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.
Here are the stats as made by Adze from my gpx traces. Hopefully the above map will be clickable to show on Google Earth .
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 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.
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.
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