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  • Day1053

    Nameless Lake, Łąka, Poland

    May 15 in Poland ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

    We've reached Poland! Considering we are living full time in our van and touring Europe it seems like so long since we set foot in a new country. We spent a few days in the north of Poland 7 years ago but of the countries we've entered since this big trip began in June 2016, Poland is our 21st and the most easterly of the central European states.

    We'd checked the weather forecast the night before so it was no surprise when we woke to an outside temperature of 5°C, muted daylight and heavy rain, nor that these conditions stayed with us the entire day. Poland is one of the few EU countries that doesn't use the euro so we routed around in our under bed storage area and found 17 złote 25groszy (equal to £3.41) we hope the coins are still in use after all this time!

    We weren't far from the border so once on the motorway we found ourselves whizzing by the 'new country' signs in no time. Being on route to Lithuania we are not planning to explore Poland at this point of the tour but even so, a nervous excitement gripped us. We once again found ourselves unable to understand the language and picking up on all the differences, such as the digital road signs displaying the air and road temperatures and the many green bridges arching over the motorway, providing safe passage for wildlife. It contrasted with the last time we entered Poland, when we encountered what could only be described as a shanty town of corrugated iron shacks with people flogging tobacco, sheepskins, puppies and even a chainsaw.

    One thing we always worry about when entering a new country is the provision for motorhomes. Therefore we soon pulled in at a rest area marked on Park4Night as having a van service point. We found it easily and even though a lorry was parked in the way, Will managed to empty the toilet, although there was no fresh water.

    Although there are very few designated aires in Poland, we've read that wild camping is tolerated, so our first overnight stop was out in the countryside. Passing through a small village with the scent of wood smoke in the air and large one or two storey houses, several of them new builds, set in their own grounds, we arrived at a compacted earth car park. There were views through trees to a lake that didn't have a name on any of the three maps we looked at. We were excited to see obvious signs of beaver activity, with many trees felled and several trunks partially gnawed. Will got the binoculars and set up watch but with no definite sightings, although he did glimpse something furry in the water that made a splash as it dived. A footpath led around the nameless lake but the weather was so grotty and the ground so muddy we didn't explore any further than the shoreline 50m down the bank from where we were parked.
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