With another 70 miler in front of us, we had only time for a quick look at Pszczyna, a pity because it’s a lovely town. First we had to visit the bike shop to fix a problem with Christine’s rear brake, then we made our way east, initially along slow tortuous bike tracks to avoid busy roads and motorway junctions.

Christine had wanted to visit Auschwitz with a tour from Krakow but we didn’t realise that our route through Oswiecim took us right past it. She enquired at the information desk, and the options were to do the tour and take the train to Krakow or cycle round to view Birkenau from the outside and enjoy the lovely ride along the river to the city. The whole place was a mass of cars, coaches and people and we decided on a quick look and then continuing the ride. I’ve seen the pictures and know as much detail as I feel I need so that was sufficient for me. In the town, a police escort stopped the traffic for a parade of motorcyclists, revving their engines to create even more noise and stink. They were followed by petrol heads in flashy cars, theatrically squealing their tyres as they turned the corner, pretty pathetic.

The ride looked good on the map but the reality was a long tedious grind along an exposed high embankment into the east wind with only distant views of the river. It was nothing like the Elbe path and there was only one small old bench where we sat for a late lunch. A ferry crossing provided some respite and a couple of local roadies paid our one zloty fare (about 20p) because we had only a 50 zl note. They were in a good mood with only 20 km of a 200 km ride to do. We’d cycled a lot less than them and had a lot more than them in front of us. A spell along country lanes and through small villages made a welcome change but we were almost out of water. I spotted an old man in his garage and asked for some and he very kindly filled our bottles with cold water from their fridge.

After a while we were back on a raised embankment but this made navigation easier as the light faded. Progress was slow, the wind limiting us to 10 mph even though it was flat. We eventually reached the city and negotiated our way through the Saturday night revellers along the promenade, checking in at Aparthotel Adler at 21:30. Too late and too tired to eat, we showered and slept.