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Bad Day to Belgrade

by Tara

While Tyler was completely zonkered out this morning, I cooked breakfast. It was a last-resort sort of meal, using the remains of an age-old bag of rice. While I cooked the white grains, he slept peacefully. As I stirred in vanilla, butter, honey, a touch of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt, he rolled over and pulled the sleeping bag soundly over his head. It was adorable.

Tyler Sleeping

After I finished the rice pudding and made a thick pear sauce to go with, I woke Tyler. He emerged from the tent, floppy, droopy, and very heavy from the thick fog of slumber.

Sleepy Tyler & Rice Pudding

It was funny watching him try so hard to keep his eyes open…

Sleepy Tyler

And failing.

Sleepy Tyler

We ate, and then packed up for what we had expected would be a short jaunt into Belgrade. Tyler was (oddly) still having trouble waking up as we rode away from camp. Our moods quickly turned sour as the roads buckled into a series of demoralizing hills which made us feel like we were back in England again, unfit for the task of cycle touring.

As we slowly spun our way towards the city, we wrestled with our bad attitudes. Most of our frustration stemmed from the fact that we'd been expecting an easy, flat ride following the Danube river. Adjusting our mindsets to the markedly less pleasant reality before us was a trying task and took nearly all of our ride. It didn't help that the road we traveled was one of the worst we've ridden in recent memory, riddled with bumps and potholes, and busy with cars and no shoulder.

Arriving in Belgrade, things didn't get much better. We were quickly reminded of why we aren't fond of cities as the traffic picked up, the faces became less friendly, and we were forced to spend a lot of money for a place to sleep.

When we rang the buzzer for the hostel we'd contacted, they informed us they had no rooms and sent us gruffly away while making it sound like they were booked full for weeks. Undaunted but slowly losing our cool, we stopped at several others. They either didn't answer their buzzers, had no space for us, or had no room for our bikes.

Three hours after beginning our search for a place to stay, tired, grumpy, painfully chafed for unknown reasons, and sunburned, we succumbed to our frustrations and booked two nights in the grossly overpriced Union Hotel. It was neither friendly nor inviting, but it was starting to rain and we'd lost the will to push our bikes around the city in circles yet again in a futile search for accommodation.

Once settled in our room, we immediately headed for the only thing either of us cared about at our 66-euro-a-night hotel: the shower. Tyler went first, eagerly running the taps only to find that there was no hot water. It was barely tepid, and didn't heat upon waiting. It only grew colder. A call to reception for possible advice on how to fix the situation gained nothing and our concerns were dismissed with contempt.

Sticky and disgusting, disappointed, and still not feeling settled, I crawled under the blanket and hid from the day just like Tyler had done this morning. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

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Awww...sleepy Tyler.

Sending you both a big. warm, and clean energetic shower than never gets cold (unless you want it too).

Love you!
Posted by Karina on April 11th, 2010 at 11:09 AM
Don't get to down Guys. You'll have many more good days than bad days. It's all part of the journey, a Journey of a life time.
Posted by Dave Bauer (rangersix) on April 11th, 2010 at 1:30 PM
Our sympathies, guys! It'll be better soon =)
Posted by Michael on April 11th, 2010 at 2:09 PM
Sorry that you had a rough day. Remember: this too shall pass.

But how cool is it that you went to the Tesla museum! The science center where I work just installed a 4-foot tall Tesla Coil which shoots 5-foot bolts of electricity over your head... so as you can imagine I'm pretty geeked about a whole museum dedicated to the man himself...
Posted by LIZKELLEY on April 11th, 2010 at 8:47 PM
Thanks for all the good vibes, guys!! Thankfully that rough patch is over...
Posted by Tara on April 13th, 2010 at 4:01 PM