Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Day off in Constanta

Tuesday 22nd October

Cabling Constanta
Cabling Constanta

After yesterdays tough ride from Silistra on the Bulgarian)Romanian border I decided to take a day out and luxuriate in mv somewhat  faded 5 star accommodation.

I managed to get the data sorted with Vodafone on my iPhone, I think it broke because I tried calling the UK on my Romanian number. This wasn’t allowed so basically I lost my data plan.  £9 later I walked out with another 1GB of data all working.

I went into a few travel agents, but they all laughed and thought I was nuts wanting to return to Budapest on a boat 🙁 The town itself is one hell of a mess with all the pavements torn up whilst they are laying miles of ducting for cables, interestingly using masses of labour rather than diggers. Took a lot of effort to find a coffee shop but worth the wait to find Zoomserie and it’s yummy ice cream & pleasant staff after a haircut it was back to the hotel.

Grain for Turkey
Grain for Turkey

In the afternoon I took myself of to the docks & Pier 31,the grain terminal. Fascinating to see the huge queue of trucks waiting to unload the corn  alongside  the hundreds of rusting, disbanded railway wagons. I spoke to the manager who rang the shipping company but it was all no can do. I pottered off to the ships that were loading corn up. One was off to Izmir, i suspect if I had $150 to thrust in his palm I could have had a lift, but didn’t fancy Turkey just yet. The other boat was of to Pakistan. It’s interesting and I feel you can travel this way but you need hard cash in your pocket & your stuff with you. Another time maybe…

So basically there seems to be no straight forward way to get a  boat back up The Danube from Constanta. Tomorrow I continue  to find The Danube,

Some pictures of the day are here.

Day 27 on The Danube Bike Trail – Silistra to Constanza & The Black Sea

Geoff & bike at the Black SeaWell 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





The roller coaster ride from Giurgiu to Silistra on The Danube-less bike trail

1-IMG_6622After 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.Strava_Ride___Giorgio_to_ferry_Silistra

Corabia to Giurgiu on The Danube Bike Trail

Free range turkey's crossing
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.