I didn’t want to leave Augustów the very next day, I wanted to rest there day or two, but I had to go further. I’d settled earlier with my next warmshowers host in Mrągowo, some 200 km westbound (in straight line) that I’d be there on 15th August, so I had only 2 days to make that distance.
When I woke up it wa a bit drizzling, and although packing the wet tent wasn’t a pleasant think to do, at least I haven’t regretted any more leaving the lake beach. The stage to Augustów was my last going almost directly north, from now on I turned west. I’m not sure if it was because of that or because of weather change, but from that moment on I had to fight against very strong opposite wind. It lasted with almost no braeks to the last stage in Gdańsk. I went out from Augustow to the main road leading to Olsztyn. It was a road with quite heavy tracks traffic and I was soon really tired of it. But for some kilometers there were no better choice. Eventually I turned left choosing longer but much quiter road to Borzymy. A side wind was partly blocked by thick forest and I felt safer with no trucks on my way. It wasn’t raining anymore and I felt much better. In Stacze village I passed a little German soldiers cemetery from I WW.
It was a sign to remember intricate history of this area which belonged to Germany (Prusssia) before WW II. That’s why there are so many German tourists in Masuria, it’s the same as many Polish tourists in western Ukraine. Old people make sentimental journeys to land of their or their fathers and mothers youth.
Riding further I found strange situation, vehicles going on good asphalt road have to give way to traffic on major sandy road.
I hope it’s not a permanent situation because the asphalt road is new and has something to do with EU funds. Maybe the sandy one will be the next changing soon into tarmac?
The more westward I rode the more old post-German architecture I found. And I liked it a lot. For example just a normal stable. They have much more charm than indistinct modern ones.
I reached big Selmęt Wielki Lake. I rested a bit on a “village beach Łoje” with 2 kinds of benches, one for people liking their foot dry and the other for wet foot fans.
Halfway through my day stage I found myself in Ełk town. The last few kilometers I rode directly westward and there was no forest to protect me against mad gusts of wind. I barely could ride at 11 km per hour and was happy when I eventually made it to the town centre. I had to make another, this time longer break. I joined German tourists and visited an old water-tower. It was changed into sort of museum stuffed with items from Prussian time, e.g. almost 100 year old slicer.
Ełk is a nice town but I had to go. And again I admired old stables.
At the end of 138 kilometres stage I reached Sidory village near Giżycko town and greeted with my WS host, an retired soldier living now in peace in beautiful area.
He, his wife, family of other guests and me spent an evening in fantastic atmosphere chatting, eating and drinking delicious homemade alcoholic “nalewka”. It was yet another time when I got a prove that meeting awesome people is the greatest thing one can find travelling.