DAY THIRTEEN… 64 miles (102.5 km)

Feeling very vulnerable, we set out again on the road, … What else was there to do? My brother told me not to return to the UK except for the funeral, so we had more cycling time. Weird though it felt, I continued.

We cycled out of Drobeta-Turnu Severin on a very busy road with massive 40 tonne trucks passing close by. At the edge of town, in the industrial zone that is always a bad place for dogs, another two large dogs ran at us from the side as we passed a garage. They were barking and gnashing at our legs and their excited cries alerted another 2 dogs on the other side of the road who tried to cross to attack from our other side. What with the attack from one side and lorries on the other I felt I needed nerves of steel to keep going. Tim just shouted instructions at me … cycle faster, faster, now really go for it…. etc, to get us away from that horrible encounter.

After that I felt unsure if I could continue with the trip. Tim suggested if I couldn’t enjoy it we should go back home. Tempting, but I couldn’t give up despite everything. However, because I felt so vulnerable, I did not want to go far today.

Unfortunately, Tim had miscalculated distances by about 20 miles somehow so it meant cycling a LOT further than I wanted to, about 14 miles further in fact. The countryside was flat and the wind was behind us much of the way so it was easier cycling.

Life on the backroads
Long & straight roads of the Danube Plains. Happy to have the wind blowing us along.

We arrived at the Danube and tried to find a camping spot (wild) We had spotted an artist’s centre of some sort and it seemed a good idea to camp nearby… the comfort of neighbours in case of attack or distress. The road to the centre unfortunately had a very large pack of dogs on it. I told Tim I couldn’t go down there through all the dogs (about 30). If one had decided to go for us, that would be it for sure. Tim just said we would chant an Indian Hindu mantra….

Shri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram

…. and go so slowly that they wouldn’t notice us. So we did. It was like magic. The dogs did not see us at all and we passed through them silent and slow.

We reached a very expensive looking place with rich looking people eating, drinking wine and milling about. We walked in looking very scruffy and asked if we could camp in the grounds. A very kind man asked if we would like a shower too. This was amazing. He showed us to a huge luxury bathroom we could use. The place looks like an artist’s commune with artists roaming about semi-clad, upstairs and the odd rather large dog too. The night was filled with the barking of hundreds of dogs. I was worried about cycling back the way we had come, past the dreaded dog pack.

The haven of the Artist’s Commune