May 3, 2013

Distance today = 50.05 km; Total distance = 20,373.32 km; Location = Pirot – 43 11.950′ N, 22 33.545′ E; Start time = 0846, Finish time = 1750


My heel felt great when I started out this morning. However, a big mountain pass of more than a thousand feet caused a bit of a relapse. It was probably the worst thing I could have done for the heel. But, once down on the flat, it settled down again, and wasn’t too bad by the end of the day.

The terrain at the moment is very different from the flatness of the past two weeks. We are definitely in the mountains, with some snow still visible at the higher peaks. It’s the part of the mountain range which forms the border between Serbia and Bulgaria.

There are freeways pretty much between every main region of Europe now, except for the stretch we’re in at the moment. However, this is being remedied, and we could see where the new section of freeway is being built. It’s a holiday here for Serbian Easter, and there was a guard watching over a big earth-mover that’s creating the new freeway. Carmel happened to take some photos of me, with the machine in the background. For some reason, this was a no-no. The guard came racing up in his car and pulled in front of us, blocking our way. He made it clear there was to be no photos of the earth-moving equipment – I have no idea why? I thought he was going to try to confiscate the camera, but seemed happy with an apology.

There were a few drops of rain today, during the early afternoon. They were those big lazy drops you get when the clouds can’t make up their mind if they want to rain. In the end, it didn’t, and the heat came back. However, it looks like we are about to have a thunder storm now – night-time is fine by me. It’s actually the first rain since Portugal, although there’s been lots of snow. And certainly the first precipitation of any sort for about a month.

Tomorrow I run into Bulgaria. Serbia has been great, but all countries must come to an end on a world run (except for the last one, of course).

PS Another great win for the Rabbitohs, this time 26-12 over the Broncos in Brisbane – always a hard one to win up there.