Danube Day 10: Drencova to Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Total Distance 95 km
See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.
Trip overview can be found here.
We woke up to the realization that we might not have enough water for coffee and to fill our water bottles. Not the most tragic of miscalculations but still disappointing. We did our best to figure out where we were on the map. Judging by the map and what the bike computer said we rode the day before we determined that we were around 20km from the next town.
Time for a vote. Turns out insignificant mass works so well together because we all have the same priorities. The vote results were unanimous. Coffee was more important than water and we savored our caffeine injection while we ate more dry than wet oatmeal for breakfast.
We rinsed our dishes in the Danube for lack of an alternative water source figuring we would be staying in a guest house that night when we arrived in Drobeta-Turnu Severin where we could re-clean them. We got on the road buzzing with excitement at the beauty of the Carpathian Mountains and being in a new country. The locals were all waving and saying hello which made us feel really welcomed.
We kept our eyes peeled for a store or restaurant to get water and bread but nothing was materializing. We somehow miscalculated how far we had to go and we didn’t find water for 40km. We stopped at a hotel which was sort of open. They were definitely doing construction, but let us in to refill our water seeming only slightly annoyed.
We got back in the saddle and continued our search for bread to accompany our meat and cheese. We kept expecting to see a store around the next bend in the river, but every town we passed was devoid of any services. There was the occasional restaurant but we were looking to self cater lunch so we never went into any of them.
On the way we passed by the Carpathian Danube’s biggest attraction. A huge face carved into the rock. Under the hot sun and with little food we stopped for some laughs and photos and then headed back on our way.
It wasn’t until we hit Orsova around 30km from Drobeta Turnu Severin that we found a store. It had two covered tables in front and our lunch kind of exploded over the table as we feasted on all the food we had left. We had all bonked out and lacked motor skills for anything other than shoving food in our faces.
This was our last meal together before Andrew and Sarah went onto other adventures. Andrew was getting on a train to Bucharest and Sarah was heading back to Belgrade to start another leg of her tour. We reminisced about our time together and how much fun we had. Laughed at how many times Andrew flatted and that he brought zero tubes on a bike tour.
We caffeinated with some three in one (instant coffee, cream, and sugar) and relaxed a bit. It was getting late and Andrew had to set out on his own to catch his train. We had many hugs, high fives, and chest bumps to get him on the road.
We cleaned up and slowly cycled through town nursing our full bellies. The town was the largest we had seen that day and traffic was getting heavier. We were forced to shake off our food coma when the roads took a turn for the worse.
About 10km outside of Orsova there was massive road construction underway. It was one way traffic alternating directions queued by automatic traffic signals or flaggers.
Romanian traffic thus far was not bad but as three small cyclists trapped between cars and big trucks on bad pavement it was a little scary. We did our best to get the road to ourselves in between traffic signals. Luckily it was mostly downhill so were able to keep it around 30kph.
Briana and I took the lead pedaling as hard as we could to give Sarah and Yoshi a little bit of leeway by waving at cars and trucks indicating that there were two more cyclists coming. The worst was the tunnel where we couldn’t see the pavement or the traffic from the other direction. It was the worst stretch of road we had ever cycled on.
We finally arrived in Drobeta Turnu Severin and made for the train station. Sarah got a train ticket for the 2am train to Belgrade and we got dinner and checked into a hotel right at the station. She had a bit of an adventure that night, but I’ll leave it to her to tell the story.
Insignificant mass had become even more insignificant as we lost two travel companions in one day. We were off to new adventures with our goal even closer and thriving on how far we had come. We only had 9 more cycling days to go before we would arrive at the Black Sea.
You can see a map and elevation profile from our ride below. You can also download a GPX file of the day’s ride here (right click-save as).
View Danube Day 10: Drencova to Drobeta-Turnu Severin in a larger map