Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 47 - Europe 2011

Day 47 - Sunday, July 10, 2011 - Pozaverac, Serbia to Bela Crkva, Serbia - Trip 59.44 kms Time 4:22:53

Once again I'm going to be brief as it's quite late and I must be off to bed soon.
After a horrible breakfast served by Attilla the waitress I loaded my panniers on my bike and headed for Kostolac. I had to take a detour as the more direct route was being resurfaced. I ended up at a Sunday farmers market where fruit, vegetables, chickens, etc were being sold. I needed to get some water so went into a discount store. The shop in the hotel, where I had planned to buy some water before leaving, was closed on Sundays. I asked for directions to Kostelac and set off at 8:45. It was a nicely paved road all the way to Ram with some pretty rough patched up stretches. The section between Kostelac and Drmno was especially bad. I really needed mountain bike tires! I think I was on a road closed to cyclists which I didn't realize at the time.
On the way to Ram I was passed by a farmer on his tractor pulling an empty wagon twice. About 5 kms further up the road he had pulled off into a field and parked in the shade under a tree. There was another farmer with him who came out to the side of the road with a picnic hamper and motioned for me to come join them for somethng to eat. It was around 10:30 and I needed a break. They had a large baking pan with about a dozen pastries which looked very tasty. They also had china plates (3), forks, serviettes, etc. I was served 2 pastries which were a bit salty but very tasty nevertheless. They hardly spoke any English but wanted to know where I was from, Where I was going, etc. They were about to do some combining.
I arrived in Ram at 11:30. There were several other cyclists there including one with a flat tire on his mountain bike which he was in the process of repairing. The tube he had wouldn't fit because the valve stem was to large. He had to make the valve stem hole in the rim bigger using some sand paper.
I went into the cafe for a cold drink while waiting for the ferry. Two of the cyclists invited me to join them. They bought me a Fanta (small). The ferry for Stara Polanka was about to leave so I had to rush off in order not to miss it. The guy fixing his flat tire still had his rear wheel off and had to gather up all his parts and carry them onto the ferry where he was able to finish his repairs. It cost 250 CSD for the ferry crossing.
The ferry landing was just a gravel bank and we had to wait while a deck hand filled in the trough gouged out by the ferry. I set off for Bonatska Polanka/Bella Crkva. It was quite hot but with a bit of a breeze. The guy with the flat tire and his buddy caught up to me. They were on their way to Bela Crkva to go swimming. There are several lakes there and it is a popular tourists destination or so I was told.
I arrived in Bela Crkva at 1:30 and saw a sign for a hotel. There didn't appear to be any possibilities for another town with hotel accommodation for quite a distance so I decided I whould stop for the night. I went through the town but could not find the hotel. I stopped at a Cafe and the manager, who spoke some English, told me the hotel would be fully booked because of all the tourists. But, his next door neighbour had a private room where I could stay. If I cared to wait 5 minutes he would finish up and would show me the way. I had a nice cold beer while he got ready to go home. I followed him for about a km. As we arrived the "boss lady" was just disappearing down the sidewalk on her way to do some shopping.
While waiting for her to retun I was able to plan my route for tomorrow with the help of ...... I never did get his name? Soon the "boss lady" returned. She spoke a bit of German. She showed me the room upstairs. It was more like an apartment with a kitchen, dinning room and bedroom and bathroom. There were also several other rooms. The room cost 1,000 CSD for the night. No b'fast and no Internet but it would have to do.
After a short nap and doing my laundry I cycled into town to look for a place to eat. There were a lot of cafes but they only serve drinks and ice cream. I finally found a bakery and was able to get a pizza and a Nestea for 130 CSD and a huge slice of cake for 100 CSD.
When I got back to the apartment The boss's son was busy cleaning out the pool. He spoke quite good English and said if I needed anything to just let him know. He lived on the 3rd floor while his mother occupied the 1st floor. Quite a huge house.

This blog was posted at the hotel ........ in Calafat, Romania, on Wednesday, July 13, 2011
where I have a lovely A/C which has just started to drip on the carpet!!!

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