Today we travelled 64 km to the town of Horovice, about midway between Pilsen and Prague.
We rode out of Pilsen past the two big breweries – Urquell and Gambrinus – following cycle route 3. Soon after, we lost the cycle route 3 signs and Kris had to navigate with his off-line GPS mapping app (Here We Go). The app doesn’t show cycle routes but Kris knew which direction we should be headed and found a route on small roads. In fact the route that Kris found was easier than a lot of the roads the official route has taken us on. Our unofficial route took us past a small airport, skirting a highway along secondary country roads and wooded paths. It was slow going however, as we had to stop quite regularly to check our progress and position.
At some point we joined cycle route 2127 – not the correct number 3 but a cycle route none the less – and this took us to Rokycany which was on our intended route. We intersected with number 3 again at an intersection just outside Rokycany. We stopped here and Kris went into the tourist info to see if they had any maps – which they did – quite helpful. From here on we followed the number 3 signs quite easily along a river and past a number of little towns all the way to Horovice. Maybe the signage is improving the close we get to Prague? It was curious that it was so poor coming out of Pilsen. We stopped for an ice cream at a small local shop around 9 km out of Horovice.
The roads were similar to the previous day, with a wide variety – some really good and some really challenging terrain (on the official bike route 3!) – punishing for the bikes due to lots of large loose stones. The route was not entirely off road – only on selected forest or river rides (often the worst roads to ride on). When we were on the road with traffic, it was not too busy and the cars thankfully gave us enough space passing.
At Horovice we rode up and down looking for the tourist info – the road signs were totally contradictory. Eventually I had to go into the town hall to ask where it was and a woman who could speak neither English or German gave me a map with the location. The lady at Tourist info was very dour, but eventually we got info about an affordable hotel in town. The town is small, so there was not much choice. However we are very happy with the room as it is spacious and on the quiet side of the hotel.
We had some beer at the hotel bar – more Pilner – and a burger at a nearby burger cafe which was delicious.