Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 53 - Europe 2011

Day 53 - Saturday, July 16, 2011 - Turnu Magurele to Zimnicea - Trip 60.76 kms Time 3:54:46

Had a bit of a rough night because of stomach cramps. The inevitable has happened - I've managed to get some sort of tummy bug. Got at 6:30 and took a couple Imodium anti-diarrhea tablets. I went down for b'fast hoping to get something to eat that my stomach could handle. I asked for tea with honey and yogurt. I also got a stale bun and some jam.
I returned to my room and finished packing. After checking out I collected my bike from the garage at the back of the hotel. While I was loading my panniers a German fellow cyclists, about my age, approached me and greeted me in German. He noticed I was from Canada as I was wearing my CANADA jersey. He was cycling towards Budapest, etc. Before setting off for Zimnicea I went to a nearby corner store and got a 1.5L bottle of water, a couple bananas and some yogurt. I set off at 8:30. It was a fairly flat ride with several rolling hills so I was able to ride at a fairly good pace. There were a lot of donkey/horse wagons on the road. Some loaded with hay that took up more than a whole lane. One was missing a rear wheel. It was running on the rear axle stub with the missing wheel in the wagon. Probably going to a shop to get it fixed. I passed through Ciuperceni, Traian, Seaca, Lisa, Piatra, Viisoara, Suhaia and Fajtanele before arriving in Zimnicea at 1:30. By this time the heat and the fact that I wasn't feeling well had pretty well exhausted me.
I stopped at the Hotel Inter, a very impressive looking, modern building. I went into the cafe and was able to get some tea, water and honey dew melon and some sort of pastry (very dry). How do they eat that stuff. Apparently I wasn't supposed to be able to get melon as it wasn't on the menu or on display in the cafe like all the other food. There must have been a special occasion and I happened to see a waitress taking some left over melon to the kitchen. I asked if I could have some and she said OK. Another waitress told her I shouldn't have any but she was overuled.
I decided it was much to hot to continue cycling to the next town which was Giurgiu that would have hotel accommodation. I went to the hotel reception to ask about a room. A single room with b'fast, Wi-Fi and A/C was 60E. I managed to get it down to 50E. The beautiful, platinum blond, receptionist got a baggage cart and helped me collect my bags. She took them inside while I went off with the parking lot attendant to secure my bike in a garage at the back of the hotel. I took my bags up to my room and lay down for a nap after taking a couple more diarrhea tablets.
When I got up I decided I couldn't face going out to eat in a restaurant so decided to find a shop where I could buy some food and water. I asked the pretty receptionist for directions to the nearest shop and she was about to take me there but I said that wouldn't be necessary as I would manage to find it on my own.
On the way I passed a bicycle shop. I went in to see if I could get a spare tube. Not a chance. He had several types of tubes but none that would fit my rims or tires. But I was able to get a small patch kit for 6 LEI. The bike shop guy spoke English and when I told him about getting my tube fixed at a VULCANIZER garage because my little tube of vulcanizing fluid had dried up he gave me a large tube of it for free. I said I had some in the patch kit I had just bought. He insisted I take it just in case it dried out.
I eventually found the "grocery shop". Went in and bought some water, fruit, yogurt, etc and walked back to the hotel. It was bloody hot. Romania is having quite a heat wave at the moment.

This blog was posted at the Hotel SUD in Giurgiu, Romania, on Sunday, July 17, 2011
We just had a terrific thunderstorm. I hope that will cool things off a bit for tomorrow's ride which has several hills on it.

Drum Bun

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