After the first day of our 150 Kilometre journey from Dresden to Prague along the Elbe River, Rob and I found ourselves on the outskirts of Děčín, in the north of the Czech Republic. I had been nursing a rear flat tyre for the last 10 Kilometres through the urban byways of this industrial town, that eventually took us, unnervingly, down a motorway sliproad... at night and without any lights on our bikes.

At the first sign of a field we decided to set up camp for the night. It wasn’t perfect, to say the least. It was nearly pitch black by the time we made it to Děčín and already it was starting to get cold (we had had snow in Berlin only the week before). The images we had each formed in our minds of our nights along the Elbe over the previous months of planning in Berlin (of meadows of lush green grass backing onto dense forest with the river trickling in front of us) were hard to keep hold of as we looked across the black expanse of the Elbe onto a busy duel carriageway.

With our tents set up to face one another, and with the lights of the traffic across the Elbe reminding us of our situation, Rob and I settled down to arguably the worst night’s sleep of our lives. Rob, at this point, was starting to regret not spending the extra €20 on a better sleeping bag in Dresden earlier that same day.

In the middle of the night I was woken up by a loud stamping next to my tent - loud enough, in fact, that I could feel the vibration in my ear as I lay on my sleeping mat. Slowly I took out my earplugs and began thinking though all the wild animals that we could potentially run into while in the Czech Republic: domestic livestock such as cattle or sheep (we didn’t see any when we set up camp), wild horses (too close to the town), bears (rarely come this far down from Romania).

The only two possibilities I could think of at 3am that night were that either someone who lived close enough to our camping spot to have seen our fire was now coming to take a look, or that a wild boar was doing the same thing. Wild boars are quite common throughout Germany and the Czech Republic, and can be very aggressive if they feel threatened. So, with my head torch turned on and my recently purchased Opel knife shaking in hand, I opened the front of my tent fully expecting to battle a wild animal to the death.

Perhaps we would be eating pork for breakfast...

There was nothing to be seen.

With the river trickling along, the now occasional sound of traffic from the road, and my heart still racing, I put down my knife and threw on every piece of clothing left in my panniers - socks and underwear included - as I could now see the condensation of my breath inside the tent. I put back in my ear plugs and settled down once more.

Immediately I hear the stamping again.

My earplugs. I had woken myself up with the sound of my own heartbeat.