Memories of Cameron Heights

Monday mornin’ and raining here. I love the rain. Must be an English thing. Yes, that’s it, an English thing.

Recall making plans to go to the Cameron Heights. Booked tickets on an old jalopy of a bus and had an overnight drive. The road meandered through the forest in the pitch black. Then  a thunderstorm rolled over and accompanied us. The lightning illuminated the soaked forest for milliseconds at a time.

Pulled into Cameron about 4am or 5am. Some ungodly hour. Everything was shut. So thoughtless of Cameron;-) I made my way to a hostel, but it was closed, too. Constructed in an imaginative square. But redemption was at hand. The building had a wide porch running around the font and both sides. How does a porch run? Slowly.

The rainy weather was kicking in again. I settled down on one of the comfy chairs, feet on my backpack, and slipped into my sleeping bag. Remember feelin’ cosy, dry and happy to watch the rain from my temporary sanctuary.

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Cycling, Himmler’s Bunker and Salad

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In a shady forest just outside Pozezdrze lies a huge slab of reinforced concrete. This fractured gigiantic block is testament to the cruely and barbarity of humans. For this was the bunker of the snappily Hugo Boss dressed Heinrich Himmler when he was in close attendance to Hitler, up the road in the Wolf’s Lair. An attempt to destroy the bunker failed, only fracturing the block.IMG_1145

There are two entrances on the left as you look down this corridor,  which lead into the the interior of the facility. The material for the bunker, built in 1941, was delivered via a single gauge rail line. The line is now defunct, but as you can see below, it makes a beautiful cycle path through the forest.Out of such political and racial ugliness, comes such beauty.IMG_1160 (2)

At the end of the cycle path lies the village of Ogonki, which is home to the Ognisty Ptak  restaurant. The Phoenix. Full of history, drained of energy we stopped off for a tasty chicken, mozarella and tomato salad with super strength coffee as an accompaniment. Very comfortable surroundings, with a view giving out onto a small lake and the food was inexpensive and tasty. Then back on the bike to finish the 30km for the day.

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Wind in Hair and Insects in Mouth

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Every new adventure into the realm of a long day’s cycling starts with a good breakfast. Cut up garlic and reduce in a pan with tinned tomatoes,  tomato puree, fresh oregano and basil. Slice up some French bread and coat the French bread with the sauce. Top the bead with fresh sliced tomato, and add a generous topping of Mozzarella cheese. Then bake for about 15 minutes, sprinkle with chives and serve with a good cup of coffee.

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Next, drive to the forest of Puszcza Borecka. Such a forest must have welcomed and enveloped the ill fated Roman 17th Legion led by Varus. Hopefully we were going to have a better outcome! In we cycled under a canopy of green.  Quiet and peace met us. Nobody else. But the forest is full of life.

We had the sun on our faces, the wind in our hair and the insects in my teeth. What is it about Polish insects, especially mosquitoes?? Put me in a group of people and they are safe, for the insects home in on me. Guaranteed. Birds flew across right in front of me, a black and golden butterfly shared space with me for a few wonderful seconds and dragonfly blazed a little to close. The forest is alive. As we trundled through one open area and back into cover  we heard an animal that we had startled. Usually we don’t see it, but this time to my elation a deer bucked and bounded into the forest only a few feet from us.I was over the moon and had no chance to reach my packed camera.However the memory will stay with me forever.

On we went, seemingly always wending our way upwards. My wife wanted to show me some Zubr, or Bison to you and me. Unfortunately the park wasn’t open yet, but the facilities at the gate were good so we took some saddle weary time out for our sarnies. Now I am sure that Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’, was written by a cyclist who was feeling similar to me!

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 On we went a terrific hubbub made us pull over. A swampy area was positively throbbing noisily to the songs of frogs or toads singing in harmony.

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We had ridden for over 30km, I allow a few more kilometers for the uphill parts. Then it was off for home in time for Tiffin!