Apologies. I would have put this up sooner but the wine was too good. When we entered Serbia Lola showed nothing. Yes it showed the Danube but Serbia was blank. So I assumed that Garmin did not consider Serbia to be part of W Europe and put her away. As we left the hotel at 8:30 this morning, I decided to put her on as we were approaching Croatia, There it was full display of our location. Beats me.
We were off at 8:30 and we knew from the guidebook that we had a hill to go over before we got to Novi Sad. We did so much pushing uphill that it took us 2.5 hours to cover 25 km. To make us feel worse, the down side of the hill was very steep, very busy and with a very poor surface so we had to gently feel our way down. The only consolation was the wonderfully soft seating at the immaculate gas station/ cafe at the bottom of the hill.From there the ride into Novi Sad was quick and straightforward. This is a big busy city but along the N bank of the Danube is a pedestrian/cycle partway. Well used but plenty wide enough for the traffic. A bit like Hollywood Florida but with better behaved pedestrians and without all the shops. We had been warned by a passing cyclist ( I am hoping to get to Australia but not sure I will get a visa for Turkmanistan or China) that 25 km of the Danube path was unsurfaced and unbridgeable. The surfaced section a dead abruptly. We could see the road across a deserted building site 100 m away but when Elaine tried to ride across she hit soft sand and fell off. She has some good bruises that she won’t let me photograph but was lucky to miss hitting her head on big lump of concrete.
The road route went round in a curve north then west then south and for 10 glorious km we had the wind behind us. After several days fighting it this was heaven, but of course it curved back agin. About 4:00 we entered Backa Palanka, passing the huge Lav brewery and then crossing to the South of the Danube where we entered Croation and the EU. It was only o couple of ks to Ilov where whe had booked our hotel. But of course it was just out of town at the top of a steep hill.
When we got there it was worth every bit of effort. By far the best we have had. The name translates as The Old Cellar and our bikes spent the evening night locked in the cellar along with many very large wooden casks of maturing wine. Once showered and changed we sat in the courtyard enjoying an excellent bottle of their dry rose. Dinner was just as good as we expected. And the deal for hotel guests was eat what you like of the extensive menu for 15 Euros so we did.
As we left next morning there was a degree of confusion over the bill (which they insisted was correct). I think we only paid for one meal and they said don’t worry about the second bottle of wine.