Waking up by the river was beautiful made a refreshing change from waking up in a hotel room that smelled on my sweaty shoes and damp clothes. It also meant that we were up, fed and on the road early.
The only downsides were a) I was still smelly and covered in sun-cream from yesterday and b) we all needed to use a ‘real’ toilet.
Downside a: would have to wait until the evening, but downside b was fixed quite quickly and in impressive style. We stopped in a small village and Sebastian came up with the idea of asking the cultural centre if they had a toilet we could use. “Round the back” the man pointed us off into a courtyard and as we wandered in that direction we all assumed this meant outdoor ‘French’ or ‘squat’ toilets. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to find a brand new block containing two toilet cubicles and inside two spotless toilets and washing facilities. They almost looked like they had been made yesterday.
After a surprisingly pleasant toilet break we were back on the road and heading in the direction of the nearest town that might have internet. I had agreed to take part in two Skype meetings in the afternoon and I wanted to prove beyond doubt that I could still work and be available despite taking one month off to cycle across the middle of nowhere.
After another morning of sweeping plains, great steppes and mountains and a ferry back across the river we arrived at a reasonable-sized town, found a place for food and lemonade and the Austrians left me for a few hours so I could work and they could explore.
It was the first, and I assume the last time I have participated in a conference call with a pack of wild puppies running around my feet, but everything worked out well and at about 17:30 we were back on the road bound for Gelati in the far southeast of Romania.
For many coming from Moldova or Ukraine Gelati is the gateway to the EU and the rest of Europe but for me it was the exit point and the start of end of my journey. I would cross briefly into Moldova and then into southwestern Ukraine.
Before we left for Gelati, we booked an apartment via booking.com so although we arrived quite late we had a place to go and a place to shower and sleep when we arrived.
As this would be my last night with Sebastian and Laura we cooked a meal, drank beer, talked about life and languages and made good use of the washing machine. I slept on the floor which seemed OK after a few beers, but in actual fact it was super-uncomfortable and so I didn’t get much sleep.
NB: The route about doesn’t include the 30km to Gelati as I forgot to turn the GSP unit on.
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