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Cycling through rivers in the road and water pounds half way up to my knees on the way to «The Iron Gate» and Kladovo

I woke up in Donji Milanovac, knowing that it will be a long day with extreme amounts of rain. I’m using the morning to listen to good music and to have a good breakfast while I’m building up my adrenalin. I’m ready, I’m basically just laughing because of the amounts of rain.

IMG_3489It’s quite early morning. I was thinking about starting around 5am if it wasn’t raining at that time. I quickly decided to stay in bed. There’s no reason to get up early when the weather hit hard already at this hour.

The breakfast is on the table. I bought some fresh bread, ham and mayonaise yesterday, amazing! This will be a perfect start for a short day in kilometers, but most likely it will take some time.

I’m listening to music while I’m building up my adrenaline, which is really necessary when I’m going out in weather like this. I have to be motivated, focused and careless in one way….Careless, but still being able to take decisions whether it’s safe or not.

The bag is packed. I’ve bought the necessary groceries yesterday. I’m outside in the rain. People are looking at me, I just give them a smile back. I’m on the road. I start cycling towards Kladovo.

IMG_3486If the weather gets better and I’m not cold, I will cycle over «The Iron Gate». This is the boarder to Romania. I really hope that I’m ready for this, I don’t want to end up with «only» 19 countries on my list….

The rain stops when I start cycling. I hope it will last for a while, but I know that it’s reported extreme rain all day. The roads are in bad condition. I’m cycling in brown rivers and water pounds. At some places the mountain side have collapsed, it’s laying stones and sand all over the road. Will it be safe to continue? It’s only 15Km back to Donji Milanovac.

I’m not considering to stop yet, but I’ve decided that I need to have the option in my mind. It might be dangerous to cycle when the roads are like this, and of course when the mountain side is in danger of collapsing.

IMG_3473The rain have started again. I’m cycling with my sunglasses on because the rain is so hard, it’s painful when it hits my skin. I’ve seen road workers helping desperate house owners with keeping the water out of their property and away from their houses.

Romania is on my left side all day. It’s not far over the Donau river. I’ve been told that some of the really narrow spots were strategic points, logical, but then again interesting to know.

I’ve put my rear light on blinking mode and I’m wearing my yellow rain jacket. I want to be as visible as possible. The traffic is rough enough on a sunny day, you can just imagine the feeling when you’re not 100% sure if they can see you.

I can see a water pound ahead of me. There’s no way around it, so I’m just continuing. The water is going half way to the top of my trailer and half way to both of my knees. I can’t do anything else than to laugh….At the same time you can see big rocks from the mountain just laying there on the road…This is too much!

The rain is on and off. It’s nice to have a break from time to time. The temperature is quite nice, so I’m not freezing at all.

IMG_3492I stop for some pictures when the rain have decided to give me a break. I take pictures of the huge mountain walls on the romanian and serbian side, just showing muscles to each other. It’s a great view. At one point you can see a face which is made on the mountain side. It’s incredible that they even think of doing something like this.

There are tunnels today as well. I hoped that I was finished with them, but I can see number T-4, T-3 and so on. I’m just guessing where the road is…It’s a gamble, lets just hope it’s not coming any cars towards me. Luckily most of them are really short.

I met some romainians at one of the view points. They were really friendly and I spoke with them for about 5 minutes before I continued further towards the boarder.

I’m getting closer and closer to «The Iron Gate». I can see the heavy traffic on the romanian side. I am 100% sure that my decision about staying in the serbian side was correct. You can see a queue of huge trucks on the road there. It would have been a nightmare.

Finally I can see «The Iron Gate». You can see the huge watch towers on both the romanian and the serbian side. The boarder control is on my left side and I decide to cycle over to Romania. My plan is to just turn around after passing the romanian boarder control and to cycle back… I might stop at a restaurant if there is any.

IMG_20140903_125705I’m passing the serbian boarder control and start cycling over the gate. I’ve been told later that it wasn’t allowed to take any pictures. I’m passing the romanian control. It’s no problem so far.

I’m in Romania. It’s nothing around here. The restaurant seems like it was closed 100 years ago. I take a picture and cycle directly into the queue to pass the control again. The guy standing just after the control with his gun well placed on his hip is asking me if there was any problem? I reply: «No problem, just wanted to visit Romania», while smiling. He looks weird at me and tells me to continue.

It’s easy to see that the serbian are controlling this boarder quite intensive. The queue are much longer when you are going back. They check all the romanians carefully and it seems like they have to register what  valuables they have with them…Probably so that they won’t think that it’s stolen when they return to Romania.

A couple in the car in front of me are talking about me. It’s easy to hear this and to see it. You can see that the guy tells the girl to ask me a question. The car have romanian plates and they speak romanian to each other.

Suddenly the girl asks me with perfect norwegian language: «Har du sykla fra Norge?» (English: Have you cycled all the way from Norway?)

IMG_3496WHAT???? I expected a question, not a norwegian question. It’s difficult to answer, I’m shocked. I speak with them for a short while. It’s their turn to go through the boarder control now. They are showing their valuables, the watch on their arm, everything.

My turn. The officer smiles and asks if I come from Norway and makes a control question about my name. Have a nice trip, you might want to wait for better weather he says.

I’m continuing towards Kladovo. It’s only 9Km from here. I’m able to keep a good speed and quickly arrive at the place where I’m spending the night.

I have a well deserved shower at my room and walk down to eat. The water is coming through the roof in the restaurant, they have huge buckets to hold the water away from the floor. I’m receiving my menu and the waiter goes directly behind the bar counter and lights his cigarette, this is a complete different world compared to home.

To be hones, I’ve had a good day. I’ve been smiling and have been warm all the way. The weather have been rough, but I’ve managed to laugh about it.

Picture album from todays wet ride:

GPS Data from todays wet ride:

About Stian Torland

Elsker turer, utfordringer og fysiske aktiviteter. Har gjort det til ein livsstil å utfordre andre til ting de normalt ikkje ville gjort. Driver Challenge4you.com som er et nettsted som skriver om turer, eventyr og utfordringer. Mine fullførte utfordringer og hovedmål: *Nordkapp-Lindesnes: 2700Km, tid: 18 dager - 2011 *Danmark-Italia: 2500Km, tid: 18 dager - 2012 *Trondheim-Oslo: 542Km, tid: 22t 55m - 2013 *The Iron Curtain Trail: 10000Km, tid: ca 4mnd - 2014