Pančevo - Veliko Gradište

This night my right shoulder was aching and I didn’t sleep well. I’m getting old. Fortunately the pain was gone in the morning.

The plan for today was to leave between 8 and 9am and go as far as possible.

Well. I spent the morning with Kača and her brother, sister and grandma, having breakfast and lunch. Then went to town to get some postcards and met Tijana for a few minutes.

I finally left at half past 1pm!

This was day four and the last day of crossing the Pannonian Plain which extends from Budapest to Belgrade. Being entirely flat, it was convenient to cycle at first (with a nice tail wind) but soon got a bit boring due the lack of any interesting visual features.

It is mostly being used for agriculture, I’d guess 98%, and there’s loads of pestizides being sprayed onto the fields everywhere. Both commercial sized and backyard style ones. You also see people with hand-operated pumps spray chemicals against grass and stuff onto pavement and along their houses’ front walls.

The villages and towns on the plain have some very beautiful old houses – which are mostly in various states of decay. On the other hand, there are many newly built houses, huge ones, in a somewhat mediterranean style, with columns and sculptures and stuff. And they are unfinished or uninhabited. It’s a total mystery to me.

Cycled east from Pančevo, then crossed the Danube. Met a guy from Germany, riding his bike from Greece to Würzburg.

The first hills appeared near Smederevo, just south of the Danube. Had some of the sandwiches for lunch which Kača’s mum had prepared for me near that city.

Cycled east towards the Danube. Even though it is now hillier, the countryside is still used heavily for agriculture. Didn’t want to camp and asked for a hotel. The guy took a screwdriver and scratched a map into the rusty surface of the water tank his tractor was pulling (or was it pestizides?). He directed me to Veliko Gradište, which is somewhat off my route but I found a cheap and simple place to sleep here. The hotel is for sale, by the way. Contact me if you’re interested, I’ll give you the details. :)

Cycled: 115km (about 10 of which were ‘wasted’ by backtracking to Veliko Gradište)

A bit less than 700km to Varna.

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