Monday, 28 September 2015

SOTA Tour to Czech Republic - in transit

I had no problems getting my oversized rucksack into the Easyjet aircraft at Bristol last week. As usual at security I removed all electrical items - tablet, transceiver, satnav, GPS, camera etc into the boxes provided. The camera, GPS and satnav I was carrying on my person to reduce the size of the rucksack. The liquids such as toothpaste, shampoo and sun lotion were in a clear plastic bag. Once through the scanner I repacked my rucksack which contained all the items I needed for my tour and proceeded to the gate. This process is conducted by agents acting on behalf of Easyjet so the first person I saw employed by them was when I entered the aircraft and was greeted by the air hostess, carrying my slighly oversized (by 10cm) rucksack on my back. Nothing was said and my bag fitted in the overhead locker perfectly, like the normal small suitcases which are used these days as "hand luggage". 

My Easyjet evening flight from Bristol to Prague
The flight took less than two hours and I was soon in the long queue to be photographed by the automated process at Prague airport. It took around 20 mins to get through:

I found my way to the "Rent-a-car" area next and located the Rent+ office where I signed up for my Skoda Citigo 3 door hire car, pre-booked using the excellent Holiday Autos agency, which I always use.  The Skoda had a full tank of petrol. Leaving the airport I used my TomTom Satnav to take me to the Hotel Globus which was around a 30 minute drive on the motorway to the south of Prague. On this journey in the dark (local time around 10pm) the one thing that stood out were the 100s of illuminated large signs advertising various products, such as cars etc dotted alongside the motorway on large gantry's. Something which is strictly controlled in the UK. 

I reached the Hotel Globus in around 30 minutes, here is the text of my review on

"Located near the motorway, so excellent for onward early morning travel. An adequate and typical breakfast is served at 7.00am. The hotel and room was scrupiously clean. Room was large, basic but excellent value. Plenty of nearby free parking for my hire car. I also appreciated the late check in. Many hotels on the outskirts of Prague do not offer this". 

I was able to leave the Globus at 7.30am and proceed to the Orlicke Hory in the OK/KR region. This meant using the motorway to reach the city of Hradec Kralove. There were no tolls to pay and the motorway tax permit is provided by the the hire car company automatically. I stopped off in Hradec Kralove at a Lidl Supermarket to purchase sufficient supplies of mineral water, apple juice, fruit and energy bars to keep me going for the four days of my SOTA Tour.  I reached Destne v Orlickych horach (or Destne for short) mid to late morning and made my way to my mountain hostel / hotel called Masarykova Chata on the summit of Serlich OK/KR-069, where I spent the next three nights. I removed the items not needed on my walk from my rucksack and set out for my first of five SOTA summits of the day. Here I am about to set off on foot to my first summit OK/KR-064 Kamenny vrch, on Friday 25th September 2015:

Day One of my OK SOTA tour radio operation and walk to follow...

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