On our route from Proschim we were made more aware of the extent of the open cast mines in the outskirts and surrounding areas that left huge blue lakes in place where farm land and village life once thrived. We did, I must admit take advantage of one of these lakes at lunchtime, only to be warned by one of the locals of the acidic content, and recommendation to swim elsewhere.
The ride was hot, long, but as ever scenic as the scouts led us through small roads and cycle paths. A few punctures and tick inspections later we arrived into Bautzen to meet our invited local, a Sorbian Poet, who told us about the history and context of the Sorbian German minority, and a reading of one of his own poems, a medium to keep the minority language alive.
(sound recording to follow)
By the time everyone had caught up with the group, it was clear that we would not cross the border that evening, so we made an emergency plan to wild camp nearby on the German side. This was our first wild camping experience, and clearly made some people more nervous after having expereince of German police law and enforcement, but we were not dissuaded as it was late, and we left early before breakfast, and after an undisturbed night’s sleep in a scenic field surrounded by trees and the moonlight. As one of the scouts I still have a vivid image of the 40 headlights comming up the road to the spot that we found… our first midnight critical mass!