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Day 17 ...... Litomerice to Prague ....105 km (total cycled ...1,232 km)

What a day to finish on. It had everything. Sunshine; torrential downpour; a hill of considerable length; a modern bike station; wooded cycle paths; open fields; beer hops; coffee good enough that we all had a second ; a world class rowing centre ; roller bladers ; fisherman ; a village fair ; another current driven ferry ; numerous sports including a baseball game ; a confluence of rivers ; an evening meal in the garden of a Prague restaurant . 

Leaving Litomerice we came across this modern structure . Basically you place your bike on a tray at the base. The computer driven mechanism whisks the bike away from you and stores it on one of the platforms and then issues you a receipt. To retrieve your bike you scan your receipt and moments later your bike is delivered to you. 

2 mates riding through a small forest early in the morn.

2 mates now riding riverside early in the morn. At this point we had passed about 50 fishermen. Observations were thus - it seemed they had all camped overnight in their tents or in their cars. They all smoked. They all wore army fatigues. None had seemingly caught any fish; you could smell them before you saw them. The fishermen (not the mates) that is. 

Quite often the route spat out us onto  well surfaced roads that ran between farmers fields. Almost simultaneously we would then find  ourselves on what was ostensibly a goat track. The inconsistency of bike route 7 was exhausting and fustrating. 

We saw a few of these. White water kayaking slalom courses. Usually alongside an industrial lock. Speaking of which - I have been astounded that we haven’t seen any barges working the river. Very unlike the Mosel and Rhine. In fact not one. Oh and only the solitary river cruise boat on the ENTIRE length of the Elbe from Magdeburg to Prague. 

Never seen a sign of this ilk before. Around the corner lay the answer . A cattery . 

We took coffee at an internantional rowing centre that hosted the world junior championships. The coffee was so good we had a second. Here, and in tradition elsewhere , the rowing coach instructs from the bank whilst he roller blades alongside his pupils. They get fit and he stays fit. 

Check out the year of the marker just under the roof. 2002 in case you can’t focus in. Not a great year to be a riverside owner of a business . 

At Melnic we left the Elbe who had been our partner for the last 6 days and rode the Vltava upstream from its confluence with the Elbe . 

Elbe on the left - Vltava on the right . At Melnic. 

Stopping mid morning we dined on what we thought was a pre lunch snack. It later turned out this was in fact our lunch. We stuck out because we were the only customers over the age of 1 who weren’t  drinking beer. 

Yet another “current ferry”. This one a mere 25 CZECH Kourna each. That’s about 90 EURO cents.

In a country where beer consumption is equal to the worlds best its not a surprise that we passed hop gardens .

This dude drove past wearing an Aussie slouch hat and proudly displaying an Aussie flag. In the middle of nowhere . #bizarre 

Destination reached !!!! The team on the Charles Bridge. Together we had ridden clos to 495 miles from Hannover . 

Dinner was taken 393.4 metres from our front door in the delightful garden of the Santini Restauarant.

Stats on the entire trip to follow tomorrow. 

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