Friday, 4 May 2012

4 May Stage 22 Caransebes - Drobeta Turnu Severin

Dep 1015     Arr 6.00     Dist 118 km      Tot 2494.4 km

I slept uninterrupted until 6.20 and turned over once or twice, OK three times, and surfaced at just before 9. I knew it was going to be a late start but didn't care. I went in for breakfast and was given a menu. It took a while to realise that it wasn't included so I made my excuses and had my honey nut loops in the room. As I moved the bike away from where it was stashed, ie the front porch, I noticed it wasn't moving right. I eventually found the back wheel was slightly buckled and was rubbing on the brakes. I loosened the brakes a touch and it was OK but would need some attention somewhere down the line.

I got through the small town of Caransebes and saw it was 22 degrees on a signboard. It was cloudy and there was no noticeable wind which was ideal. I was climbing slowly but it wasn't hard and I took it easy. The little towns were a bit poorer but the countryside became more pleasant than the boring straight flatness I had experienced for the last week or so, and it was welcome. People in the fields or sat outside their houses would smile and wave and there was generally a good feeling about the area. I was moving through a river valley cutting between heavily wooded hillsides either side. The river was coming fast towards me which was a nuisance because it meant it was uphill but the nature of the view at times caused my mind to wander and made time pass. I heard rumblings in the distance and found there were dark heavy clouds on the hill tops on both sides. I got the cape and boots ready and then a Peter Kaye moment "Miss, it's spittin', it's spittin'". I expected it to pour down and got the gear on just before a hill of Saddleworth proportions appeared ahead. It twisted and turned like the Premier League relegation battle and I ended up soaked inside and out. The cape didn't allow the interior moisture, sweat, to dissipate. Thankfully the rain stopped as I reached the watershed and I stopped and dried off during lunch which consisted of a cheese sandwich from yesterday's breakfast, a cheese roll from the "pound bakery" and a bowl of cereal. I made some adjustments to the back wheel and fiddled with the front mudguard which has been rubbing off and on for a few days. There then followed long downhill stretches following a river which eventually opened up onto the Danube. Welcome back Danny, me old mate. The last 20km along the Danube dragged, as usual but I arrived at my planned destination at a reasonable hour. It is a nice hotel with pleasant staff having a laugh with each other and, most importantly, a wireless connection that works. I opened the door into the bathroom and nearly wept. A bath! I spent some time in the bath and got my least creased clothes on and then had the most wonderful meal, chicken stroganoff with a couple of beers. It is Friday after all. Breakfast is included, I checked. I am hoping to get an early night tonight and get to a decent sized town with a decent sized pub with a decent sized football match on at a reasonable time tomorrow.

Approx 1714 km to go. 17 decent days would get me to Fethiye on 21st May. So I'm on target for the revised date of 21st May. Let's say 23rd.

Today's route

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