And ” we’re NOT stopping here …”
When the morning came, I awoke from my slumber still very tired. This minor error would not stop me from enjoying the trip today. After breakfast, which was super, and huge, we left at ten thirty from the “Hotel Hamburg”. This trip today was very short, about 150 miles from here, Smederevo to Nis, a city that Geoff and I had been before which we rather liked! There was a big problem though, Sabina, our name for the SAT NAV, does not know the towns/ streets/hotels/postcodes, of anywhere in Serbia, apart from Nis and Belgrade. This is how our day was set to continue.
Yesterday, it was interesting driving into Smederevo, there were road closures with no traffic control, so it was a case of Geoff employing his Turkish Driving Head. Unfortunately as has been mentioned with Turkish driving, the bigger the vehicle, the more power they’ve got. There’s a lot of trucks here! Geoff trying to shoulder his way into the queue was a bit like a ballet dancer trying to fight her way through the stage curtain!!!!
Watch this video I just made with the Replay app.
Today going back to the motorway it was the same. At first the traffic seemed light, but as we plowed on, it became very heavy. As we waited in the queueing traffic, some locals came to investigate this British registered truck. Each man/woman had a serious face, so to make them smile, we got Asena and vodka to poke their heads out of the window and waved Asenas heavy paw for her because it’s too big to lift up convincingly by herself! Each of the local men and women laughed. Eventually the traffic started moving, and we were back on the road…..
We were discussing on the road today how it is for me travelling and how tricky it is to make friends of my own age and keep them as I travel the world. We thought a”lonely hearts ad” might be fun!
“Adventurerintraining seeks friends, anywhere in the world.”
Boy aged twelve and two thirds, blue eyes, dark blonde hair, five ft, athletic build.
Likes horse riding, surfing, sailing, wind surfing, hiking, paddle boarding, camping, fishing, travelling, swimming, history, geography, culture and religions and reading… ( and a few more when I remember them )
An Eastern European/ Russian girlfriend….oops, Mum says I can’t write that! ( raises eyebrows skywards!)
Teenage friends anywhere in this crazy world. I have a great chance in life with all the travelling I do, but this means I don’t get to meet people of my own age, ( distant violins…..etc, etc…..)
We then realised that this wouldn’t be one of our greatest ideas bearing in mind important child Internet safety measures and avoiding weird groomers out there, but we did think the advert would be rather amusing.
My aim, once We stay in one place long enough is to go gung ho at the whole making friends malarkey……Now that google translate works off line I’m literally just going to throw myself into the midst of groups of teenagers brandishing mums I phone at them…… Yeah! That should work! Might take a pasting! But it should be fun!!
It was really good to receive an email from my old school friend Freddy from the UK today! It’s brilliant to hear that my friends are following this blog and makes it all the more worthwhile sitting down to write it all.
At last, we reached Nis-(well, after Geoff getting lost a couple/ ten times)- we entered the city and immediatly the sat NAV didn’t know any addresses there. In fact she froze and refused to even recognise Serbia as a country let alone recognise the fact that it may have a road or two! Whilst driving around the city trying to navigate by the coordinates of the latitude and longitude of the hotel ( and Geoff wishing that he’d brought his hand held NAV system off the boat,) Sabina froze completely, refused to acknowledge movement of any kind and kept quiet! ( makes a change, can’t normally shut her up!) After a while, we turned mobile data on, and used Google maps to find our hotel, this cost more than the cost of two rooms in the hotel for one night, but at least google maps spoke! With joyful heart, that we knew where we were and In this spirit I named the google maps app…….Rita.
Rita helped us find the hotel. It wasn’t perfect. The parking offered was virtually roadside and it seemed like a really busy thoroughfair….. Three bikes on the back and the rest of our life strapped to the roof…..” We’re not staying here” screamed mum, well, no, not screamed…. Said mum, very patiently…….
After a three point turn in a narrow red where a Serbian policeman observed Mother directing Geoff around in the street, wearing harem pants and a vest… Mother not the Serbian policeman(!) ( it’s the only clothes she’s got left and is very funny, even this morning when she got up and dressed Geoff nearly choked having a laughing fit, “close to the beach, are we??” He had asked from the hotel in landlocked Serbia whilst choking on his omelette!! ) the copper finally got the gist of what we were trying to do and then helped mum, instead of scowling at her, by guiding the huge truck forwards whilst mum managed the reversing. He was heard exclaiming to passers by something in Serbian about Mad Brits….
We set of once again for…..well……….at this moment, we didn’t know where! If there was something before the border and it was OK we would have it, if not it was Bulgaria, in the rain. So as we followed the road for miles and miles, we eventually reached a small road jutting into a small town, where a hotel called “The Amfora ” was completely suitable, and we rested.
The next place we stop at is Bulgaria, and mums rented a shed! Deep joy!
With the shed comes complete isolation from the social networking world, so if you don’t hear from me again over the next couple of days – don’t worry, I haven’t been eaten by a bear, – I’m just topping up my tan in the 27 degree sunshine forecast!