Danube Day 13: Zaval to Corabia
Total Distance 60 km
See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.
Trip overview can be found here.
It’s amazing how crappy weather and difficult riding conditions increases your willingness to pay for comfortable accommodations. It wasn’t raining when we woke up in the little cabins, but the wind was building already and we hoped it would be going in our direction.
We were debating about how far we wanted to make it and already discussing our camping options. It was around 60km to Corabia where our map indicated hotels were available. Briana and I were feeling that a short day would be in order and luckily Yoshi agreed.
Pulling out of the campground the stray dogs chased us down a little bit. Briana and Yoshi gave it their best growl, as had been our strategy for getting them to turn away. Their ferocious yells scared away two of the three, but dog number three was not falling for it.
Briana tried again, but to no avail. She took out her trusty rock and tossed it at dog number three. He appeared shocked that something he was chasing would have the nerve to defend itself. After a few more feet he decided we weren’t worth it and turned back toward the campground. The dog was probably not dangerous but it’s hard to find them cute when they chase you.
Now that our morning excitement was over we turned back to the matter at hand… cycling. That building wind was coming directly into our faces and our road was as straight as an arrow. We would be heading into it all day.
We were having trouble keeping it above 12kph, but at least it was flat. We did our best to stay positive, but we were working as if we were going uphill. In part we were coming off a 100km of great riding and it was hard to accept our current velocity.
We went through a couple really cute towns where we stopped for some amazing shots and Briana tried her hand at geese herding.
After about 5 hours of riding we arrived in the outskirts of Corabia. We were all beat and not looking forward to pitching our tents. With this wind we probably wouldn’t be able to sleep well and we came up with a few other justifications for wanting a nice bed to sleep in.
We followed signs to the first hotel and they wanted 60 euro for a triple. We thought that was pretty steep and kept on going into the center of town. We passed by another really sketchy looking hotel and asked how much it was anyway.
Yoshi went in and came back crossing her arms into an X. “That bad?” we asked. She said “probably. I asked about rooms and the woman there said no, and made an X with her arms.” I guess it was better given the look of the place.
The last place in town was down by the port. Briana went in to negotiate. While Yoshi and I were waiting a guy that worked there said “camping?” and motioned for the lawn next to the empty pool. We did our best to confirm that it would be ok to camp there and he seemed to tell us not to worry.
Briana came back out and said it would be 45 euro for the three of us and we didn’t even skip a beat before deciding to stay there. Even a potential free camping option didn’t change our desire for a shower and bed.
The hotel had a shed for our bikes so we put them in and relaxed and showered before dinner. We went down to the hotel restaurant for dinner since it seemed to be reasonably priced and quite extensive.
It was actually kind of hilarious when Yoshi tried to order and the guy there told her “no you can’t have that.” She tried for something else and he answered in the negative again. Finally she said “OK what can I have.” To which he replied “chicken” She asked about salad and he said “shopska.” (Shopska is the most common salad in Eastern Europe—tomatos, cucumbers and a soft feta-like cheese).
So while the menu appeared extensive really all they had was dishes made with chicken and the shopska salad. I suggested it could be worse, at least they didn’t just have chicken giblets. We had a good laugh and raised our glasses to being inside, dry and to not eating chicken giblets.
You can download the GPS file here (right click – save as)
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