Danube Day 12: Cetate to Zaval

Total Distance 96 km

See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.

Trip overview can be found here.

We set our alarm for 6am thinking we would get an early start on the day, but when we woke up and looked outside the sun was just rising. Briana and I looked at each other and rolled over to continue sleeping.

We finally rolled out of bed at around 7 and started packing up the tent. This was our first night in our new and improved tent courtesy of our friend Andrew.

Camping will never be more luxurious to you until you share a one person tent with two people for a month and then finally sleep in a 2 person tent. When you make the change just don’t put too much stuff in it and make it more cramped than it has to be. Stretch out and enjoy your new luxury.


We said good-bye to our new friend Rob from Wales and cooked our breakfast alongside a couple of guys that were riding their motorcycle from Poland to Armenia. Like us bicycle tourists they were making their plan as they went along. Breakfast took longer than we had anticipated because we decided it was time we actually did some dishes with soap.

We got on the road around 10am and we were dragging our feet. We kept saying that “man this road must be slightly uphill” and “do we have a headwind?” In reality we decided that the 5th day of riding in a row was starting to wear on us. The landscape had turned into flat agricultural land and was not terribly interesting to look at. Luckily there were a ton of people on the road to wave to and say ciao as we rode through town.

We passed a couple kids on a horse drawn cart who thought their horse was faster than we were. We egged them on a little bit, letting them pull alongside us. The horse was pretty skinny but we thought they might give us a run for our money. Despite all the giggles and screams from the pilot, however, the horse couldn’t keep up and we slowly took the lead.

The weather forecast predicted rain for today and tomorrow but most of the day’s ride was overcast with wet roads. It seemed we were just behind the storm. We stopped for a late afternoon pick me up after around 70km. Instant cappuccino, and pastries of course.


Everything was going according to plan and we only had another 30km to the campground. We were hoping it would still be dry when we arrived so we could pitch our tents and have a nice dry night ahead of us.

Just as we were starting to celebrate our good luck of missing the rain Mother Nature decided to let loose. The last 15km of our ride was through pretty heavy rain and we started to dream of warm dry hotel rooms with comfy beds. We kept on pushing trying to stay above 20kph.

We finally made it to the campground and as we had read on “crazyguyonabike” it had cabins for 10€ per night. We had no problem paying for a dry cabin and beds to sleep in. The bathroom and shower was a little gross but at least they had a concessions stand with ice cold beer for us to celebrate our victory of another 100km closer to the Black Sea.

We reflected on how this was the perfect accommodations for us. We were able to cook our own food in the common area, drink cheap beer and have beds for a reasonable price. There should be more of these places along the Danube, perhaps every hundred kilometers or so.

Tomorrow we’re aiming for a short day and hopefully a rest day to plan what we’re going to do with ourselves when we finally make it to the Black Sea.

Below you can find the map and elevation profile of the day’s ride. You can download a GPX file of the route here (right click-save as).

View Danube Day 12: Cetate to Zaval in a larger map


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