Yesterday was an eventful day…

To make up lost time from the Serbian river crossing a few days ago, we pushed on throughout the day to cover around 130km, getting back on track.
The day started interestingly enough- getting up at sunrise, we made a start packing away our stuff. Before long, the woodland became alive with activity, sheep herders walking through, horses and carts collecting wood and us standing in the midst of it all.
To add to the strangeness of the morning, we found nothing other than a baby scorpion hiding in Stu’s tent, something you don’t generally expect to find in Europe, or so I thought.

When we finally set off, the sun was shining but a steady haze filled the sky. Stu was in a sulk about something again, so as usual instead of talking had adopted silence, leading to a very quite yet quick morning.

Romanians it would seem are the most excitable and friendly people we’ve met so far. People shout hello and wave as we slip by, children hold out their hands for hi-five’s.
The many many farmers atop their massive bundles of wheat or wood in their horse drawn carts either stare, or more commonly smile and wave.
Many kids in the tiny towns we pass through call out after us, and whether I’m cynical or not, you certainly get the impression that not all the shouts are in good nature!

Probably the most unwelcoming Romanians so far are the dogs- they will all bark, but more and more often since the one or two times in Serbia we’re being chased.

The day wore on and we rushing to make up the miles, when I had that sinking feeling…. My first puncture.
A very careful examination of the tyre revealed the usual few stones embedded, but it was only when turned all the way around that I noticed the nail protuding about an inch from my tyre.
And fixing it became surprisingly complicated too- for the first time in my life I had an audience. We had the fortune to stop just outside a school, and were soon literally surrounded by a horde of kids all eager to watch. Their few English phrases surpassed our non existent Romanian ones, and we were happily told that “you are welcome to Rast”.

Once fixed though, we set off again, adding on the distance but with it now being late, also keeping an eye out for a spot to camp. As the sun set, we could find nothing- miles upon miles of open fields left little option, not to mention ther frequent scattering of farmers, carts, or just people seemingly wandering the land.

Eventually we found a woods, at first to dense to get into, and then to sparse to provide cover. Nonetheless, it would have to do.
It wasn’t long after sitting down to cook that we started to draw a crowd. By now pitch black (or black as pitch as Sergiu used to say), a couple of cars would pull up, the occupants shining lights, and then driving on. This happened with a few cars, occasionally the drivers shining flash lights and calling out, but nothing more…

The night was peaceful, and eventually the cacophony of dogs marked the end of the day, to be replaced a few hours later by a chorus of roosters.
The rain fell heavily during the night, but by the time we left there was only a thick fog.

We should still be on track by the end of the day, the only real challenge being to find somewhere to camp…


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