Budapest to Byzantium. Belgrade to Stara Palanka.

Today was amazingly tough. Could have been easy, should have… But nothing ever is on the EV6 East/South of Budapest.

i was worried  before I even got in the saddle this morning. Traffic, in Belgarde is abhorent. As I said yesterday, so setting off this morning, with the guide book, suggesting busy roads, scared me, to be honest.

Setting off and travelling throuogh the city was OK. And then on to the bridge:image

it was crazy. But not half as bad as i was thinking.

We spent the first 25 miles on a motorway, in the bus lane. It was amazing – the wind, again, (thank you) was behind, and strong. the panniers felt like sails And, from the bus lane on that motorway, until Pancevo,we flew.

A wierd thing happened on the way to Kovin, our lunch stop. Touring cyclists, we met some… From Canada. to be fair we didn’t really meet them, as we were cycling so fast, we flew passed them.. at least, until, the puncture. First of the trip.

image

Worst places i suupose…

the Canadians foud us here, by the side of the road, and really wanted to talk. For info, we have met 6 (including the Canadians) on this whole trip, doing what  we are…

We lunched in Kovin, after a sparkling 30 miles of wind assisted flying. Should say here thet ‘lunching’ and towns are not really as glamarous as you might think..these places are basic, less than basic, and it is becoming quoite real,, just how hard the rest of this pedal will be. nonetheless, and at the expense of portraing a glamarous holiday – here is lunch:image

Faced with 22km of road cycling or 24 on a gravel track on a levee, we chose the levee… Bad plan. Tooooo soft a surface, for a bike that weighs an awful lot, and in the end I came off. first time, this trip, bloodied shin, and agony, but will live. These paths are just no good for road type bikes:

 

After the fall, I demanded  tarmac, at least i thought it was…. even worse.. 5km of potted, rutted, muddy, farm track – total disaster. Took as long to cylcle 20km as it did the first 50!!

Eventually we got to Dubovac, our intended stop for the night. asnother bad plan, as it was more likely we got mugged than camped..We pressed on.. Eventually we stopped in Stara Palanka – from where we we will get a ferry across the Danube tomorrow at 07:00. Some shots of the day…

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