Budapest to the Black Sea

Budapest to the Black Sea

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Black Sea or Bust - Day 15 Ghiurgiu - Oltenita 73Km (45 miles)

It's really cold in the morning and I fear that my good, nay miraculous, run with the weather has ended. I get out my thermal M&S vests from the bottom of one of my bags and think about, but decide against, wearing my son's skiing gloves. The route runs due north along the main road before diverting off to the east onto more familiar country roads. There are hills at first, open and dotted with sheep, the same grey brown as the rough pasture that they graze on. The shepherds patiently plod along behind them. What do they think about all day, day after day, wandering alone apart from their dogs in this grim landscape. Women? Football? Sheep? The sheepdogs are not patient and if I am within range will rush up to 'see me off' before I can sheepnap one of their charges. 

The Romanian language is rich in proverbs and I have picked a few to share with you and I am sure that you will agree with me that despite their simple origins here in the Balkans that they have some relevance to life in our busy metropolitan world.

"Of two donkeys one will always be the wiser"
"If you lay a fork and a spoon down together the Devil will have his way"
"The fleece of a rich man's sheep will be no longer than that of a poor man's sheep"
"A man that watches his field had better watch his wife"
"A fence that just divides a field is but a fence"

Food for thought I think.

The route becomes more built up by mid-morning and is no longer really rural, it is more suburban, there are no gaps between villages. At lunchtime something interesting does happen. Hundreds of women emerge from their garden gates carrying a tray of food, they take them across the road or next door to elderly relatives perhaps. I think that Nov 1 is St 
Agatha's day, she being the patron saint of food on trays as well as of forestry workers.

All in all a dull day's ride and Oltenita my destination turns out to be a dump and my hotel generally shabby, the shower a true gusher, but there's no hot water anyway. The only redeeming feature is the tripe soup that I have in a nearby cafe, not as good as my mother-in-law's, but very nearly. I go to bed grumpy.

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Cycling Down the Danube

Cycling Down the Danube
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