Polish camping adventures

After Prague I returned for what would now be my fourth visit to Berlin. Thanks again, Raxter, Bartek and Julia!

And the reason I was back was because that I was supposed to be catching train with Veve to go visit our friend Sos in Poland. We somehow missed each other (Veve boarded from a different station), but never the less both managed to get onto the correct train to Poland, and indeed get off at the correct stop (Zbąszynek) where Sos was waiting for us.

Sos is the self proclaimed “Mad scientist of video games” and you’d be utterly be wrong to disagree. He’s an extremely fun person to visit and hang out with. We thought it was amazing that he pretty much had an itinerary of things planned to do during our visit.

Standard Sos boot content Yes, that's a baseball, mitt and bat at the back.

Standard Sos boot content Yes, that’s a baseball, mitt and bat at the back.

The first thing we did was drive to the town of Nowy Tomsyl where Sos stays in a radical apartment filled with old video game consoles, electronics, and every kind of gadget or toy under the sun. We cooked a delicious Polish brunch from amazing fresh stuff that Sos nabbed from the village markets.

Bruuuuuuunch! Sos complains that his garden looks like a wasteland. But I think it's perfect.

Bruuuuuuunch! Sos complains that his garden looks like a wasteland. But I think it’s perfect.

Nowy Tomsyl is not a big town. Nowy Tomsyl is also not a medium-sized town. It is a tiny town with just over 15000 inhabitants and just over 100 words on its Wikipedia page. The town’s thing is wicker. It’s the number one international destination for wicker. It hosts wicker festivals, is full of giant things made of wicker and features a wicker museum. Other towns are presumably jealous of all the wicker that Nowy Tomsyl has got going on.

Largest wicker basket in the world! Tourists would flock to see this if only there was a train station!

Largest wicker basket in the world! Tourists would flock to see this if only there was a train station!

After brunch we had a brief ice cream orientated visit to the town square before attending to some shopping needs. Sos and I picked up some board shorts from a second hand store for 8 Zloty each, and then we acquired some children’s pool toys to ensure we were fully prepared for our trip to the lake.

The lake turned out to be amazing. Sos showed us a glorious secluded spot which was absolutely perfect for swimming and floating around on our newly purchased inflatables. It was a pretty magical afternoon filled with sunshine, Ukulele and fresh strawberries.

What a spot! And not a soul to be seen.

What a spot! And not a soul to be seen.

Just about buoyant enough to support an adult.

Just about buoyant enough to support an adult.

Literally irresistible. We ate the whole box.

Literally irresistible. We ate the whole box.

After a great lake experience, we decided the best thing to do would be to go camping next to a different lake. So we headed home, gathered up the necessary food and equipment and packed the firetruck.

If you we’re at AMAZE or read my post about AMAZE you’ll probably remember that there was a certain red disco firetruck there. Sos originally bought the vehicle to move some furniture (with the intention of selling it afterwards), but then decided to keep it because he realised that owning a firetruck is pretty damn awesome.

Veve packed and ready to go in the back of the firetruck. Hard hats are mandatory!

Veve packed and ready to go in the back of the firetruck. Hard hats are mandatory!

The weather was turning from glorious sunshine to ominous clouds, but Sos confidently assured us that it never rains when the wind is blowing from that particular direction. So we drove out to the lake and parked the firetruck. At this point the sky was completely dark and rumbling in a way that definitely suggested rain. Still feeling invincible for some reason, we ignored all the obvious signs and proceeded to hike out to our camping spot.

We got halfway through pitching our tent when we started to feel a little more grounded in reality, and at last started accepting that it might actually rain. We had a look at Sos’s weather app and confirmed that; yes, a huge rainstorm was definitely about to happen.

A quick decision was made not to spend the night camping in miserable wetness, and so we hurriedly repacked the tent. About one minute later it was absolutely bucketing and we ran back to the firetruck laughing at ourselves.

We got completely drenched.

Luckily we were able to dry our things in a warm apartment and chuckle about it over hot cups of tea. We spend the evening playing Quiplash, Drawful and Famiclone games instead.

Playing Famiclone games after getting rained out.

Playing Famiclone games after getting rained out.

The next day was Veve’s birthday and so after a late breakfast we set out to wander around the town and prepare a party. We eventually settled on a cake to buy and also picked up some birthday essentials like party hats and candles. We then walked to the Park Kultury i Wypoczynku (Park of culture and recreation) and prepared a not-so-surprising surprise party. We ate cake and Karpatka as 90s party music (courtesy of Sos’s Spotify account) provided the appropriate atmosphere. It was great.

Birthday squuuuuuuid!

Birthday squuuuuuuid!

The rest of the afternoon was spent walking around town and hanging out at Sos’s allotment. I’ve never seen this kind of thing before, but apparently renting a patch of land to be your garden away from home is fairly common in some eastern European countries.

Strolling past all the allotments. None of them have plumbing, some have electricity.

Strolling past all the allotments. None of them have plumbing, some have electricity.

Sos’s allotment features a couple of big shady trees, a small greenhouse, a tiny cottage (of sorts?) and a fantastic hammock. It was in a state of relative neglect in comparison to all the other pristine plots which were overflowing with perfect lawns and flower beds, but I think it’s way cooler that way.

After finally rousing ourselves from the comfort of the deck chairs and hammock, we made our way back to Sos’s place and set up his new VR machine to make sure it was working before it was needed in Warsaw. We played a bit of Mosh Pit Simulator (which is great), and I also tested VR Cricket on it for a bit. The game ran really well and just confirmed my suspicions that I need more powerful hardware for VR. Hrm.

Anyway, after messing around with VR games, and eating another of Sos’s tasty meals, we packed all our stuff into Sos’s car (not the firetruck, nor the clown car) and drove to Poznan.

Another excellent Polish dish in the wasteland. Adding crumbs makes everything better.

Another excellent Polish dish in the wasteland. Adding crumbs makes everything better.

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