Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good Questions

Christine asks, and I answer:

- do you phone ahead for accomodation or just show up?
In Romania, I ride into my destination town as early as possible in the day (around 2-3), with fear that I won't and hope that I will find a decent hotel, or any hotel. My cycling map tells me if there are going to be accommodations but sometimes the one hotel in town has packed it in (I left Turnu-Severin for Hinova and had to ride all the way back to within 5 km of my starting point, for this reason). In the best scenario the hotels are on the street I ride in on. Otherwise, I target a friendly looking cafe or shop and just start asking. I phone ahead when I'm going into a big city (Budapest, Beograd), but since the quality varies so widely in Romania, I like to see what I'm getting before I agree to stay in a place. I have not encountered any tourist information offices yet in Romania. I think it's safe to say that the tourist industry is not likely to take off soon in the Romanian Danube River Valley.

-how has your health been?
Travel has been excellent for my health; being happy is good for the immune system. The only exception to that is my left knee, which has been "paining" me since my fall in the rain over a week ago. I took a couple days out and I've been icing every day. I've had to do two long days since then (140-150 km) because of scarcity of accommodation, but where possible I've shortened the days a bit.

-any flat tires?
Two, one of them this morning. A huge piece of glass punctured right through the Mr. Tuffy liner.

-what are you using for a guide book?
The Bikeline series guide for the Danube route. After I get to the Black Sea, I'll use the best map I can find to get to Istanbul. If I decide to keep cycling.

-are you getting tired of wearing the same clothes?
Not at all, actually, as long as they're clean! The only new thing I crave is a WIFI device, like a PDA with WIFI. Internet is a lifeline, and WIFI is more common than an actual computer.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Hey Catherine,
The charm of poverty, dilapidated cities and grumpy people who seem to hate you is not for me - I know that for sure, and so my next vacation is gonna be...well...not in Rumania. Bulgarians are friendly, but the route from Constanza to the Turkish border looks like a stretch of Soviet-era hotels built in that amazing, grandiose, unforgettable Caucescu style. Istanbul is a different stroy. Mind you I have never been there, but after reading Orhan Pamuk's "Istanbul," I wanna check it out.
Bon courage,