Day 40 - Krajisnik to Timisoara: Riding right off the map - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

February 24, 2015

Day 40 - Krajisnik to Timisoara: Riding right off the map

A second day of exploration--this is how it's supposed to be!

I left my hosts' place after not enough sleep, due to their dragging me off the couch at midnight and forcing me to eat something I didn't want, and pedalled the 10km to Jasa Tomic on a small, quiet road. Apparently one can indeed get there from Secanj, where there's a hotel, but that's not the route I took.

The route I took doesn't exist on my GPS. No road past Krajisnik, no border crossing, nothing. Without internet access to consult the all-knowing Google, I was riding into the unknown. Happily, the border was open.

I have one very important note for anyone considering this route: spend all your money before the border, as there are no moneychangers. I got stuck with Serbian cash (because I didn't have the hotel or food expenses I anticipated) and it's almost impossible to change outside of Serbia. I'll keep an eye out for anyone who wants it, but for now it's my decoy cash in case I get mugged.

The border crossing was small, friendly, quiet. The Serbian officer looked through all my registration cards, which I shuffled so the missing days wouldn't be immediately obvious, but didn't comment. As with Macedonia, I didn't get an exit stamp. The Romanian side was fine; the EU always is for me. Just the usual aren't-you-scared-doing-this-alone.

Romania was quiet at first, just an empty plain and a succession of animal noises giving way to one another: roosters to dogs to to sheep to birds flying overhead. After I turned east, I heard the familiar sound of wind across my ears.

My plan was to follow the road north from Foeni, eventually intersecting with the brand new bike path along the Bega canal. The road was virtually empty, and though it was very coarse chipseal, it was all in one piece. Very nice. I found the bike path just past Otelec, pushing my bike through a muddy track and up a steep embankment to get to the good part. I'm going to be nice and assume they haven't finished all the access points yet.

The man I spoke to in Otelec gestured to the path and said Serbia, so it sounds like the border might be open now. Hope this helps someone, otherwise my detours were all for nothing.

Just kidding, of course. It was a pleasant trip to Timisoara, another fun day. My only complaint is the lack of toilet facilities, but this isn't a problem more than 10km outside of the city because the countryside is empty. Go figure, my first non-bird, non-roadkill, non-fox wildlife sighting was when I walked off the path to relieve myself and almost stepped on a snake. Then I found a tick crawling on my pants.

Timisoara was not quite what I expected. Seems that they got some EU money, but had a deadline approaching for its use, so started all their reconstruction projects at once. Timisoara is now a huge pile of gravel and paving stones. Still, I'd linger if it wasn't for my Ukrainian deadline, which is starting to look impossible, if only because I have no desire to push myself to the limit for the next ten days. I really like how I've been touring the past couple days. I like sleeping late. We shall see...

This is why I haven't been taking photos
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The bike path as seen from Otelec
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Action shot. And yes, my garbage bags are holding up well.
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Entering Timisoara
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Timisoara is under construction
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Today's ride: 71 km (44 miles)
Total: 1,931 km (1,199 miles)

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