May 22, 2014
Today we cycled across the Drina River into Serbia. Plain stage. Here too, houses and fields were flooded. And even today 40°. There was a lot of stink and we saw pest control trucks working.
We met two Polish men who were going by bicycle in Macedonia and Kosovo.
At about 17:30 we made our daily 70 kilometer.
Then we meet a cyclist (one of those "racing") and we start talking, of course, in Serbian.
We try to steal some information about flood situation.
He cycled a few kilometers with us (pulling wake ... he really believed it!) And he accompanies us to find a room. It's called Marko, did not work, 34 years old and 300 km per day cycling eating just two bananas! It will be true? We found out this informations by offering him a drink and, thanks to the combo wi fi-google translate, we managed to communicate!
Then, as we went to park the bikes, he is gone. We went back and he was gone.
Does him really existed?
Last night we went into town to buy some food and we met Aleksandr (Sasha), a bike mechanic. He told us that we could go to his shop for a free bike’s control. So, this morning we went.
Daniele has fixed his front brake and I got another spare tube, as with patching I'm not very good ...
In the meantime, I went to buy sandals, socks and closed shoes could not take it anymore.
It is already noon, we're going to get ice cream with Sasha and Vladimir, whom also we met at the bike shop. Vladimir said us that if we want to stay another day in Sabac we can sleep at his place. Not a bad idea, we need internet and one day there doesn’t change too much our programs.
Sasha returns to the store and Vladimir bring us to a friend’s place: a bikehostel. It is very small and cozy, wood everywhere, a fireplace, a bathroom and beds that are hanging on the walls. A couple of years ago the place went on fire and has now been rebuilt.
Vlada and the guy of the hostel (called Steven Segal) became friends in Australia. He offers us homemade plum Rakija. After the third we are really sure that we’ll don’t leave today.
We went to Vladimir’s home, a nice apartment on the fourth floor with no elevator. Luckily there is a cellar for bicycles. I cook a pasta with zucchini and around 18:00 Vladimir comes out (he’s a English teacher in a private school) and we go for a walk with Steven and his daughter, Ana.
We turn the city along the Sava River.
There are still kilometres and kilometres of sand bags, houses along the river flooded but the situation is returning.
Here people says that it was decided to flood Obrenovac not to endanger Belgrade and the dead, in Obrenovac, there aren’t thirty as the government says, but probably three hundred. Likely.
We meet again Marko, the cyclist, which appears and disappears, everyone knows him here! Although they seem to treat him like the village idiot...
After the walk we meet again Vladimir and let's all drink a beer.
We are very happy we stopped here, we met a lot of interesting people and we are sure there would be others. As a painter seeker of Roman coins that we met along the river.
It would be a nice town to spend a bit of time.
May 24, 2014
At 9.30 we’re ready to go, Ana and her father want to join us for a few kilometers. We greet Vladimir and ride.
We cross the Sava on a train bridge, very old and rusty.
They accompany us for about twenty peaceful and quiet kilometers. Plain and tiny villages. We avoid the main road.
So, we say goodbye to Ana and her father, and we’re again only two.
Maybe also and for the day off we feel particularly fit. At 15.00 we’re already in Belgrade. We ride a beautiful cycling path along the Sava which brings us almost to the city center.
Here, too, several houses and restaurants on the river are flooded but nothing compared to what has happened above. We decide to cross in a hurry in the city center.
The cities are stressful. Stink. The people running here and there. Like crazy ants. And everything costs more. We asked out of curiosity how much it cost for a room in a two stars hotel with battered shutters, it’s 50€, that is almost three times the price of a beautiful room just outside the city.
We cross a bridge over the Danube without being able to look around. There is a lot of traffic.
To get out of town there is a road that looks like a highway. Fortunately there is a bus lane. There are only stray dogs and several houses look like shacks. There are Roma children who greet us while looking for something in a dumpster.
Since we started we realized that everyone hates the Roma, as everywhere.
They are rich and do the dirty work ... so they say.
Who knows, maybe looking for stuff in the bins makes you rich.
We arrive near the town of Pancevo. I stop to ask the room price but the only place there was a bit too chic, a hotel and restaurant. There wasn’t even a Roma eating, maybe not chic enough.
I also stopped at the restaurant across the street to ask if there is some other cheap place to sleep. At the end they let us put the tent in the garden of the restaurant!
It’s raining a lot.
May 25, 2014
This morning, sun. A lot of sun.
We take a side street. Although it is Sunday there is traffic. The road is flat and after a while we get to Kovin, a fairly large town. We stopped to eat at a little park where there is a monument dedicated to cyclists done with hedges (it's complicated to explain, better the photo). We’re on the Danube bike path. An old lady asked us if we give her our juice and cookies. Bye bye breakfast!
We leave and arrive in a national park. Beautiful. We’re surrounded by gently rolling hills only used as pastures. We stopped to sleep in the middle of a hill surrounded by flowering meadows, as far as the eye can go, and with the company of a passing shepherd with his sheep.
Ah, I forgot that thanks to Vladimir (the English teacher met in Sabac) we’ve again ethyl alcohol and can cook. Tonight the chef prepared mushrooms flavored noodles (but just the flavor).
May 26, 2014
Leave this landscape is difficult. It would be a nice place to spend a few days relaxing. Without even getting dressed.
Instead we leave and we follow a path along the parallel canal to the Danube and after five kilometers becomes one with the Danube. There are no bridges. To pass the Danube we have to wait for the ferry. They tell us they will go to 13.00, more or less. It’s 11.30, we have to wait, eat something, Daniele orders a plate of fried catfish (this is the first time that he eat it).
The ferry, then that is a barge towed by a boat, arriving at 12.30. The guys of the boat are having some sleep under a tree. We wait, there are two other English travelers by bicycle.
We set off around 13:30. With calm.
On the other hand, we expect a little climb. We see an alternative route along the banks of the Danube and follow it. Earlier okay but then becomes sand and we have to push the bike in hand for a good half hour and with no little effort. But the Danube is quite nice. On the other hand, Romania. Finally back on the main road.
Meeting a lady (Divna) who worked as a caregiver in Trieste and gives me a bit 'of water from her well. He tells me that after a while, in Veliko Gradiske, there is a Jezero where you can swim. Hurray!
We always arrive along the Danube, but this time on the asphalt. What they call the lake is a branch of the Danube. The water is warm. But not very inviting. However, it is the first time we have the opportunity to have a bath. After a short siesta with the usual beer we go again. In the distance there is lightning and thunder which are becoming closer and then they are over our heads. We stop to Golubac looking for a place to sleep.
Upon awakening we clean a bit the bikes. All the yesterday sand wasn’t very healthy. We take the road on the Danube, that is, beautiful. Is there any slop but nothing exceptional.
After Donji Milanovac there are kilometers of nothing, only the Danube passing through an astounding Canyon. To our right the forested mountains of Serbia, and on the other side of the river the forested mountains of Romania.
Finally we come to a tiny village, Dobra. We stop to buy something to eat. There is only one bar. Inside there is a large pool table. There is a woman, Darlin (or Druga) going to buy us eggs and cheese and another woman (Vesna?) that cooks it for us.
Darlin, that has now changed its name, has lived for many years in Chicago who, according to her, is her home. He also says that the Chicago pizza is the most delicious in the world. For family reasons is due to return to his native country. It must be a nice change of lifestyle. There was also an old man, told me that I look like Serbian woman, Darlin while he was away, he told me that she’s crazy. Well ... maybe a little. Being a little crazy, instill, is good for life. And then
We arrive in Donji Milanovac and we sleep in the only house with a bidet. Hurray!
For the sheets, instead, no hope.