Author Archives: De'ana Williams

Sunday, 27th July, 2014

Country: Poland
Distance travelled:
Weather: Sunny and hot, about 30°

I slept poorly, having worried about the possibility of either the police waking us up in the middle of the night to tell us to move on or alternatively someone claiming some horrendously high parking fee. I went for a quick walk around in the quiet morning to see where we had ended up in the light of day and then hustled Mark out of there.

Polish wild camp

Polish wild camp

Just ten minutes drive back the way we had come was a small layby where we parked to eat our breakfast. After we had tidied up, I dug into the freezer to get something out to defrost for dinner and found to my horror that many things seemed to be soft around the edges. I pulled everything out of both the fridge and freezer and gave it all a thorough clean in the hopes that it may help. Then I packed everything back in and crossed my fingers.

It was about 10am when we started off toward Kraków again. After a few hours of driving we stopped for a snack and to check on the fridge but it didn’t seem to be cooling particularly well. We were unsure if there was a problem with the cooling system or if it was just unable to cope with the weather. These last few weeks were the first hot weather we had experienced while traveling and we had been told that the previous owner had only ever holidayed in Scandinavia.

Eventually we reached Kraków and the dealer where we were booked in to get the van serviced. They were listed in Autoroute as Caravaning Elcamp but appeared to be a large service and sales centre which had cleverly converted their front yard to an aire style site. When we arrived the guard on the gate ushered us in, indicating where we were to park on the lawn and handing over the paperwork we needed to fill out.

The fridge still hadn’t cooled well although it seemed to be trying to. We hooked up to the electricity for 5 złoty ($1.80 AUD) to try and boost the cooling system overnight. When I pulled out the last package of pelmini bought in Riga they had defrosted too much and now were a solid mass of mystery meat and dough and were binned immediately. That was definitely a loss, I had really been enjoying eating them.

We were low on all the usual supplies so I left Mark to relax as much as possible in the heat and rode off in the direction of a Lidl. I didn’t quite make it since I spotted a Kaufland supermarket, deciding to stop there instead. As I was standing in the queue for the checkout, the gentleman ahead of me apologized (I assume) for the delay (still assuming) since he had forgotten to weigh and tag his tomatoes before he made his way to the checkout.

I smiled and apologized for not being able to understand and he promptly switched to English, telling me what a beautiful language it was. Since most people tend to criticize the English language for its complexities I was somewhat startled but smiled anyway.

The ride back, just like the ride there, involved much dodging of pedestrians and, curious as to where they were all heading, I took a neglected side road to follow the crowds. A high fence with repeated forced entry points ran along one side and most of the walkers, dressed in beach gear with towels, were slipping between the gaps and disappearing into the scrub. I finally caught a glimpse of vivid blue water but couldn’t see much more. I later discovered that this was Zakrzówek Reservoir “created when the limestone quarry operating here accidentally pierced the water table“.

Back at Camping Elcamp, I waited while the security guard opened the gate for me then joined Mark sweltering in the van. We spent the evening surfing the internet and trying to keep cool in the unpleasant heat.

Hot van,our campsite at the service centre

Hot van,our campsite at the service centre