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Dobar Dan in Serbia

Realizing that the last few posts have all been scribed by the wonderful Pete I thought I’d steal a few moments with the computer while he’s in the shower and we wild camped last night so he’ll probably be some time. We are now in Belgrade staying in a terrific hostel, newly opened this spring and it is a delight – shameless plug here – it’s called Hedonist Hostel (you can check it out for yourself  in our links section) but the gist is that the owners are very friendly, it has space for bikes, guitar to twiddle on and sweets at reception- you know, all the important things.

Life on the road is really smiley in Serbia, I think we are currently working on a 90% wave/beep/thumbs up from all the locals, it sounds like I’m exaggerating, well maybe I am just an incey wincey bit – but when at the border crossing the guards smiled and wished us well (this being the first occasion any guard has done so as they usually are stoney faced grumps) and as we peddled through small towns to a chorus  of ‘dobar dans’ we couldn’t help but smile back and feel warm inside. We now have a smile, wave and bell combo all worked out as we encounter new faces and places. Friendliness doesn’t just come from the Serbians though either, in Novi Sad we spent a couple of nights staying with a group of international charity workers. Very proactive, interesting folk, musicaians, artists, all working to do some good. So thanks guys, we hope to meet you again sometime, somewhere! (again there is a link to their website on our links page for you to peruse for yourselves).

The perfect sleep spot

Last night was a dream wild camp. Or rather not so much wild as just free. This will all seem so to you too once you know about our previous wild camp the night before we reached Novi Sad (don’t panic mum but it felt a bit like the time me and Pete got suck on that ski lift in Ushuaia) but anyway back to last night. Picture this, satisfied after a good day in the saddle we stopped at a bar overlooking the Danube in a tiny village 40kms from Belgrade. Being instantly relaxed after the first sip of ice cold Lav, Pete and I eyed the sandy beach spreading out in front of us, we then eyed one another and knew that the same thought was going through each others minds. This was an idillic location. We had to camp here. After a brief chat with the locals all was agreed that it was fine for us to pitch up. Which we did after the beer was gone and the swim had been had in the river. More beer, good camp food, blissful sleep, no problems, lovely sunrise, job done. Now let’s get a contrast on this. Picture this 3 nights before. Apatin National Reserve, beautiful scenery, purpose built cycle route, lush green grassy places just perfect for pitching a tent, an incredibly calm end to a cool days ride. Perfect. But factor this in if you will. Apatin National Reserve is a hunting reserve. No sooner had we put up our very camouflaged tent and settled down in our sleeping bags, we heard gun shot. Close by gun shot. It was nighttime and there were hunters hunting and nobody knew we were kipping down for the night on their patch. Time passed and no other shots sounded, but by then there were other sounds to keep our furtive imaginations in full drive. Now, the guttural call from the stag is an awesome thing, as is the clashing sounds of antler on antler – but perhaps not when it is all happening mere feet from your well hidden small tent, and especially when hunters are looking for those very same stag. Wide eyed and shattered with anxiety we packed up the tent at 3.30 in the morning and started riding ourselves out of the reserve, laughing nervously at what could have been in the pitch black freezing night air. We both saw shooting stars on that ride, but Pete saw one more than me and so I guess that is why it was me that got the puncture just as the sun came up. (the first after 4000 kms I might add so I can’t really complain). We are learning as we go, me and Pete – and we now think sometimes it is better to be open about wild camping than always trying to be stealthy.

At the exit the the Hunting Reserve!

There is so much more to write about this trip but I think that will do for the moment, it’s time for a well earned beer! Love to everyone, and I get a real kick out of reading your messages so thank you (Pete loves them too but he’s too much of a bloke to ever dream of letting you know!) It’s nice to know we aren’t forgotten yet!! Mxxxxxxxx


15 Responses to “Dobar Dan in Serbia”

  1. I love reading your messages too… I really do. Sounds like such an amazing adventure… Lots of love to you both from near the Equator…


    Posted by Anners | October 3, 2011, 4:48 pm
  2. By the way when I say ” love from near the equator” I don’t mean “down there”, It’s just that I actually am near the equator right now…


    Posted by Anners | October 3, 2011, 4:51 pm
  3. :) SO jealous of you guys! Missing you here in Guernsey, let me know when I can come out to your pad in Greece!



    Posted by Andy Degnen | October 3, 2011, 4:57 pm
  4. Hey guys, how’s it going? Wow! Looks fantastic and lots of great stories. I’ve been a bit crap in following progress so far, so just had a massive catch up on your antics! Take care, keep in touch, love to u both xx


    Posted by sylvia | October 3, 2011, 5:56 pm
  5. It’s so cool to hear about all the new stuff you’ve been seeing guys. It always gets me when you encounter the kindness of strangers or stumble across the awesome-ness of people. No doubt they also write about these two crazy dudes on bikes who opened their eyes and inspired them too :) x


    Posted by mimi | October 3, 2011, 6:35 pm
  6. Like the good camp, bad camp routine… sounds a little scary but the second night sounds great.
    So nice to do some armchair travelling through your blog!
    Love Ed x


    Posted by Ed | October 3, 2011, 6:47 pm
  7. Hi you two.So glad I meet u this morning!Thanx for all info’s u gived me.Enjoy your trip all the way to China!


    Posted by Kika | October 4, 2011, 12:40 pm
  8. I felt some what uncomfortable reading about the close by night time stags, I can’t imagine what it must have felt like…

    Maybe sleeping on a hunting reserve isn’t a wise plan?

    Are you planning on staying somewhere warm over winter?


    Elle x x


    pete Reply:

    Funny you should say that Elle, as I was wondering how you’d have enjoyed being there with us!


    Posted by Elle | October 4, 2011, 8:35 pm
  9. Whoa! Alarms bells ringing after the first sentence but relieved to know you escaped stags and hunters with nothing worse than a burst tyre! Now you are in a fab sounding and welcoming hostel for a little TLC! I love reading your travel tales so yes, we DO all appreciate the trouble you take to write them … it is creating a wonderful diary! Enjoy and keep smiling and waving and ringing those bells … no wonder people love you!
    Always thinking about you both with lots of love
    Mum Jen


    Posted by Mum - Jen | October 6, 2011, 7:42 am
  10. Bloomin’ heck – Auntie Sue (ever the optimist) says she thinks of Weil’s disease, leptospirosis – you get the gist – every time she reads about you swimming in lakes or rivers! Am enjoying the travelogue immensely so keep it going. Love you both so take care xxx


    Posted by Mum/Marian | October 6, 2011, 6:41 pm
  11. Hey guys,

    Just a reminder that Buzz Lightgear would have protected you from the midnight hunters and wild stags. weather in Greece a balmy 28.




    Posted by Jerome | October 7, 2011, 5:36 pm
  12. Hey you 2 on 4!

    Looked at your blog many times now and always get a real sense of your joy that leaves me with a big grin on my face. Anyway, on to more serious matters, hope Petes beard is measuring up well in eastern Europe. Mary doll, I’m sure you’ve become accomplished player of a random stringed instrument by now. More importantly, how are your asses, they must be like a couple of Arab sandals living on a saddle every day!

    Sounds like your both having a fantastic time and that makes everyone you know very happy!

    Love the photos, looking forward to the next instalment.



    mary Reply:

    JAM!!! So good to see you on here and glad we are keeping you entertained! Will be in Greece tomorrow, where it’s raining – but I think it’s raining all over isn’t it? Get ready for the ‘wet’ installment which is sure to be on it’s way on the blog soon. And check out the funny pic of Pete preparing for take off in the microlight! He He! Lots of love Mxxxxxx


    Posted by Jim | October 8, 2011, 12:43 am
  13. Hello Mary Pete I met you in Budapest.just say hello. I always look at your blog ,take care and keep safe.Steve Torquay.


    Posted by steven | October 8, 2011, 7:07 pm

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