Roaming Romania

It started with the nicest border control man we’ve ever met. He smiled and joked and gave Jamie a pat on the back as we left.

Back in the EU.

We’re in Romania. A quick mental reorientation.

Ok, we have data again. Bonus.
What currency?
How long are we here?
Where are we going?

As we ride in to the first village a couple pass us going the other way on a horse and cart.

It’s a Saturday, which may explain the dozens of old men sitting at the side of the road, in ones, pairs or groups just sitting watching the world roll by. All of them wave, smile, shout as we go.
– hello !
– salut!
– bon voyage!
– hola!

Wizened women walk down the street, hair behind muted headscarfs, faces lined with sun and time and hard work.

I see one woman balancing her shopping bag on the end of the hoe slung over her shoulder. Why not?

More horse and carts, usually with someone cadging a lift in the back. Laden with bundles of sticks. I know not what for.

One man we pass appears to be doing some blacksmithing on the pavement.

I feel like I witnessed a stereotype, and that makes me feel stupid. But it’s what I saw.

We stop at a couple of shops, check whether they accept card payment – we are not surprised that they don’t. One guy shrugs “This is Romania”. We ask where we might find a cash machine. “No, only in the city. This is how it is”.

The second town we pass after this has a cash machine. We feel we should goo back and let the guy know that apparently Romania is changing. We don’t of course.

Wild flowers in the verge  at the side of the road are blooming. The vibrant red of the wild poppies and the blue of the cornfowers are a surprise amongst the greens, yellows and whites. A little orange and purple pop up too, flowers I don’t know.

Some of the horses roam free in the vast unfenced land between towns. We spy a few new foals out in the distance.

We come across herds of goats, with a solitary goatherd sitting nearby. In the heat of the afternoon I spot a large tree offering shade to dozens of goats with a contended looking goatherd at their centre.

As evening draws close the streets are full of people on their benches. Men gather at the bars of course, we pass a intense game of dominoes.
I’m drawn to the little groups of old women though, whose faces light up as they see us go by.

I notice the absence of young women sharing the streets with everyone else. Are they inside, or have they gone elsewhere? There aren’t lots of young men, but there are some. A mystery.

We camp in a wood by the river, completely saturated with mosquitos it turns out. We take shelter in the tent and listen to the sounds of the woods. It is loud. The cicadas, crickets and frogs start their singing. Birds too, more than you’d think at night. Occasionally the packs of dogs would start up howling in the distance.
Not a peaceful night, but one I’m glad to have had.

We start carrying sticks. After having a few packs of dogs chase us with intent, we decide we need to carry a deterrent. It seems to be the half-kept dogs which are the worst. Perhaps they’re kept around as guard dogs, they seem to be effective.
The feral dogs also move around in packs, but skulk in the background, scavenging for food.

We do see two beauties padding down the road by the forest. The size of Labradors but longer, lush coats. They slip in to the woods as we pass.

On Sunday morning we hear a racket coming in to town. As we approach it changes to bell ringing, and we see two enthusiastic bell ringers summoning the believers. They aren’t interested in just dinging and donging though, they make all sorts of noises with these massive bells. They too, however, manage to shout and wave at us as we go by.

Later, we enter another village and see a gathering in the road. Its the mustering for a funeral procession. On a tractor. We sidle by as respectfully as we can. The guy at the front carrying the standard gives us a wave, before returning to his duty.

Two days in Romania is not enough.

We leave reluctantly across the mighty Danube, our last crossing of the trip, towards the rolling hills and mountains of Bulgaria.

Serbia traversed

Our first venture out of the EU (apart from Switzerland). A country with border control, where they all to see your passport on entry and stamp a visa upon it.

You can be here but you don’t belong here.

We’ve had it so easy, freedom of movement. What have we done…?!?

Anyway, Serbia.

On leaving Hungary our route intended us to go through Croatia for a few days before entering Serbia, but on approaching the border we found a van full of armed police (watching telly) who pointed us another way. There’s no way through, they told us.
They indicated another road which was punctuated every half kilometre with a young man gazing towards the border, armed and completely bored. Many gazing at their phones instead, barely lifting their eyes to acknowledge to two dusty cyclists rumbling by.

Eventually we passed through the border, without any drama, and stopped at the next town to regather our thoughts.

Ok. Serbia.

Wrong route, no phone data. Need a plan.

Have a pastry. Luckily we’d stocked up in Hungary, because of course there’s a new currency to deal with too.

We sketch out two route options, one straight through Serbia, north west to south east on the main roads. The second, back to the border with Croatia to continue our original route. We decide on Croatia , then immediately start dithering when we see signposts for the eurovelo 6 pointing the main road way down a decent looking cycle track. We dither some more. We haven’t had to make many serious route choices as we go up until now.  Finally, based on being smiled and waved at on our way through town we decide to carry on through Serbia. Or at least to the next big town where we plan to get some WiFi and research some routes.

We roll in to Sombor little while later. Its 4pm by now, and the diversion has severely limited our progress. We find a cafe where we can sit outside, near our bikes and far enough away from humans to not feel ok about not having showered for a few days.

Our research turns up a campsite just outside the town with 5 star reviews and a bike in their logo. We decide to call it a day and head over there too make some plans, get clean, recalibrate.

This campsite is the bomb. In a good way.
A kitchen for guests, with a fridge and a cooker. Hot and cold filtered water.
There’s Wi-Fi, a nice little sitting area, an honesty bar.
There’s showers, a pool, and a sauna.
There’s even a little washing machine which we didn’t need to pay extra for.

The owners were great, really helpful and friendly. Deserved every bit of the 5 stars.

In the meantime we decided on another route across Serbia, following the Danube more or less, then into Romania, Bulgaria then onto Turkey. I was glad, as I didn’t feel that I’d said goodbye to the Danube yet.

The next four days we traversed Serbia – passing through Novi Sad, Belgrade and countless little villages and towns on the way. Most of the time we were sharing the road with traffic, which was occasionally horrendous, but usually ok.
We took one detour through a lush forest,  which ended in a gigantic building site, then a steep and mosquito ridden hill  Back to the optional route.

It’s a poor country. There’s no hiding that. It’s pretty run down in a lot of respects, houses with once grand looking fascias now looking  tired and dilapidated. Tips out of town – literally just dumping grounds. Rubbish strewn everywhere. Feral dogs rummaging. So much road kill.
Some of the villages have some money at least – they have new buildings, with columns and balconies.
I don’t know enough of Serbia’s history or present day situation to say much about it. It’s not our place to judge, we’re just passing through.

I liked that people take time to wave and smile and shout at us. We’ve become accustomed to little toots of the horn on the road, often indicating that they are about to pass, that they are there, that we’re seen. It feels friendly.

So, here’s what happened.

The first couple of days were flat, and not spectacular scenery wise.
Belgrade was unpleasant to negotiate at rush hour, and we made no attempt to stop to get a better sense of the place.

Day four we found ourselves bumping along another cycle track on a dyke, and were just about to stop for lunch when we spied a cycle tourist up ahead who’d clearly stopped to have a chat.

We never found out his name, but we call him Jorges, from Majorca. We had a bit of a chat, found out we were riding the same sort of route but we let him roll on as we needed to stop for lunch.

Jamie and I had discovered there was a ferry as part of the route, and had done a bit of research at the place we’d stayed overnight. One blog post we’d read said the boat left at 11am, 1pm, 3pm. We’d realised we weren’t going to make the 1pm boat when we decided to eat, but it wasn’t massively far so the 3pm sailing sounded ok.

After lunch the track got worse, more and more rugged and bumpy. We came of that on to glorious tarmac with 40 minutes and 14km-ish to travel. Doable.

We set off at a pace. Calculations going in my head. Ideally we’d keep a 28km/hour average so we have leeway for misdirection etc. Unbelievably we build up to 30-32km/hour – this is fast for a fully laden touring bike – and I think – amazing.

We’re counting down the kilometres. We see Jorges up ahead and slow down for long enough to tell him that the ferry is at 3pm and indicate that he can join the slipstream. I don’t think I’m taking a ferry, he says looking at his phone. Fair enough, we don’t hang around.

Ok, a turn coming up,  we swing down on to a track. A bumpy rutted track beside the river.  Shit.
I look ahead. I don’t see a ferry dock.
I check the sat-nav. 5km.
Shitty shit.

Our pace rapidly slows. It’s the kind of surface where speed is your friend to roll over the top of the bumps, but any wrong move and you’ve ground to a halt and you’re being bounced from pothole to pothole.

I’m not keeping up.
Jamie’s up ahead.
Just keep going.
We dodge cows who are happily grazing across the track oblivious to the time.
Just do what you can.
Don’t panic.
Don’t check the time.
Just keep going.
Finally some buildings come into view.
Jamie’s going to get there and make them wait.
It’ll be ok.

I roll up, sweating and heady, at 3.00 on the dot.
He says something.
I’m breathing so hard I can’t hear him.
I’m looking for the ferry.
It’s not there.
We’re late.
He says something again and points.
I focus on a sign and finally compute what he’s saying.
The ferry left at 2.30

A few minutes later Jorges appears. “The dogs”, he says,  “did you see them? They got me”. His back bags are little torn. He looks shaken.

“You guys move fast.”

We apologise for misleading him on the time. The next and last ferry of the day leaves at 5.30, but at least there’s a lovely restaurant to sit at.

We drink beer in the shade and talk about bikes and life and travels. Jamie takes the opportunity to do – and talk about – some bike maintenance. Jorges reveals he hasn’t changed his chain since he started, 4000km ago. It didn’t look in the best shape, and Jamie couldn’t enthuse him to do anything with it.

The boat arrives and we board with some cars and foot passengers who’d clearly found a better route to the ferry.

Its 6pm by the time we disembark. We travel together for a hour,  through breathtaking scenery in the almost dusk. The hills have found us,  the Danube is right there being all stunning. The light is sensational.
We wave farewell when Jorges stops to find somewhere to sleep in town and we continue on to find a wild camp spot.

The following day has an epic climb waiting for us, which we leave late in the day to tackle. Partly purposeful, it was hot, and we sat late over lunch in a scenic restaurant bought with our last few dinars – homemade cheese, homemade bread, grilled chillis, and chips.

But the morning had been glorious, riding through the gorge. We rode on the road, but there was little traffic and what there was treated us with caution.  There were
sections going in and out of tunnels, with blinding beatiful vistas waiting after each bout of darkness.  These were interspersed with bridges spanning tree carpeted valleys, lush in their spring greenery.

The afternoon climb was ok. I’d been feeling increasingly anxious about it all day, but it happened, and as often is the case when I climb I had some words with myself, and had a small revelation or two.
I could choose to like climbing hills. Hmm. I think this is true,  but I’ll have to ponder it some more.

As expected some more astonishing views at the top, which we failed to capture in photograph effectively.

We decided to camp on the mountain, rather than come down late and then scramble for somewhere to camp. We didn’t pick a great spot, and found ourselves too close to someone’s comings and goings for comfort, but it was too late to change location.

For once we were up early and off on the bikes by 8am. We began with a cheap 14km downhill and then the cycle to the border, which was uneventful other than bumping in to Jorges again. His chain  would no longer carry him uphill,  and  he was now carrying a piece of pipe to ward off dogs – apparently more had liked the look of him.

We offered mechanical assistance, which he declined, and we parted ways – he to cross straight into Bulgary (as he called it), and us to venture into to the smiles of Romania.

***


Notes for cycle tourists.

Campsites

Campsites in Serbia appear to open on May 1st, however I emailed a couple to ask whether we could stay and they replied saying they could arrange something. This was in the last week of April. In the end we only used the brilliant SoSul Campsite in Sombor.

We wild camped two other nights and if we were spotted no-one bothered us.

Two other nights we stayed in b&b/guesthouse, which were nothing to write home about.

Registration

It is a legal requirement that you register with the local police in the town/city where you are staying within 24 hours of your arrival in Serbia, unless you are staying in a hotel where you will be registered automatically on checking-in. If you don’t register you could be fined, detained or face a court appearance.

I was unsure how necessary this was, however the first campsite we stayed with filled in the paperwork for us.
I think we were suppressed to have a slip of paper for every night we were there but the next two nights the people we stayed with weren’t interested in filling out the forms, and one didn’t even care to see our passports.
As mentioned we wild camped the last two nights.
The border control at Portile de Fier didn’t ask to see the slips of paper, or ask where we’d stayed.

Stara Palankar – Ram ferry crossing

The ferry timetable seems to change monthly. On the back of the ticket there is a timetable, but it didn’t match the one pinned up outside the restaurant. They seem to go roughly every two hours.
If you need more accurate information you could try calling the restaurant – though it’s in their interest to have you hanging around!
The food at the restaurant smelled great, so if you can rock up prepared to eat some lunch.
The track the GPS took us on to reach the ferry wasn’t great, leave extra time for it, or find the long way round.

3000km and counting.

We passed the 3000km mark today, somewhere on a busy road travelling east towards Novi Sad. It’s been intense, and we still have a long way to go before we get to Istanbul by the 8th of May. But it’s a milestone passed.

Our world is surprisingly domestic a lot of the time.  Our time off the bike is focused on making a base for the evening, making food, fetching water, washing, fixing things, keeping things tidy. Then packing it all back up again in the morning.

Part of my mind is always  aware of what food we have, what I can conjure out of it and what I would like to cook if I happened to come across the correct ingredients.

We need to food shop often. When we shop, we sometimes do it in two waves. I’ll go in for the bulk of it, no basket – if I can’t carry it it won’t go in the panniers. I’ll come out and remember the ‘essential’ ingredient that will make a can of kidney beans worth eating. So Jamie will go in, and come out bearing all the goodies that I’d hoped he wouldn’t be able to resist.

Everything gets wedged in the bags as best we can until the next opportunity to carefully repack.  Most days you’ll find me at some point with all our food spread out around me working out which combination of things in which tupperware will be the most efficient use of space.

I try to keep all the food in one front pannier, with a few exceptions. Eggs, obviously, go in with my clothes. Milk, Jamie carries. Snacks tend to go anywhere they’ll fit as they won’t last long. Avocados, or other particularly squishy fruit go in a bar bag.

The routine on the bike has changed over time. The gaps between stops are longer, and the feeding stops less frequent. On the hottest days we spent longer on our lunchtime stop, snoozing/ bird watching in the shade.

A couple of weeks ago, when we were in Passau we recalculated our journey and discovered we had a bit further to go and a bit less time than we’d thought. We talked about trains, we worked out how far we needed to do each day. 110km if we wanted a day off a week. I said I couldn’t do that. And then found that I could.

Somehow, without vocal agreement, we started doing 120-140km days more regularly.
We discovered yesterday, as we were shepherded into Serbia (rather than Croatia as planned) by armed police, that we needed to recalibrate our route again.  It’s now crept up to 115km per day.

Knowing we have to get as far as we can each day is hard. I try to think about the minimum we need to do, and use that as our goal, but it’s tempting to just keep pushing further and faster. Sometimes that’s fine, and goodness knows I need the training, but I’m finding that there’s a sweet spot where you are cruising, you’re making progress, you’ve got time to enjoy the ride and the scenery and it’s almost no effort to keep pedalling.

Almost.

Hungary, musings.

Hungary is surprising.

First of all the Hungarians don’t use the euro. Who knew? Well we didn’t.

The Hungarians do great pastries. That’s probably a generalisation. Some Hungarians certainly do great pastries.

The Hungarians embrace diversity in their road surfaces. From freshly laid tarmac to loose sand, but often a mishmash of surfaces to give the potholes some structure. You can start on a beautifully surfaced stretch,  and as soon as you’ve committed to it it will descend into a sandy, rubbley mess. Or disappear altogether.

However, it’s been a wonderful four days.

We’ve been through the frantic busy city of Budapest, where the noise and traffic and lights and people and trams and “wow, look at that” is a bit overwhelming.

The sleepy villages and towns that we pass through more regularly feel like they inhabit a different era.

We even stayed in a thermal spa complex for a night where we accidentally used the rather posh saunas reserved for the higher class guests.

In between all these there’s open spaces – huge ploughed fields, some over a kilometre long, with the cycletrack running along a raised dyke giving us the perfect view of a hawk skimming the field looking for breakfast.

People stop and stare, or wave, or salute us here in Hungary. We wave back. I guess we look a bit of a sight,  and cyclists are certainly rarer or of the city, heavily burdened ones even more so.

Although the cycle route has taken us for longer stretches on the main roads it always brings us back along the banks of the river where we pass countless men sitting by the river, fishing, sunning themselves, drinking beer.

The river itself remains a joy to follow. Whenever the path comes back to meet it it feels like a relief.  Each evening we camp as close as we can, starting and ending our days at its side. I’ll be sorry when we part ways in a few days time.

We leave Hungary tomorrow. Let’s see what surprises Croatia has in store

The fourth week – crossing the iron curtain

We leave Austria

And the roads deteriorate

Overhead cables proliferate

And we are through to

What were the Soviet countries

 

The houses are smaller, as are the cars

And weeds poke through in any space they can.

 

We ride out of Budapest

Through the estates

And suburbs,

Then to the river again

With old men fishing

Shirts off

Drinking

In the sun.

 

Further out still

And houses are surrounded

By gardens being readied

For planting

crops for the kitchen

 

And the smell of cheese,

Animals

And unfurling leaves,

Covers the manure

And dirty diesel

Fumes

Mostly anyway.

 

The third week – hills

On hills…
We find out where we’re at
How strong
We are
We feel
Pushing against gradient

The car less climbs
Those too steep, too remote
To torturously engraved into rock
For modernities speed

These are the routes that bring
Sweat
Pain
Elation

We climb from one watershed to another, from tilled valleys, into summer pasture, into the conifers, and out to the windswept tops.

The sheep farms, radio ariels and views across countries.

wind whipped goose bumps at the top.

The cold of the evening is already around us

And so down dark hair pins and through the damp of the forests

Eyes trying to adapt, into the light

Then a turn

And deeper into the still moist air.

The sharp breath
Of a stream
And into the town with its tarmac and noise.

The next day we start on the Danube,
One of those days on the bike that is perfect.

Beech leaves still just a reddish mist
On silver skeletons
The shadows on last year’s fall
Twisting out the curve of branch
Into spindles, stretched and gothic

Sticky horse chestnut bursting buds
Spreading crinkled fingers
Like an octopus
On the tips of its tentacles.

In the sun the spreading, deepening
Of the green begins.

The second week

Hills rise slowly on the distant blue horizon, over days they grow taller, the valley tighter.

The river meanders less, runs quicker, deeper, clearer.

Houses with bigger eaves, steeper rooves, snow bars on the tiles. The bare wood grey where it’s weathered by the harsher winter.

Barns are an extension now, not an out building. The animals become extended family in the cold times.

Bigger wood stacks, closer to the houses, the security of self sufficient, keeping warm.

More conifers in the woods. They are deeper, tighter spaced and smaller girthed.

Logging trails follow contours, deep turns have a soggy spot the sun doesn’t see. Streams can spring up anywhere furrowing the landscape.

Earth goes from deep brown loam to tan grey powder between the stones. The soils bones poke through.

Rhine cycle route – highlights

It’s likely that tomorrow we leave the Rhine cycle route, splitting off just before Lake Constance. Though we’re not done yet here’s some thoughts about it.

It’s been a beautiful ride all in all. The terrain, on the whole, very accommodating – though as anticipated never so good as we had it in the Netherlands. It’s been a great way to warm up our legs, find out where the aches and pains are and get used to hauling approx 40kg (surprisingly we haven’t weighed this) of bike and baggage.

The Rhine itself is beautiful of course. The path wending it’s way on banks running adjacent to the river itself, along the ridge of dykes, through forests, down magnificent tree lined avenues, following canals, through villages, towns and, sometimes alarmingly, cities suddenly buzzing with people and cars and lights, and then back through the industrial estates and back into the fresh open air. Some days we’d pick one of the huge haulage ships cruising upstream to race through the day. We’d travel a little faster, then we’d stop for lunch or a pastry or a cuppa and find that Elizabeth 1M or Privilege II had snuck past us, so we’d set off in (not so) hot pursuit.

The campsites have been varied. Sometimes they seem like a bargain, with beautiful Rhineside views and free hot showers, and sometimes a little run down and grotty. We’ve come at that point of the year where it’s almost in-season but there seems to be no rules.
Our favourite paid for spots were:
Camping Loreleyblick
Hochrhein kanu
Thanks to Liz at halfashoestring.com for the heads up on both of these.

The weather has been changeable from frozen mornings when we were pleased we brought the extra warm sleeping bag to balmy 20 degree afternoons where arms were out and suncream opened.

Other highlights include:
Pastries bought from bakeries. Our favourite so far was definitely the immense slice of poppy seed cake purchased on their outskirts of Cologne to give us the strength to tackle the third city of the day.

The sunsets, much admired while cooking and setting up camp.

The birds and animals we spot as we amble by. Hares racing across freshly plowed fields, storks nesting, ducks and geese, herons, sparrowhawks, buzzards…

Rhine cycle path day 6. Found a spot with a great view to pitch the tent.

11 Likes, 4 Comments – Maria (@mariamazyoung) on Instagram: “Rhine cycle path day 6. Found a spot with a great view to pitch the tent.”

And then last but not least those generous people who open their homes to passing tourists.

Femke and Douwe work most of the week in their day to day jobs. Femke advises on sustainability policy and Douwe is a tree surgeon and gardener. One day a week they work on their tree nursery, growing and selling fruit trees. They moved to the area quite recently and are looking forward to bringing their bees from Rotterdam.They now live below a working windmill and their tom cat has been known to scent orlieb panniers – a cat of discerning taste.

A few years ago this gang of economics students decided to buy and renovate – with a lot of help from a local housing association – a rundown house in Bornheim. They lived there during three renovations and carried them out while doing their bachelors. Now the beautiful house has 9 residents, and they keep a guest room for passing waifs and strays. They even built a sauna, which they generously fired up for two weary cyclists after a delicious dinner.

Family Soare are a family of cyclists and musicians. We arrived too late to eat together, but we were serenaded by accordion and clarinet practice over our wonderful home cooked veg lasagne. Later over tea and homemade cookies Andrei told us about their travels by bicycle as a family. One year they cycled all the way to Romania from Dordrecht with their four boys and stayed with warm showers hosts every night.

Our Easter weekend

It began around 4 on Saturday evening, I suppose, as we stood debating whether to knock off early and stay at this campsite, or ride another 40km to the next one. I was at the stage where I could probably do another 20 but more would be a stretch – especially as Jamie had requested Bolognese for dinner.

So here it was to be – Munchhausen municipal campsite.

We wandered in and scouted around for someone to talk to – or pay. No-one official around though the site was clearly occupied. A group of elderly folk stood chatting, and as we approached a gentleman made appreciative noises about the state of us and our bikes. He pointed us in the direction of an empty spot for us to pitch with a shrug.

All going well so far.

Then Jamie noticed that his beloved leather Brooks saddle was starting to tear. He looked utterly inconsolable.
“It’s ok love, we’ll get you another one – it’ll be worn in by the time we’re home.”
But no, it won’t be the same.

So as always in times of stress, we put the kettle on and made a cup of tea. While the kettle was boiling Jamie nipped to use the facilities and returned with a concerned expression regarding the state of his bowel movement. Hmm… Perhaps it wasn’t sadness for the saddle making him blue.

We got the tent up and Jamie had a lie down while I made a start on dinner. It soon became apparent that Jamie was not going to be having dinner, he was violently sick. I won’t go into details – although I’ll say that our appreciation for the smell of wild garlic (which we’d gorged on earlier) will take a while to return.

Meanwhile we ran out of fuel so I was unable to have a proper dinner either. My appetite was also a little diminished…

So a sleepless night all round, Jamie in terrible discomfort. The morning came round with abated symptoms though we were no happy campers.

It started pissing with rain.
All else being well we would have stayed put but we needed fuel, and we only had a little salad to eat raw. Being Sunday, and Easter Sunday at that, everything was shut.

We managed to get going by about 1. We cycled the 20km to the nearest petrol station with a brutal headwind, and a F**ING HAILSTORM at times. We got fuel.

Where now? The next nearest campsite was another 20km. Ok, we can do this. Heads down, headwind all the way – barely making it over 10km/hour (Jamie says it was a bit faster, but I’m telling this story). I just tried not to think the lamb my mum was cooking for Easter lunch.

We did it, both running on empty though poor Jamie must have felt wretched.

The campsite was closed. Ok… What now?

Eat. Food will help.

The burner wouldn’t light.

Jamie, with much more patience than I had left, took the thing apart and found out what the problem was.

Luckily, I had a big tub of Bolognese, so food was reasonably quick to assemble, though we got some very odd looks from the families out for their post-Easter-lunch afternoon stroll.

While cooking Jamie did some more reconnaissance of the park/ campsite. He found us a spot to put up the tent in the very closed campgrounds*, out of the wind. We crawled in to bed at 6.30pm.

14 hours later we arose out of our cave (tent) like Jesus refreshed, reborn and determined to find an open bakery.

All things pass. That’s the moral of this Easter tale.


*we have – by mistake, chance, luck – now managed to stay in more closed campsites than open ones. Clearly this isn’t wild camping, we’re calling it feral camping. We think it may catch on.