I have a love hate relationship with my GPS which once directed me to the centre of a golf course. I was on my riding down a small lane which didn’t feel quite right. I then turned onto the golf course, it’s amazing how far one can travel in the few nanoseconds it takes your brain to realise there is something quite wrong here. However when I saw a few golfers walking hastily towards me golf clubs in hand I made a hasty retreat.
So now I use a combination of GPS and map (it doesn’t help) which somehow got me into the middle of a cow field in the middle Poland. While riding through it and very politely greeting the cows I found myself in the tiniest village with just dirt tracks between the houses.
I stopped at the corner turned the bike off so that I could sit and slowly re-evaluate the map and GPS. The corner was just outside a small stone cottage. The next minute out came the farmer’s wife and son, and I thought oh dear I’m about to get told off in Polish for disturbing the cows. I could not have been more wrong, the wife told me all sorts of news and asked me all sorts of question in Polish, to which I sign language I’m lost and managed in very bad pronunciation asked how I get to Argustow. We eventually figured out where I was trying to go and they directed me to the nearest road. The son proceeded to pat me on the back two or three times to wish me well and they sent me on my way. So sweet a so helpful.
This is what travelling is all about, meeting people who give you the biggest toothless grin an old farmer’s wife can give a stranger. For those seconds you get just a glimpse into their lives the stone cottage with perfectly clean little courtyard, the low brick wall and rickety wooden gate. The washing hanging up which you assume the wife was doing by hand as she dried here hands on her apron while walking towards you. Encounters like this and seeing a tiny village I would never have seen if I had stuck to the main roads is why I like to travel.
Poland is a beautiful country the landscape just rolls on forever and is bright green dotted with various size ponds and lakes. I was really glad I got off the main highways as this scenery was well worth seeing.