DAY EIGHT… 46.5 miles (74.5 km)

The first 11 miles of our journey today I lost the will to cycle to India. The route was bad, BAD, i.e. poor, unpaved surface rather like crossing fields on narrow mud paths. We did this for about 6 miles. That was getting out of Belgrade. The final bit Tim described as ‘quiet roads’, but no, fast and busy, as usual with trucks, buses, and vans, at speed, both ways. Recovering my nerves now with tea and ginger oat biscuits.

Leaving Belgrade

Today we had our first dog scare. A dog that I had not spotted, rushed straight at me.

We have camped by the shack of a restaurant that workers on the dredgers use. They are all downing epic quantities of beer now (8.30pm). The proprietor is very keen to please and to speak English. We were allowed to use the ‘shower’- a very Heath Robinson affair, and the ‘kitchen’ is a makeshift shack made out of MDF. The water here is ‘chemical’ so we can’t drink it or cook with it. There are loos, but no locks and you have to hold the door with one hand whilst using.

We hear more bad stories about Romanian dogs from a young German couple, who are camping here too.  They are clearly as anxious as I am, and they are both armed with pepper spray. For the record, so are we. They must have read the same cycle touring blog sites as us. Stories of wild campers unable to sleep due to dogs prowling and gnashing round their tent at night. The choice seems to be, for us… Bulgaria…mountains and maybe aggressive dogs OR Romania, definitely with aggressive dogs but largely flat. We opt for the flat route.

Alysun… happy & smiling to be setting up camp. Note the dog protection, blue stick on Alysun’s bike & red-topped pepper spray under the handlebars on both bikes.