Inspired by snails I packed with me a small household behind my back, told everyone in the office that they shall not wait for me in the coming days, for the last time looked around Prague and set off. So far so good…
I already rode before across Moravia towards Slovakia, so I took a shortcut this time: from Prague all the way to Humenné in eastern Slovakia by a night train.
Czech railways prepared a train with some deadly air conditioning, so in the morning I ended up with swollen eyes and sore throat. But hopefully I will get better soon, as the weather in Slovakia is really excellent – sunny, warm, but not hot – exactly as I wished for a trip like this.
In Humenné I expected a grey factory town built of prefabricated blocks. Prefabricated blocks are here, but the town centre seems yet rather polished and clean, with pedestrian zones, cycling lanes etc… Maybe one day such innovations will arrive also to Prague.
From Humenné I rode around the Vihorlat ridge into an area between the nothern and southern ridge of Poloniny. Around the Starina water reservoir I slipped into the closed valley between the ridges. Here it feels truly like the remote end of Slovakia: locals speak their specific dialect, half of signs are already in Ukrainian, the valley is tightly surrounded from all sides by hills covered by deciduous forests and there is no paved road out. Add the beautiful weather – ideal spot for a nice ride around the river Ulička, or some views from the ridge to the other side – Polish Bieszczady and Ukrainian continuation of Poloniny. Quite pleasant are also local prices – up to 4 eur for a full lunch with a large cup of really strong soup, pastry, the main course and drinks.
And from Poloniny I aim via Ubľa to Ukraine.