Monday – The hardest day

It started so well. Breakfast was as good as dinner, a help yourself buffet with enough food for 15, including freshly home made brownies.

Once on the road for the first time we could follow theEurovelo 6 signs. A beautiful flat, smooth designated cycle path. For about a a mile. Then it abruptly turned into a rough cart track. We quickly turned off and followed the road to Veliko Gradiste. The surface was incredible, it can’t be possible to put so many patches in one space. And the wind had started to blow – straight into our faces of course. After VG we were on a nice smooth bit. Along here Elaine picked up a passenger. We are constantly set off by dogs who see us off and chase us past their territory. But this one did not know when to stop. For a full 5 k he ran alongside her. If a car came he moved onto the verge then rejoined. Occasionally he would go off into the long grass for a couple of hundred yards, pause for a moment then take off like a bullet to catch her again. All the time Elaine was yelling at him to go away. I could not keep up, just tagged along behind. He did not stop until we came upon some more big bad dogs. Then he cowered behind Elaine saying please protect me from these bullies. We went on and he went home, presumably to have a shower and recover from his morning exercise.

About 10 k before Ram we found the worst road surface yet, concrete but with all the large gravel on the surface. It was uphill and with the wind incredibly tiring.

Just as we each end the top before the road dropped steeply down to Ram, Elaine’s chain broke. It must have been all the stress running from the dog. Luckily I had brought a chain repair tool with us and within 15 minutes we were underway.

At Ram we were crossing the Danube by ferry. We rolled down the hill and straight on. There were only a couple of cars and a few people on board. 5 minutes later it set off. When we bought our tickets we found that it only runs once every 3 hours.

After the 15 minute ride we disembarked and coffeed at the nearby hotel. At this point Romania ends and both banks of the river are in Serbia.

The guide book said there was now a 4.5 km untarmacked path along the food dyke. It lied. The unmade path lasted for a few hundred yards, then no path at all just bumping from sod to sod across what was essentially a field, complete with cows. With the wind it was impossible to ride so we walked and pushed the whole way.

Back on a real road we stopped for lunch and booked a hotel in Kovin 34 km away. The afternoon was just a long painful grind into what was now a howling gale and we arrived in Kovin at about 5:00 completely knackered.

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4 comments on “Monday – The hardest day
  1. Tony says:

    Well done for battling through the elements!

  2. Greg Hall says:

    Am waiting for the easy day……no doubt you are planning next years ride already! Enjoy

  3. Steve and Jenny says:

    Hope you are not “dog” tired good effort!

  4. John Flury says:

    Think we will give Serbia a miss. Do’nt let them know you like Croatia!!!! The Europe of Merkel and Macron awaits and it will get easier.

    Good luck
    Pat and John

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