In Vidin we had our day off. There was not a lot of work to do as we could outsource the washing; what a release. The sightseeing in town did not take a lot of time. Outside it was cold and rainy, so we enjoyed a cappuccino in the Café Corner, were reading and planning as usual.
We are already on the road since 4 days and we have seen a lot. The weather was not good; the cold front that brought the snow back to Switzerland finally arrived in Eastern Europe. We needed to dress up with all warm clothing before we started. We had 100km and 440m heights in front of us to reach Kozloduj. In Lom we had to drive uphill on a block street, it felt like going up the old Gotthard Street in Switzerland.
When we made a “banana stop” to recover from the efforts an old man stopped his bike and congratulated us for what we did. We had a simple conversation toghether, even without speaking each others language. After passing many fields and villages with many hills we finally arrived in Kozloduj. We ended up the evening with a glas Cyclo- Redwine that was well matching to what we are doing.
Mentally we have been ready for Wedensday: Heavy rain, strong head wind and 88km distance. Till we reached Romania we had bumpy streets with a lot of wholes, the condition you wish not even to dream about; is this our first endurance test? When we crossed the Donau the ferryman had mercy on us and invited us to sit in his heated room. We could warm up; arriving on the other side of the donau the rain stopped. Still we had the wind blowing strongly against us, we counted the kilometres to the hotel. We looked forward to have a nice and cosy room, what a disillusion. It seemed that we have been the first guests of the season. In the bathroom the siphon smelled badly; ok you can close the door. The shower was only “lukewarm” but the room and the restaurant was icecold. First time we tested our sleeping bags with good result, we did not freeze during the night.
On Thursday, we still had very cold weather, but the wind was coming from the back. The event of the day was when we left Coabia, we had another short stop to put on more clothing. An older man gave a bunch of lilac to Marie-Claire. What an affectionate and beautiful gesture. She put it on the luggage rack and enjoyed the smell during the whole day.
After some kilometres we met some other bikers I of our age; they were on the way back to England.
We had a good chat at the roadside, unfortunately ther was nowhere a restaurant where we could sit down.
Driving through the villages in Romania a lot of kids run across the road “to give a five”. Many of the adults wave at us and greet us, especially the ladies that were sitting in front of their houses chatting with the neighbours.
Thursday seemed to be the day to meet bikers. When we drove into Zimnicea our night stop, we met Karl, biking since January on the way back home to Germany and at dinner another biker joined us. This time the hotel room was warm…
Today we experienced the dayly routine of the Romanian countryside; horse carts, butching of a pig, the huge fields, alley… After crossing the Donau another time we were back in Bulgaria in the town Russe.
And Marie-Claire got a cold, thanks to the cold weather!