Here is the final route that I biked created from a screenshot of my daily GPS files added together by the incredible Adze. My bike ride to Les Gets, Zurich and then the complete length of The Danube River a total of 3000 miles (4800km) or so.
Full bike ride each colour is a day.
Here are the stats as made by Adze from my gpx traces. Hopefully the above map will be clickable to show on Google Earth .
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With Sulina been the end of the
road waterway, it’s time to start my return to another adventure. I’ve been reading lots of good things on various blogs about Romania’s capital, Bucharest so I’m making that my next port of call.
The ferry leaves Sulina at 7am so it was an early start to meet another mega group of fishermen, now with fewer bags but with their precious caught fish already frozen, complaining about how few fish there are now in the delta,
The boat with us packed like the proverbial sardines arrived in Tulcea. The port conveniently has an integrated bus station. Yesterday I had chatted to the bus driver going to Torino (Turin in Italy) via Bucharest and he said there was no problem putting bikes on big buses. Which was very good news as there are plenty of problems with bikes on trains. So I went to the Augustina window, emphasizing my need for a BIG bus, normally they use minivans. No problem – they had one today (Friday) at midday taking 5 hours or so for £14
The bike easily fitted on although I was worried about folks putting heavy cases on top of the rear wheel, in fact they were just bags of flowers so it all went very easily.
Whilst on the bus i twittered about visiting Bucharest and got an immediate reply from @bucharestlife recommending The Rembrandt Hotel, a few clicks on the booking.com app and I was booked in. Modern technolgy at its most awesome. The ride from the bus station to the hotel was only a few minutes. The hotel is excellent, cosy & right in the centre of the old town, so I lengthened my stay till wednesday morning.
The photos of the day are here
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The 0km marker! The end or start of The Danube
The final 37km of the Danube Bike Trail has to be done by boat as there are no roads in the delta, although Ceausescu was intent on draining the region and making it farmland. There is an interesting website about it here
The main river splits into three channels around Tulcea the North channel is the border to Ukraine whilst the centre channel is used by shipping and ends at Sulina where the Zero km marker is situated. The land has ‘grown’ so actually the channel is now a fair bit longer
Its not possible to go there & back in the day so I took the 1.30pm ferry, it takes 3 hours to get to Sulina with several stops en route. It was totally packed with fishermen and their huge quantities of tackle, apparently autumn is peak fishing time. The price is reasonable at £8 plus £2 for the bike.
You are greeted by a huge number of folks desperate for you to stay with them! However, I ploughed through them and stayed at Vila Alga where I was smoked for dinner.
A relaxing interesting day especially seeing the huge size of the grain carriers passing each other in the river channel.
A Romanian road grate!
All my pictures of the day are here including the one below which warns you about riding in Romania with too narrow wheels on your bike.
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This was my 28th day of pedalling on The Danube Bike Trail. With today’s 93.5 miles it made my total mileage from Cambridge to be 2,996 miles of which 3,071km was on The Danube Bike Trail as outlined in Book1, Book2, Book3 & mostly Book4 (I stayed in Romania) of the Bikeline series
It started by going through all the ghost summer holiday towns all wrapped up for the winter. At Navodari you actually get a short & bumpy stretch of real bike track then onto long straight but hilly roads all well made & pretty quiet though pleasant enough villages. You eventually hit the nightmare stretch of Highway 22 for 14km before turning off to Jurivloca. straight into a roaring headwind. I’m not sure quite why this area has such beautifully kept roads & pavements. Must be to do with the all the wind farms I guess.
It started to get late by the time I reached Agighiol so I skipped the big detour and went straight to Tulcea, which is just as well as by the time I arrived it was pitch black & my front light ran out of battery coupled with AroundMe failing, by sending me the long way to the hotel where I was told it was full! they were lying of course but I had already spotted The Hotel Rex so that’s where I ended up pretty well exhausted.
I hadn’t spotted any places to stay except maybe a pension around Enisala so it’s a pretty long day.
All the time in Romania I haven’t seen ONE E6 cycleway or any navigation signs for The Danube bikeway
Here’s my Strava and some pictures
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Well I made it to the Black Sea at Constanza, 80 days after leaving Cambridge having cycled 2,900 miles or so in total. I had a 2 week break in Les Gets and another 2 weeks in Hungary.
Today was real tough from getting a once over on the Schengen Agreement by the Bulgarian border man (and no neither Romania or Bulgaria are in the Schengen Agreement) to deciding to go off road through Ostroy when the main road wasn’t busy at all. Then the real roller coaster (yesterday was a warm up) not helped by me trying to beat some club cyclists out for a bit of hill training. Culminating in the totally horrendous traffic from around Clocarila into Constanza. In fact it’s probably best to miss Contanza and cycle up the route from Ion Corvin to Cernavoda, unfortunately it isn’t clear there is any where to stay on that route. There looked to be a pension in Ion Corvin.
Following on from Hola and prostitution yesterday, today it was all Hello’s although i did see a Spanish registered car with an elderly madam obviously striking a deal with the shop owner where I bought my lunchtime beer.Later on Highway 3 leading out of Murfatlar individual girls were out in force..
After a full 10 seconds pondering over the price I settled on staying at Ten Hotel with a view over the industrious port & The Black Sea. Not sure what’s next in my trip apart from recovering here tomorrow and then riding North to see The Danube Delta.
Here’s todays Strava and a few photos
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After my Romanian regulation cheese omelette for breakfast I departed leaving the smelly bathroom behind. Fortunately, even though Romania is Catholic, all the shops were open so I was able to stock up with choc bars & fruit. Isn’t it strange how France had a revolution to remove priests from power but to this day keep their shops closed on Sunday’s.
The first stretch was the dual carriageway to Bucharest which is actually better & safer riding than the country roads, the lanes are wider. After leaving the highway it was back onto a country road that was more like a roller coaster with its 10% ascents/descents. Wending my way through many small villages, were interestingly I was getting greeted with Hola rather than hello, which made me smile after Colin’s post yesterday about Romanian prostitutes in Spain.
The villages are now definitely more prosperous (only 60 k m from Bucharest) no garbage on the outskirts, fewer horse & carts and even a few quad bikes today. Although the hoses are virtually one continual ribbon development. Although be warned straying from the road can lead you into serious mud & mess.
No cafes today so had to settle for beer & crisps the crisps were 2 lei (40p) and 500ml of beer 3 lei (60p) which was pretty good, you can imagine the moans when I hit The Haymakers again
Finally saw The Danube for the first time today on the ferry over to Silistra which is just in Bulgaria. AroundMe found the Danube Hotel & Resorts for me, which is just as well as it was getting cold & dark when I arrived having biked just shy of 100 miles.
Here is the Strava (Excludes the ferry and he bit in Bulgaria) and a few photos here.
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Free range turkey’s crossing
Another grand day out and I’m pleased to say someone gave the truckers a day of! Perhaps they were attending all the weddings going on in the various villages I went through. No gales today just a pleasant light breeze although I still clocked up over 13mph for the 90+ miles I biked.
The road was in good condition and I sensed that this area is slightly more prosperous, I even found a decent ¨western¨cafe in Zimnicea, although still no sandwiches but at least decent coffee & pastries (There is also what looks like a modern hotel there too if you want to bike 50miles).
The scenery is quite fen like with lots of real free range ducks & turkey’s plus hundreds of square miles of good arable land.
Only a few glimpses of The Danube once I left the hotel. In Giurgiu I eventually came across The Hotel Sud, even though I biked around the old centre (yes it has an old centre!) it’s the only place I could find. Bit pricey especially with a blocked smelly shower & electrics that have to be rest at the consumer unit. AroundMe seems to have given up in Romania, today it was telling me to go to Bucharest!
Here is today’s Strava and pictures.
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