Long straights and scorching sun
Day 2: Ada – Sremski Karlovci
Distance: 90 km
Total distance: 160 km
We knew we had to wake up early if we wanted to ride in more pleasant weather but we’ll have to improve on that. We set off only at 8 after packing everything and having breakfast. The Turkish coffee from last summer was a good idea; it was really tasteful and it only took 10 minutes on the camping stove.
This day really put our stamina and will power to the test. The first 70 kilometres (most of the day’s distance) was on very long straight sections of narrow highway (route 102). The traffic was OK, not too busy, but we had the feeling that truck drivers were competing who could get closer to cyclists without actually touching them. We didn’t enjoy it. Add to this the boiling hot weather and you will understand why it won’t be our favourite day.
We arrived in Temerin, a medium-sized town with little to boast about. It was already noon so we decided we needed a longer break. First we had burek (a baked filled pastry of flaky layers) in a small eatery and then spent 2 hours on the benches of the public park.
Then it was another 20 or so kilometres before we finally arrived in Novi Sad (Újvidék). The city is the capital of Vojvodina, beautifully located by the Danube. It is backed by the Fruška Gora mountain,which was a pleasant change for our eyes after two days of plain landscape.
We had some beer and coke in a bar and then crossed the river to Petrovaradin (Pétervárad). This part of the city is famous for its picturesque castle built on a rocky outcrop.
There were policemen blocking the main street because of the Exit festival, organised in the city at this weekend. I was a bit afraid the campsite would be full of partying people as we carried on towards the last town of the day, Sremski Karlovci (Karlóca). We expected another characterless small town so we were immedately enchanted by its lovely old streets and churches.
We had to find a shop to buy something for dinner and then rode the last 3.5 km uphill to where the map indicated the “Ecocamp”. Well, the place is there with a reception booth, playground, sanitary block and all but it has clearly been out of use for a few years. As we were wondering what to do, we heard a man’s voice from a house behind the trees. He was the ranger (the campsite is in a national park) and he said the place was closed but we could stay. We could also use the tap outside his house to get water to wash and drink.
A beautiful small town and free accommodation – more than enough to justify a day of rest. What’s more, we are in a wine region so we cannot leave without sampling the local nectar. We somehow had to solve the problem of having a shower without being seen, though. We did but we were still seen… more about that in the next post.