Did you know there is a national park just for mosquitos? Well there is, they take their holidays there and it’s situated in a place no sane person would ever try and get to, just between Novi Sad and Belgrade. We left novi sad this morning around half past 12 after having spent a fantastic night in the hostel “sova” and started cycling towards Belgrade. The first mistake we made was thinking it was a good idea to deviate from the cycle track, which was the road (cars really start to annoy you after a while, especially when they beep for no reason, or just to scare you), and to go next to the Danube. This track ended about 1 km later and we had to take our bikes across a little wooden bridge which turned out to be quite a bit of a balancing act. The next mistake came right after that – again we thought we should deviate from the cycling track (actually, I think this time we thought it was the cycling track) but the road turned into an off-road track that ended up in a little Serbian commune where the buildings were painted yellow and pink with messages like peace not war, but they didn’t seem to like cycle tourists and we were sent to go back the up-and-down-track, to fight our way through afore mentioned mosquito clouds. Finally, we made it back to the road, which again was also the cycle track, and we made it to a down past a town called bershka, where we had lunch (a face-sized slice of beef meat dripping in oil, topped with thick slices of white bread and onion bits) with a lovely 35-year-old Serbian grandpa, whose grandson is currently 9; I kid you not. The last mistake we made was to follow his advice of going back to bershka instead of following the Danube down into Belgrade. We cycled back to bershka, and the followed signs for indija (Yes, Indija, Stuart we got there before you) where we got the train into Belgrade. Again, you may think that was cheating, but considering that the first 10 or so km we did were up and down a not-even-beaten-track which set us back about 30 normal km, we would have made into Belgrade without getting the train.
Upon arrival, mike found a guy’s cash card in the cash machine and ran after him to give it back, all the while , losing his city map, which another guy had to give us back. It was chaos. But we’re here now. In the manga hostel. For two nights. I think I will sleep well.