When things go wrong they often turn out as the best stories

After our partly difficult days in Prague, a big city in which we didn’t have a very secure sleeping place and thus some left the group to stay privately with friends, in hostels our outside in the forest, we were looking ahead to some cycling days until our next project in Austria. We were advised to follow the Greenways route until it first reaches the border and then find our way to MoA! where people were eagerly awaiting us.
We were a group of about 45 people, as always the scouts going ahead to mark the route for everyone else. And they decided to follow a GPS device, which gave them a route by setting it to pedestrian… So it led straight through forests on unpaved roads, up on stony roads, to have a lunch break next to some water that on the map had looked like a lake – some people bathed in it but it mostly provided for the presence of mosquitoes. I was tail that day, staying behind so that noone gets lost, and we very already quite late. A friend who had cycled with us prior to Prague called us in the morning to warn us of a big storm coming up. It eventually caught up with the small group I was among while we were still having lunch at about 5 by the lake in the forest.
The scouts ahead had marked a route where they later had to carry their bicycles down a steep descent, as they hurriedly told me on the phone. The chalk with which they had marked it was washing off already in the heavy rain. And luckily there was a paved road going through the forest, intersecting with our route. So we decided not to follow the others which had gone off-road, but take the road which we were sure would lead us to some town or village with some rain shelter.
And so it did, 6 of us walked completely soaked into the first bar-restaurant we found next to the road after a bit of downhill out of the forest. We ordered hot drinks and beers. Then the waitress came with some green shots, tasting like mint, sent to us by three guys on the neighbouring table. After they sent the second round we invited them to sit with us, communication though being difficult and mostly facilitated by one Polish woman among us being able to converse with the local Czech men. Sometime during this point another 6 of our group came in, who had stayed behind to fix our rocket stove, having seen our bicycles out front. So we had more beers as our newfound friends were asking us where we were going to sleep. Well, in the end one of them insisted we put our tents in his yard, after having paid the bill for 12 mostly Western Europeans. He took us home (the bar/restaurant had closed early around 10 or 11), told his wife that we were going to sleep in their garden this night and offered us warm showers and homemade spirits – well, I was so tired to fall asleep before enjoying any of those two. But the next morning I woke up to breakfast on the verandah being served.
The rest of the group was also split up, with some finding shelter in an abandoned house in the next town about 5 km ahead of us. However, when a worker woke them in the morning they realised that the house was not only abandoned, but in the process of being torn down. Other workers had already started tearing down a wall, unable to see the hidden guests. The bigger rest of the group found a nice meadow, where we joined them for a second breakfast before discussing whether we can still reach our next project in Austria on schedule.
I came to see this day of things going ‘wrong’ (we managed only about 40 instead of 80 km and needed a day longer to Austria) as one of the best experiences, with all the hospitality we received and having a lot of fun joking about our route while sitting in a random village-bar having drinks with locals.

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