460km Total: 460km 6h 9m Total: 6h 9m
340km Total: 340km
I've planned this years trip through Poland, Belarus and eastern Germany providing I can get into Belarus at all and get back into Poland without getting thrown into a quarantine facility.
I'd decided to include Brest in Belarus as it's in what is called a Visa free zone with a simplified process to get more tourism in the region.
What I didn't understand before I started looking into it was that a simplified process for an ex communist state that hasn't completely let go of the old ways stills is a bureaucratic nightmare for a normal person.
The term simplified is somewhat relative.
Hotel bookings mean nothing, they still need an invite stating that you've bought some sort of guided tour.
Best I could find is that I've now bought a guided tour in Grodno (a city I have no intention of visiting), health insurance that is completely surplus to requirements as I'm already insured and entrance to a museum in Brest I might or might not visit.
Anyway. Back to the present. I barely get any sleep so I give up around 7AM even though I don't have to leave until 11AM to catch the ferry from Karlskrona to Gdynia.
I guess I'm getting old as I've already packed and get bored with waiting just for waiting's sake and ride off at 10 and ride the speed limit to the point it's almost embarrassing.
I've hardly ridden the bike at all this year so it was an almost euphoric feeling to get in the saddle and ride off.
I chew away at the miles and I have lunch in a small village called Vrigstad. The weather is glorious with 24-26°C so I stop often just to hydrate.
It was for the best that I left earlier than planned as I arrive in Karlskrona just an hour before final check-in on the ferry and that margin got to good use as I've never been so unlucky with picking a cue in my entire life.
The traffic is flowing nicely until a white van with a mini-excavator in tow blocks the check-in.
Half an hour later in the scorching sun I give up, break off and ride to the back of the only check-in that's now actually open.
But the age a miracles are not over, finally the god damn van reverses out of the cue and traffic starts moving again so in a flash I'm back there.
One, I repeat one damn vehicle gets through and then a brown minivan blocks it all up again.
After another ten minutes a Pole in the other cue to which I am eternally grateful signals that I should break in front of him.
I was there with an hours margin and finally check in with less than ten minutes to spare.
With the bike strapped down and in the cabin I'm barely even surprised when I go to wash my hands and the water splashes straight through because the entire drainage beneath is broken.
I might be a bit grumpy but still it's glorious to be heading out.
Onboard the ferry I seem to be the only person wearing a mask despite it being mandatory in all public environments in Poland.
Tax free was out of the question because they had a one-in-one-out system due to Covid and the cue was astronomical.
I have dinner in one of the restaurants and head back to the cabin.