So here we are after having cycled over 1800km's from Zurich, Switzerland to Donaueschingen, Germany and then along the Eurovelo 6 aka Danube Bike Path all the way to Pancevo, Serbia. We had one of "those days". We slept in at our little "camping cottage" in Zemun just west of Belgrade and only hit the road at around 10:30. I'm still quite ticked that somewhere along the way we had 10,000 Dinar stolen from us and there was light drizzle almost all the way ..but at least no omnipresent headwinds today.
Belgrade was pretty exciting and delightfully chaotic and we spent the entire passage through the city on the sidewalks (pavement for you brits) since the traffic was pretty much clogging up the roads at a snail's pace. We managed to procure some Euros in the city since we were running out of money and heading into Romania in an area where they count the population in cows and sheep instead of humans. Since livestock has no real need for ATM aka Bankomats we were concerned that we'd be penniless and sleeping amongst flee infested herds of sheep for the foreseeable future until we emerge into a bankomat equipped town.
So here we were in Pancevo, Serbia when it dawned on us that we needed to spend the night here or arrive in Kovin just around sunset. So we decided to be satisfied with the whopping 38km's we rode today :-(
The nice young English speaking lady at the tourist information office and art gallery made some calls for us and found as a room at the Hotel Konak for 2800 Dinar (23 Euro). When we arrived the rather stressed out clerk informed us that the room would be 35 Euro since we had bicycles. This is a bit of a piss off since I've never come across anything like this before. I even once parked a flipping motorcycle in a hotel lobby in Nicaragua at no extra cost. Many long minutes passed and a back and forth phone conversation with the boss ensued ...she spoke excellent English but the clerk did not. We finally agreed on 30 Euros after she insisted that the room would be so dirty after the bike storage that additional cleaning would be required. To add insult to injury we were told to come back at 6:00pm (2 hours) since the room wasn't ready and we couldn't even view it beforehand.
I was very tempted to roll the muddy bikes into the room with no extra protection since we had paid a cleaning fee anyway. But the polite Canadian prevailed and we put down the tarp on the floor and carefully lifted the bikes into the room without touching the floor. As we checked out the room it turned out not the all that clean to begin with. At least the evening clerk once we returned from our pizza and wine dinner was much more pleasant to deal with. We decided to call the earlier more surly clerk "Scarface" ...nothing against surliness, in fact we ride Surly bikes :-)