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J181 - Thursday, April 15: Rosice - Dobronin

72.30km – 10H49’
Altitude : 500m

Another foggy morning, the wind chills the air on the roadside and it’s not warm.  Serge wears his jacket and cap all day.  This Thursday, after being with us for a week, it’s departure time for our two carrier pigeons, who took the time to prepare a pancake party at km 20, in the village of Jasenice.  It was an unusual picture of a caravan parked at the foot of the chapel, with Brigitte and her pancake pan in hand.  Roger got out homemade cider, but watch out because tolerance zero is the rule for drinking and driving.  It’s time for us to say goodbye and “see you soon” and it’s a moment full of emotion because each time they come their presence is a real breath of fresh air, to which is always added the ever-present smiles of Roger and Brigitte.  It’s heart warming.

Serge seems to be in more pain today.  The humidity is high, the head wind is terrible and the countryside is pale in the fog and mist this afternoon. Serge appears to be swinging his arms more than usual, which gives the impressing that it is helping to keep his body in motion.  He walks as soon as there is a hill or an ascent even thought the road appears to be flat. What can be his next intermediary objective; perhaps the mileage at the half way point of the race in Prague on Saturday? What is he thinking about to pass time for all these kilometres?  Today I will ask him that question.

In the south, the Czech Republic is particularly rural.  There is a succession of villages, each with imposing church and ever-present recycling bins.  There isn’t a soul in the hamlets and villages but small cities like Velke Mezirici or the small town of Polna, are animated, thanks to their shops and schools.  I had the preconceived idea that the Slovakians and the Czechs spoke the same language, Czech, but it’s not so.  In Slovakia the spoken language is Slovak and even if it resembles Czech, spelling and vocabulary are different.  For us who, unfortunately, don’t understand anything, these Slavic languages are hard to understand and the written languages are difficult to decipher.  As usual, our goal is to be able to say good morning, thank you and good bye and to catch a few words in passing.

When you ask for information from a Czech, the language barrier we have doesn’t seem to bother them: on the contrary, they always try to help, calling around on their phones and taking you to the place you are looking for.  We would have liked to be in touch with some runners from the country.  It’s too bad that for the moment the opportunity has not presented itself.

And finally, today we were able to buy 2 new batteries for the camper’s compartment because they have been weak for some time and yesterday they gave out as Serge was all soapy in the shower.  Without batteries the water doesn’t run in the camper!  Serge rinsed himself off with a bottle of water, complaining all the while.  As I always say, as long as Serge complains it means he still has some energy!  The support team is not in great form; its members are cold and can’t seem to get warm, not to mention that Ludo and Thomas like the animation of the city.  The calm of the countryside doe not do anything for them.

Town : Dobronin

GPS : N 49.29’13.8° E 015.38’05.6°