Day 49 – Silistra to Cernavoda

Back to the longer days today with a 60+ mile ride and over 3,000′ of climbing.

The day started well with a prompt departure from our hotel in Bulgaria and a swift crossing of the border back to Romania. In fact the Bulgarian border guard was very chatty to us and we even posed for a few photographs, unheard of in the UK.

 

 

We then started our day of climbing, nothing too serious but what seemed like continuous ups and downs.  In all, our Garmin GPS’s indicates we would have a total of 9 significant climbs during the course of the day.

After several days of relatively flat terrain it was nice to stretch the legs again and most of the hills, whilst challenging in places were accomplished without too much heavy breathing.

 

We stopped at a little town and found a store and stocked up with food and liquids. We even met another rider from Oxford who had started the ride a few days after us and was going straight to Constanta.

As we moved into the afternoon, the skies darkened and the smooth roads turned to gravel.

 

 

 

There was thunder rolling around and as we completed another climb the heavens opened. Fortunately, we were very close to a winery plant and the kind security guard on the gate allowed us to shelter in his office for nearly an hour whilst the storm passed.

 

As the rain eased we moved on and the gravel road became a torrent of water in places and we took the descents very slowly and carefully.

 

 

 

It would have been fine cycling the last 15 or so miles but as we started another climb we were suddenly attached by mosquitoes. Paul was just ahead of me and he suddenly stopped and his legs were black with the little buggers. I looked down and mine were also black and they were buzzing around everywhere. The climb was steep and there was little choice but to soldier on whilst trying to slap the little buggers as we went. It was a horrible experience and tonight I am covered in bites where they attacked. If that wasn’t bad enough, for the last few miles the heavens opened again and we finished the ride on torrential rain, it only easing as we reached out hotel.

All in all a character building day.  We had no choice but to carry on, there was no support and when the mossies struck there was little we could do. Tomorrow, regardless I am going to cover myself in my Mosquito Jungle spray that I bought with me in the hope that should we encounter them again it may help to keep them away.

Speaking about tomorrow it is only 34 miles but again some climbing to do. We are only a few miles from our end goal, Constanta but our route now takes us north for a few days to complete our following of The Danube from its’ source to it’s delta.

Tonight, we ate at a Greek restaurant a few hundred yards from our hotel and finished the evening with a couple of shots of whisky – we needed them after today’s ride!

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