Broad fast flowing river on the run down from Strbske Pleso.

We woke early and were away at 08:20, wearing cagoules on top of our cycling jackets against the cold mountain air. We had the descent and the distant views of the Low Tatras almost to ourselves for the first hour or so. The road became busier and we enjoyed a diversion through the peaceful village of Pribylina, nothing moving and the sound of church bells carrying through the street.

We had to negotiate complex junctions by the motorway before a good cycle track took us into Liptovsky Mikulas. We had to leave it for the Tesco Extra, which was off a dual carriageway so not easy or pleasant to access. Our goal was hommous for our lunch as we’re fed up of cheese every day, usually bland. It’s a nice idea to try local food but generally impossible if you don’t eat living creatures. It would be very hard to be a vegan on holiday here, nut butters can’t be found and hommous only in the biggest supermarkets.

We found our way back to the cycle path, well used by families on Sunday outings and roadies passing through. We soon found a picnic bench, made and ate sandwiches and proceeded but not for long. The path was under water from the river and closed so we had to return past our bench and follow the diversion that the Wahoo calculated for us.

The road skirted north of a large lake with access points where leisure activities were taking place. We paused at a bar/restaurant for cold drinks, locals enjoying the sunshine and a late lunch and cyclists and motorbikes calling in for refreshments. We pressed on through the industrial town of Ružomberok and a few kilometres south we reached our base for the night, Penzion pod Vlkolíncom. We knew that its restaurant wasn’t currently open so we’d bought rolls, salad, nuts and satsumas to eat in our room.

Banská Bystrica