2021 Baltic Shore
August 2021 solo bicycle camping trip to the Baltic Shore
I moved from Bydgoszcz on the 17.08, fully loaded, onto a train, which with a transfer in Tczew would take me to Elbląg where my trip would start.
In Tczew, I had an hour and an older gentleman approached me, stating that he is homeless. It was my first thought that perhaps he will ask me for money, in which case I would have doubts where to give that to him or not. After all, most of the time, you later see the same people with a bottle of alcohol. However, he instead asked me to buy him tea and a sandwich from a vending machine. That request I could not deny, especially that both vending machines would accept cards.
Interestingly, when I was buying him a sandwich, I accidentally bumped with my bike a girl who was buying something at the second vending machine. Hard not to with how loaded this bicycle was. But when I apologised, she replied with ‘Don’t mention it’, in English. When the gentleman withdrew, I noticed the girl was struggling with the vending machine, and I asked her if she needs any help with it. While she managed herself just fine, we started chatting, and exchanged contacts. In a stark contrast to me, she had very little luggage, but a fast bike. With Kaliningrad to reach by end of day, she would cover a much larger distance than I ever had in plans with my nearly 40 kilograms bicycle. I later learned that she made it.
These two represent two dramatically different travelling style so well that they could be icons of this. And while we parted ways still in Elbląg, where I was to meet a friend that I have known for 16 years online yet never met before while she rushed to the border, I am glad we met.