Day 50 - Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - Orsova to Calafat, Romania - Trip 132.82 kms Time 8:19:44
Up at 6:30 after a quiet night. I went down for b'fast at 7:00. B'fast was a-la-carte. I was allowed 15 LEI. I ordered orange juice, tea, plain omelette, bread, butter and jam. When I checked out I had to pay "a little extra". I never did get to see a final bill for my room, dinner and "a little extra". I paid with a 100E note and got a lot of change in LEI. I think it was 400 LEI for 100 E.
I asked about buying a patch kit so I could patch my tube but no one had any idea where I would find such a thing let alone patch a tube. I went across the street to a taxi stand and they suggested going to a "Vulcanizer" shop. They are all over the place. I found one not to far off and after a bit of discussion one of the guys found a tin of "contact cement". After a good sanding he applied a coat of the blue stuff and blew on it for a good 10 minutes or so out in the hot sun. Finally it was tacky enough to apply a patch which I provided from my kit. After pressing it firmly I put some air in the tube and he put it in a water bath to test for leaks. It was OK. I offered to pay him some LEI but he refused to accept any money.
I went over to a Penny Market and bought some blood oranges, orange juice, trail mix and some figs. I also bought some sun block at the Apoteke next door. I set off for Drobeta-Turnu Severin at 9:15. On a nice wide paved highway with a paved shoulder all the way. It was amazing and a bit cooler than the previous days. When I got to Hinova instead of turning right and following the Danube I kept going straight ahead on the 56A for Vanju Mare where I thought I might find a hotel. There were no hotels or pensions until I got to Cetate at 5:30. I tried to check in but it was full. I pushed on to Calafat. I had to stop several more times for 1) a Fanta 2) a Nestea and 3) a large 1.5L bottle of water. I ate trail mix and figs for lunch and snacks. I stopped earlier at a cafe/restaurant for lunch. There was no menu. A guy offered to BBQ some sausages for me. I only wanted 2. Sorry, he said, you must have 5 or none at all.
There were 3 climbs on the way to Calafat. I had to get off and walk the last one. A Roma with a horse and wagon loaded with hay overtook me! The children were very friendly calling out hello as I passed and running out into the road to wave at me. The adults were also very vocal. Not sure what they were saying but it all sounded very encouraging.
I arrived in Calafat at 7:00 and found the Hotel ..... at 90 LEI/night including b'fast and Wi-Fi. I checked in and proceeded to take my bags up to room 108. The elevator scared the shit out of me. First of all the door wouldn't open at the ground floor. One of the girls went to get a lever to get the door open. I got in with my bags and pressed 1 and closed the inner doors. As I arrived at the 1st floor I opened the inner doors to soon and the elevator stopped about 2 feet short. It then proceeded to go back to the main floor. I pressed 1 again and waited until I had stopped at the 1st floor before opening the inner doors this time.
After putting my bags in my room I went back downstairs to secure by bike. This time I took the stairs. I went down 3 flights of stairs and ended up in the restaurant. The main lobby was down one more flight of stairs. When I got to the lobby my bike was gone! I checked with the receptionist. She showed me where it had been locked up in a small storage room. I wanted to get my water bottles.
I then went to the bar/restaurant for a beer and dinner. After getting a cold beer I asked for a menu. I wanted fish and chips but there was no fish. I then asked for a grilled porc chop with rice and mixed vegetables. There was no rice. I had to settled for a porc chop with fries and dry bread. It was all very dry but the beer helped wash it down. The waitress was very nonchalant and more interested in chatting and smoking with several other young girls all around 20 something. There was no ice cream in spite of it being on the menu.
It was now 9:00 ish. I went up my my room. Had a shower and did some laundry. I was able to set up the Notebook and get an Internet connection in my room. I typed up Day 47 of my blog. While I was typing I could hear a dripping sound coming from the A/C. I turned it off and was off to bed at 11:30.
This blog was posted at the Hotel Turris in Turnu Magurele on Friday, July 15, 2011