Friday morning did not look good. The wind was blowing a hoolie, the guide book said the road was hilly and difficult and it was starting to as we left the hotel. But the rain soon stopped and apart from a few brief showers it stayed dry for the rest of the day. The hills were not a big problem, they were fairly short and we just pushed up them with little trouble or delay. But the wind. It was behind us. It felt wonderful and we rolled along the flat bits at 30km. So by 11:00 we had covered 40 km and were passing the huge cemetery as we entered Vukovar.
I remember the bridge at Vukovar from the TV. I had always assumed it was over the Danube, but no, they were fighting over a bridge crossing a small tributary of the Danube.The town was busy and looked normal until you realised that every 6 houses or so the walls were picked with bullet holes and the houses were empty and abandoned. Every tall structure was peppered with holes from shell fire. Despite all this there was lots of new building going on and the town centre was filled with busy cafes. The old bridge has been replaces with a modern pedestrian walkway.
Whilst enjoying our coffee we noticed groups of school kids being led to visit the shrine to the victims of the war. I was intrigued to find that Lev is the biggest brewery in Serbia but here in Croatia the big 4 star hotel is the Hotel Lev.
I then made 2 mistakes. Because we had got on so well in the morning, I persuaded Elaine that we could push on as far as Osijeck. That could have been alright if I had not also chosen to take the quiet country route which turned out to be 15 km longer than the direct busy route. It was a long way, I was unpopular and we were knackered – again. The only good news was that Elaine had selected the hotel, cos it was ok but very uninspiring. For the first time on the trip we decided to eat out and dined on a boat moored on the local river.
Prices are much higher than at the start of our journey but we are still being fed and wined for less than £30.