Day 48 – Oltenita to Silistra

And so we move into the final week of cycling across Europe. Just 7 weeks ago today we were leaving Saint Malo and heading south across Brittany to pick up the Eurovelo 6 route that would take us all the way across to The Black Sea.  Since then we have cycled over 2,700 miles and have visited 9 countries and tonight we are in Bulgaria again.

We left Oltenita at 08:30 this morning with just a short 50 mile ride ahead of us. We had planned to catch a ferry across The Danube into Bulgaria at 13:50 as it only runs every 2 hours. Knowing we were on a time constraint meant that for some reason we put the hammer down this morning and ended up averaging just under 15 mph arriving at the ferry terminal shortly after 12:15.

There was a lot of traffic waiting to cross into Bulgaria but as we were the only cyclist there we purchased our tickets and headed to the front of the queue.  Fortunately due to there being a lot of people waiting the ferry appeared to be running ‘on demand’ and we therefore left Romanian shores shortly before 13:00. Just 20 minutes later we were disembarking and once again crossing the border into Bulgaria.

It was only a short 2 mile ride to our hotel and we were in our room shortly after 14;00.  Tonight we ate dinner outside at The Riverside restaurant which was located almost on the banks of The Danube.

After three relatively short days, tomorrow the mileage steps up again to around 60 miles with some considerable climbing to do, but first we again have to cross the border from Bulgaria into Romania for our final crossing of this trip. The remaining 6 days of cycling will now see us start to head north, continuing to follow The Danube to its’ delta until we finally come down the western shores of The Black Sea into Constanta.  We know we are nearly there because Constanta now appears on the road signs

This has been an amazing trip and I am looking really looking forward to reaching out end goal. Having been away from Sarah, Finlay, Ben, Laura and other family members and friends for what will be nearly 9 weeks is a long time. I am looking forward to coming home now, sleeping in my own bed, eating normal food once again. It has been a great experience, we have met lots of friendly people, seen parts of the world that I would never have dreamed I would ever see and at 65, I am pleased that my body has stood up to the daily punishment that I have thrown at it.

I have ridden with some amazing fellow riders and I know we are all looking forward to celebrating our achievement in less than a weeks time.