After what for some of us was a restless night, breakfast reawakens our spirits and the weather forecast for this day also promises a warm, dry day – at last.
Last night, too, the route was rescheduled at short notice to replace yesterday’s B533 on the way back with the B549. This decision puts us on an equally brilliant road with wonderful views, hairpin bends, castles, in short, simply fabulous.
We continue along the B526, which also offers loose curves and takes us westwards bit by bit. The weekend and the better weather are noticeable in the increased number of motorbikes on the roads, but the traffic along the route is still limited and we are often alone for kilometres
The first rain clouds appear in Ploske! Therefore, we forego the planned stop in town and beat the clouds by taking a detour to the south-west (following the B526). It is Sunday and we notice this in the number of available places for a lunch stop.
There is not a single open restaurant in either Hnusta or Klenovec. In stark contrast to the Austrian tradition of going to a pub after church, the pavement here is neatly folded up.
In Klenovec there is a brief glimmer of hope when we discover that several large pots are hanging over the fire in the park for the maypole erection – well, there are similarities after all.
On closer inspection it turns out to be goulash! Mjamm, but unfortunately, unfortunately, the meat in the pot still has a few hours of cooking time ahead of it, we are assured, and that would be that.
But there is a small glimmer of hope: Behind the park there is actually a small pub that is actually open.
For lunch we only have chips/biscuits and the like, but we are no longer too demanding.
After a short stop, we continue westwards.
In Kokava nad Rimaviciou we want to turn north briefly to follow some smaller roads. The signs in the centre of the village (construction site) are not very clear and so we drive into a thick, fat rain cloud, only to have to turn around after about 15 km due to a roadblock. Now, in the rain, we head back to Kokava, only to turn back onto the B526 and thus cross the same rain cloud for the third time.
Bad weather was forecast for the last two days, but wet we are now. But we know the meanwhile usual rain behaviour with sharp borders and standing thunderclouds from Austria.
So the sun quickly comes out again and it gets really warm and sunny. Our jackets and trousers dry quickly and we continue our journey.
After a now urgent toilet stop, the next urgent topic comes up: refuelling. Some tanks are already almost empty and the next petrol station is about 30 km away. So it becomes exciting kilometres and the still wonderful course of the road recedes a little into the background.
In Hrinova we find salvation in the form of a well-equipped petrol station (with toilet and shop).
Now much more relaxed, the road leads us further to Krivan, where we turn in the wide valley in easy swings towards Zvolen. Shortly before Zvolen we join the motorway, which leads us in a curve to the north-east of the town, where we reach our accommodation for today.
From the balcony there is a view in the direction of Banska Bystrica, and if the air were not too hazy we could see the mountains of our first stop even more clearly. So we have almost come full circle.
The friendly weather invites us to take a stroll through the town and so we explore the old town of Zvolen, as well as the ice cream parlour and the brewery inn. Everything is wonderful and so we return to our quarters late.
But maybe it was just the fear of the hard mattress? In any case, the hardness of the mattresses in Slovakia is striking, not for softies. I prefer it hard 😉 , so I fall asleep very quickly and enjoy the bed.