An Alarming Lapse

Easing out of Lithuania, we entered Poland by a relatively minor road and a seldom used border crossing.  This drew the attention of the Polish border people, who flagged us down.  One took our vehicle documents off into their office for a thorough going through while the other engaged us in conversation, opening with “Where are you going?” followed by a detailed quizzing over our route.  We explained that the usual direct road in would have taken us through Belarus where, as that country isn’t part of Europe, we’d have run into issues over the dog.  After a couple of minutes chat the border guard bloke had ascertained that I was ex-military, while I assured him that now I was simply a hippy, more or less.  This struck a bell with him and he confided that he often found it surprising how quickly his peers had adapted to wearing beards, long hair and the like after leaving the Polish Army.  We parted on the best of terms and set our course towards a small town called Augustow where the Park 4 Night had assured us there was a really good free parking place for overnight stops.

We drove wearily in to what turned out to be an empty lorry and bus park – right next to a McDonald’s.  Now, it might have been an unfortunate reaction to all the high culture that we’d been wallowing in for the past few days, or perhaps we were simply knackered – but the evening found us inside this hall of culinary infamy, gleefully tucking into our Big Mac Meals.  Oh, the shame of it.  Even the dog appeared to be embarrassed…

Unabashed, we returned the next morning for breakfast; two coffees and two bacon rolls for the equivalent of around £1.50.  Sorry…

Later that day saw us parked up right outside Warsaw Zoo, a location that kept the dog’s nose working overtime.  She could barely believe the array of bewildering and intriguing smells that came drifting over.  We, meanwhile, launched off into the Old Town and once again found ourselves entranced by the places and buildings around us.  Have a look at the Instagram feed at the bottom of the page for a selection of photos – right now the internet isn’t strong enough to allow me to upload them onto this page, so we’ll all just have to make do.

After an early start, thanks to the surprising number of school buses bringing their inmates for a look at their zoo-bound opposite numbers, we roared off south to chase the sun.  Sure enough, we caught up with it after around 200 km in a place called Suchedniow.  It was beaming down onto a pretty and deserted campsite, where we were charged the cheeringly low sum of around £10 for a night’s stay, with electricity, wi-fi and showers all thrown in together.  But not simultaneously, obviously.  Some things are just not meant to be mixed.

As we cracked open our latest prize, a 1.5 litre bottle of merlot that we’d found in the local supermarket, and relaxed in the burgeoning sunset we could only reflect that this sunshine-chasing existence was shaping up quite well.  And on that note we made the final decision of the day – we would stay a second night in this glorious place.  There – that ought to bring the rain and storms on…