Day 109 Bavaria, Germany to Vrane nad Vitavou, Czech Republic.

Last night, whilst waiting for or washing to dry in the tumble drier, we took a walk down into the local village. As it turned out, despite being little more than a hamlet, it did have a rather good restaurant. So despite being dressed for walking, we sat outside and enjoyed a quick bite to eat, before returning to our campsite. Walking back up the hill, we were plagued by a swarm of large black flying insects. Initially we thought they might be hornets or horse-flies, but they seemed too large for either of these. At one point, we were literally being dive-bombed by them. We hurried back to Oscar, and Howard looked up insects in this part of Bavaria. It turns out they were large flying beetles.

A little later, once we had retrieved the washing, we then had the fun activity of putting the duvet cover on the double duvet in a space no bigger that a table! Previously we had always managed to do this outside the van, but the logistics of doing it inside, in the dark were hilarious – not to be recommended!

Being still early in the season, there was still only one small washroom opened on our site, which was being used for both men and women. So this morning, when Howard and I went for our showers, we were using adjacent shower cubicles. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spot one of these huge beetles, at least 2cm in length, lying on it’s back on the shower ledge, about 4 inches from my head. It is trying desperately to right itself. Heroically, I scream, then start whimpering. Howard thinks something catastrophic has happened to me! I can honestly say, it is the quickest shower I have ever taken. Unlike our tiny midges in Scotland, they clearly do large insects in Bavaria.

We packed away and set off through Bavaria, and on to the Czech Republic. I think the look of a place, in general, reflects the mentality of the people. Driving through Bavaria, everywhere we looked, everything was neat and tidy, in perfect order. The charming chalet like houses were beautifully kept, with precisely manicured gardens. The fields were tidy and ordered, and the wood piles exactly stacked. The heavily wooded countryside looked lush and green, and already farmers were starting to harvest the first cut of grass of the season. Every village seemed to have a picturesque church as it’s epicentre, often with spires with a little onion dome, so typical of this area.

As we crossed over the Czech border, the look of the buildings and the cultivation of the fields perceptively changed. The houses changed to more utilitarian rendered buildings, with tiled roofs, and the woods gave way to large arable fields, often with bright yellow oil-seed rape. It wasn’t unpleasant, just not quite so pristine.

As we crossed the border, we took the opportunity to fill up with diesel, at the much lower prices here than in Germany. Many of the Germans were doing the same, some even filling billy cans too. We purchased yet another vignette, and also took the chance to pick up some cheap Tanqueray, in anticipation of inflated prices in Iceland and Scandinavia.

We stopped at a pleasant medieval market town called Volyne, which had a stunning black and white church in it’s central cobbled square.

Arriving at our campsite for the night, there were no available places. Thankfully though, we had booked a pitch, so they were obliged to find us a spot. We are currently parked in what resembles more of a car park in a field – far from ideal. I guess this will be a taste of things to come, as the season becomes busier. We have been truly spoilt up until now, with near deserted camping grounds.

But thankfully, we’re only here for one night, and as they say, tomorrow is another day!

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