Danube Day 16: Ruse to Silistra, Bulgaria
Total Distance 120 km
See end of post for map, elevation profile, and GPX file.
Trip overview can be found here.
After our rest day in Ruse we were feeling better and ready to get back on the bike. Ruse is a nice city and a perfect place for a rest day. We set out for Tutrakan about 70km away. We weren’t really sure about how legal wild camping was in Bulgaria so we planned to stop at the only campground between Ruse and Silistra.
It was pretty easy to get out of town. We back tracked toward the bridge then we were on the same road the rest of the way. It was a glorious day full of sunshine and freshly paved roads. It was amazing how much our moods had changed just from crossing the border. The new pavement made all the difference for speed and comfort. We had a few hills throughout the day but nothing too steep.
It was a pretty uneventful day that made for some excellent bike touring. We saw two men selling freshly picked plums beside their orchard and decided to stop for a snack. They were selling them by the kilo but we only wanted a handful. We tried to communicate this and the guy just kept piling more and more plums into the bag. Then when we tried to pay he wouldn’t take our money insisting that we take them as a gift. We graciously accepted and kept on rolling. Thanks Bulgarian plum farmers!
We started to look for the campground near Tutrakan but it never materialized. We were a little late in the season as camping starts to close at the beginning of September. We stopped for a snack break and to discuss our options.
It was around 2pm and we had planned to keep the day short, but knowing that we were less than 200 kilometers from Constanta we let our excitement get the better of us and we decided to do two days’ worth of riding in one day. We got back on the road headed for Silistra. We knew it would be our longest day yet but we were feeling great.
Maybe it was that we already has so many kilometers behind us, maybe it was that we had had our first true rest day of the entire tour the day before, maybe it was that Yoshi had chugged a half liter of melon flavored milk. I’m not sure why but we had a monster day. The ride was effortless and we completed our longest day of the whole tour.
We made it to Silistra by around 6pm. We had to look for hotels and there were a few to choose from. The first one we hit on the outside of town was $75 for a triple. Ouch.
We continued into the center of town and found another hotel that was also $75 for a triple. At the tourist information office and we asked for cheap hotel options and they directed us to the ones we had visited already.
So we followed the last sign to some business hotel and it was $85 for one night but they had wifi. We opted for the $75 hotel in the center of town. They let us put our bikes in the basement and were unfazed by our dirty bike attire. We marveled at the fluffy towels and actually comfortable beds.
After we showered we headed out to see the town and get food. There was some carnival-like street fair going on and we found some pizza and beer. There was a stand there that was freshly frying little donuts so we ordered a box of 20 and tried to not inhale them too fast.
We felt really accomplished on our longest day yet and got to bed early to rest up for the next day. Only 130km left until the Black Sea.
Here is a link to the GPX file. (right click – Save as)
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