Shops and toilet rolls

Monday 24th June…..Li is sick. 2 days prior on our 1st whole day in Romania we discovered banks, shops and accommodation are all to be far more scarce than in the other rural areas we have travelled through. We had enough cash and food for a few days, also carrying extra water due to the heat. Rather than 2-3 litres, as the heat has intensified we have carried 6-7 litres each and top up at every opportunity. We have been invited into a home to use their well for cold water and to freshen up. The people are friendly, their are many villages and hydrating should not be a problem.
There are no camp sites in this area about 80 kilometres from the border crossing at The Iron Gates, Portile de Fier 1. Arriving in the village, Gruigu, I tried my pictionary skills, drawing a basic tent and writing a few words from the phrase book. We were directed to a hotel on the banks of the Danube. On the way down the hill I tried my antics again, approaching a hut with 5 very large dogs, barking dogs, and asking a shepherd if we could camp. Again we were directed to the hotel. At first we were surprised there is actually a hotel here…..but still we wanted to camp. Getting dark, the air swarming with mosquitoes we ask the hotel if we can camp. Only rooms, 80 lei, about 18 euros we decide its above budget but…..they have air con! We can self cater, and compared to UK this is entirely affordable.
Setting the alarm early to beat the heat and push on, at 5.30am, we struggle to get up and make the decision that we will have a rest day. This is absolutely fantastic to me, no city sights, there is nothing to do here but read, write, watch crap TV, and sit on the balcony soaking up the atmosphere with sheep, goats, dogs and geese. A Sunday, locals are also enjoying the sun, folk and Romanian pop music. Just what we desire after riding the bikes every day for the past 17 days. At about 4pm there is a knock on the door, to see if we are ok, as we had not emerged from our room for 8 hours. I have not been this lazy in years, it is bliss. A thunder storm approaches in the early evening and we enjoy the coolness it brings with it, enjoy the sounds and the light show over Serbia across the river.
So 2 nights at the hotel, set alarm for 5.30am…..and Li is sick…..nausea and vomiting. We have just enough cash for the hotel but no more food with the next assumed bank machine being 65km away. Maybe i could ride 130 kilometres, maybe they have a bank? . We carry medication for vomiting, diarrhoea and rehydrating but decide its better for Li’s illness to run its course. Fortunately we have some euros.
I explain Li’s predicament to the hotel owners with arm waving and belly rubbing, fingers and gurgling sounds. They will accept euros……And I receive a sympathetic smile, touch on the arm…..and more toilet paper!
I ride up the hill 2 kilometres into the village. Actually I wobble…..the hill I was dreading is now easy, following a days rest and without luggage. However without the luggage my bicycle now feels twitchy and unstable as I am unused to such light riding.
The small shop will also accept euros and I purchase basic vegetables, sausage, cheese, bread, very sweet cereal, fanta and importantly, beer for myself. It was all behind the counter. The other shoppers…locals having a get together, become involved with my order….helpful attempts at translation….cereal, maybe muesli?…. honey flavoured circles will do. Coasting down the hill I wait on the road for the shepherd to move the sheep across and am back at the hotel.
We contemplate whether we have not washed our vegetables, our hands properly, bad water?
Tuesday 25th June, Li is fine, waking up at 5.30am is not fine but we beat the heat, 10 degrees cooler and another days adventure awaits.
Oh…..the honey circles taste like Nutrigrain….Li has no idea what I am talking about so I will buy her a box when we hit Oz.


Leaving a reply helps us over the hurdles

%d bloggers like this: