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Published: August 5th 2009
Near Ketrzen on some illegal camp ground,13-07-2001.
A strong wind is coming in from the Baltic Sea while I wait for the ferry across the Vistula Lagoon. Local young kids in woolen pants of indefinite color practice their English and German on me, curiosity having the better of them, no big surprise considering my old rusty iron lady burdened under 35 kilo of survival gear, my dufty old tent and mouldy sleeping bag, my ragged old clothes my eight days old beard and general rugged appearance will probably give them enough blablabla material for days to come...get their friends back in the village jealous of the sight of this crazy dirty unkempt foreigner on his crappy bicycle that looks so old it might well collapse at any given moment.
Out at Vistula Lagoon I see enormous flocks of comorans sky-diving into the murky waters in search of breakfast, red-eyed gulls with gray wings and orange beaks fighting with the successfull over the prize, big fat roach reminding me of my empty belly, making me remember of the 80/100 kilometer I wanna cycle today hoping to get as close as possible to the Wolf's Lair, the bunker where Mister-Mass-Murderer-Numero-Uno was
holed up most of the Second War orquestrating the German war effort in Eastern Europe.
The Cycling is easy today due mostly to a nice wind in the back blowing in from Vistula Lagoon and under a pleasant Polish summer sun. Time a-plenty to concentrate on the natural world around me like the many storches determinedly hiking through the high grass of surrounding fields and meadows probably on the hunt for rodents, toads and frogs, a white colored fox crossing the road a mere ten meters ahead of me, just a swift movement gliding across the stone road before diappearing into the undergrowth again whence he came - or was it a she?
Late afternoon I stop at what looks like an unofficial camp ground near a temting looking lake occupied by a group of kayakers with brightly colored new tents and kayaks lying around, expensive looking communication material lying around at random, unwrapped food and crates of big Specjal beer, young people walking to and fro in and obvious unplanned make-your-own-camp order.
The other side of the field is taken over by a dozen or so families who seem to live in old caravans and dusty beat-up vans. A variety of people with mostly dark skin, male and female, old and yound, sitting around a huge camp fire eating from plastic plates, ragged dogs aggressively snapping at my bare heels surround me, their teeth looking menacingly but a single short screamed commant from the fire and it is dog-retreat-day again.
I take them for gypsies but ain't sure though and feel unwilling to ask. However my request for pitching my tent at the lake side for the night is enthusiastically answered by "one night in Poland for you is free of charge".
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