We had a restless night but when the alarm went at 8:00 we were both in a deep sleep.
Breakfast was good, but I think the eggs had been fried the day before and the milk for the cereal was not chilled – oh the things we have to endure.
I avoided the lifts and carried the bikes down on at a time, avoiding the lifts – we were only on the first floor. Elaine ferried down the bags as I fitted them to the bike. Trouble was by the time I had the first two fitted bothPaul and bags were wet through. Elaine had all the bags by then and with typical Elaine sense suggested we move under cover of the nearby block of flats.
We sheltered there as the rain got heavier and Elaine got more and more wound up. By 10:00 we decided that rain or not we had to get on. We made about 200 yards before stopping to shelter under an awning. But after 5 more minutes we just had to go.
It felt cold and very wet at first but Lola led us across the south of Bucharest without a problem. As it was early on a Sunday morning the centre was relatively traffic free but it got busier as we moved into the suberbs. Our biggest risk was being drowned as the cars splashed through the puddles. But as ever Elaine was terrified every time we had to cross a tram track. And there were a lot of them.
From what we could see Bucharest is busting and prosperous with a mix of grotty communist era buildings and modern glass offices, stores and apartments. We eventually reached the southern limit of the tram system and just about then the rain finally stopped.
I had carefully planned a country route to the east of the main road but with the wet weather we settled for the very direct E5 which runs due south to our target of Giurgiu.
God bless the EU. Every few miles there were signs saying that the excellent 4 lane highway was a joint project between Romania and the EU. And it was a good road with a nice 5 feet wide strip that we could ride in. But we did have to put up with the huge truck thundering past.
We passed the mandatory 25km and stopped for a nice coffee from a machine at a petrol station.
Lunch was taken standing at the side of the road followed by a long boring dead straight and pretty flat ride between huge fields of eith rape or wheat. Not a village or a fam house in sight, quite strange. About 10 miles before our destination we dropped down a long hill into civilisation. At a roadside bar I spent a huge 9 lei (£1.80) for a bottle of beer to take to the hotel – well it was 2.5 litres. And on we rolled. Lola guided us unerringly to the extremely nice Hotel Sud.