Day 23

Frustration without limits

Just before before we went to bed yesterday we understood from the TV in our room that we were in a new time zone. For me Romania is the first country on this trip that I haven’t been to before and I didn’t know it was in another time zone.

In order to stay with the local time we should have gone to bed a little earlier, but when you get to know it 30 minutes before bed time it is difficult to do anything about it.

From our window we had a view over the border passage area and it wasn’t any beautiful view, but once we understood it was a view from the future over the past, we instantly felt better. I can just imagine how good it must have been to be in that room during the first hour of the new millenium. It is not everyday you can look back over a neighbouring village still stuck in another millenium.

Yesterday when cycling we planned to start extra early today. That didn’t work out since we were already one hour late from start due to the time difference.

First thing we usually do in the mornings is to check the weather. This morning we glanced at the sky over the neighbouring village in Hungary and noticed it was grey and the ground was wet but it appeared to be no wind. It wasn’t a beautiful weather, but it could be good for cycling.

An hour later when we started to cycle, the clouds had started to break up and we could even see the sun. There was no wind and only 5-6 km into todays cycling we had to stop to take off some clothes. For the first time since leaving home I could ride with only a long sleeve merino shirt under my jacket. I also had to fetch my sunglasses that were packed deep into one of my panniers. I bet that if I had them easily available in my handlebar bag, then there would never be any sun.

We managed to exit Hungary with only the equivalent of 25 SEK (approx 3 €) left in our pocket. In Romania they use yet another currency and we had to stop in the first town to get some local money from the nearest ATM.

Giving a helping hand

Giving a helping hand

It is always hard to estimate how much money we will use in each country. In Poland we left with too much cash, but we like Poland and will use that money when we go back. Slovakia uses Euro and that is a currency we had brought from home. We planned to be in Hungary only two days but stayed four days so there was a bit of a cash squeeze in the end.

When we rode through the first village two men were trying to push up a car that had got stuck in the mud beside the road. We stopped and offered to help pushing the car back up on the road. That was today’s good deed….

The landscape around here is completely flat and there are hardly any trees. Fields lie on both sides of the road and I think this is a pretty good area for agriculture. No trees means no protection from the wind and the little wind there was in the morning grew stronger and stronger. In the beginning it was irritating and when it started to rain too we had to seek shelter behind a single tree for a couple of minutes while waiting for that rain shower to end.

In a a small village we went in to a local bar to buy something to eat. They had no food so our lunch was two packages of peanuts and a snickers bar each. The sky was all black and there was even some lightning. An old man that came by told us something, pointed to the clouds and made a sign with his fingered that I interpreted as big hails. The weather was apparently going to turn nasty.

Next proper town was 10 km away. We thought that a little rain won’t hurt us and off we went. Once outside the village we could actually see the town some 8-9 km away. The road there was straight, full of pot holes but had trees along its side.

Straight road, almost no trees and fields on both sides

Straight road, almost no trees and fields on both sides

I am a road cyclist at home and 8-9 km is not much, it should take 15-17 minutes to cycle in average speed. The head wind had now grown stronger and it took us almost one hour to go over that plain and it was really terrible to see the town in front of us all the time without getting any closer.

When we entered the town it started to rain. From no rain to full rain took less than a minute and we hardly managed to get in to our rain jackets in time. We stopped at the first gas station we found, bought coffee and a map and discussed what to do. It was lunch time and we were hungry, cold, wet and super frustrated about not getting anywhere.

One minute later a massive rain shower started.

One minute later a massive rain shower started.

We decided to go to a motel to have lunch and discuss what to do. Our conclusion was that it is a long distance in the headwind and rain to the next motel and since we haven’t camped yet during this trip we want the conditions to be good when we set the routines. Besides that we also prefer to have trees to hide behind when wildcamping.

Our frustration level is now at peak levels. We seem to get nowhere.

The last few cycling days we have done have been 63, 73, 12 and 56 km respectively and today we finished after 35 km. What is disturbing is that it always seem to be some kind of weather related issue that slows us down. Fighting uphill is much better because you know that at a certain point there will be an end and often you can see it too. These days with strong and endless headwind combined with rain make us frustrated and irritated.

If we at least had met some interesting people along the way we would have a good excuse for not moving forward, but the last couple of days we haven’t had much interaction with people. But don’t worry – we will fight on and we won’t give up…..

8 thoughts on “Day 23

    1. admin Post author

      Vi jobbar på det. Positivt tänkande är det som behövs nu. Det som driver oss framåt (dock för sakta!) är vetskapen om att inom inte alltför lång tid kan vi packa ner jackorna 🙂

  1. Emma

    Förstår er frustration, men vet att ni båda är envisa och inte ger upp i första taget, nu kan det ju bara bli bättre!
    Här hemma har det varit svinkallt i två dagar, blåst halv storm och varit runt -7. Vi längtar efter våren lika mycket som ni tror jag 🙂
    Kramar till er!

  2. Kalle

    Jag tänkte på er i morse då jag cyklade till jobbet i -8 och frisk motvind. Jag brukar dela upp mina 8,5 km i delar så det skall kännas lättare och när jag är över hälften känns det lite som om det blir nedförsbacke. Tittar jag på en karta över Göteborg-Istanbul ser det helt klart ut som ni är över hälften och har mentalt medlut nu! Tänk att ni ändå kommit ända till Rumänien på en månad. Och dt ärju som redan kommenterats myggfritt med det vädret. Nu är kanske inte myggor de blodsugarna man skall se upp mest för i trakterna ni skall in i nu.

    Kör hårt!

    1. admin Post author

      Vi delar också upp dagsetapperna för att det ska kännas lättare. Oftast delar vi in dem i 10 eller 15 km-delar. På en dag blir det en handfull sådana delar.
      Det stämmer att vi har medlut mentalt, men Rumänien är annars känt för sina fysiska motlut…

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