being a nomadic traveller for two years, I wasn't ready to go back to real life and get a job, but i wanted to do something constructive. Whilst in other far flung parts of the world i was often embarrassed by my limited knowledge of my home country. So i bought a train ticket to Penzance. And i walked.
South Pacific 2012
Beaches and reefs, palm trees and cava
A month relaxing in the Cook Islands, another month relaxing in Fiji and Samoa, with lots of diving, snorkeling, book reading, cava drinking, sunbathing and such. Then hitting the tourist trail on New Zealand's North Island, from Cape Reinga to Wellington. Off to Australia for a couple of weeks of modern world, then flying to Singapore, numerous public transport adventures through Malaysia and Thailand to the gap yearers mecca of Bangkok before flying home.
North America 2011
Backpacking around the US and Canada
Summer camps in New Hampshire, backpacking around the East Coast, protesting at the White House, traveling across Canada to track down my namesake, couchsurfing and hitchhiking through California, bears, snowboarding, crazy cyclists, Christmas in San Diego
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