The place we plan to cross the border from Romania to Bulgaria (which is marked by the Danube) is a small town called Turnu Magurele.
At the pretty calm and small check point we’re informed by the border guard that the ferry over the river would leave at seven in the evening, so we’re heading back to the city to shop for some groceries.
Almost the same moment we put off our helmets in front of the supermarket, a group of three street kids shows up asking for money.
Chris feeds them some Pacoca (a peanut snack he brought from Brasil) and leaves for shopping, while Alex stays with the bikes. As more ad more of them come back this pushes him pretty far out of his comfort zone, so we leave and head back for the border station.
Arriving there, we still have some time left so we park next to the beach to wait there.
A bus of tourists makes us move the bikes around a bit – in the process, Alex first drops his helmet (it was just hanging on one of the mirrors) and then throws his bike right after it.
We manage to pick it up but notice oil leaking from the cylinder head. This is a worst case scenario leaving us really worried already – the last thing we need now are technical issues throwing us further back in our schedule. At a first glance we cannot spot a critical damage so decide to not take any action and keep an eye on the issue.
After we’ve calmed down a bit, we strap our stuff back on the bikes and get ready to head over to the boarder station and for the ferry. Just before we start the engines, the guard from before shows up starting a chat on how we like the beach and if we got our shopping done. He doesn’t mention it right away, but in the course of the conversation we find out that the last ferry has already left very punctually at seven pm Romanian time – unfortunately, our watches are still on German time, which is one hour behind. That certainly tops the whole day which hasn’t went very well anyway and leaves us with the urgent question on where to spend the night. At the place there’s only the beach with a little restaurant
and a huge industrial ruin which seems to have been some sort of power plant before. The guard offers us some help by keeping our bikes at the boarder station so we can just camp on the beach, which we accept in the face of not having many options anyway.
While we pitch up our tents, we notice a lot of stray dogs around and a guy who seems to be in charge of the beach warns us of the area not being secure as there are ‘gypsies’ camping nearby. Standing under an open public shower right next to the terrace of the restaurant where fancy people are having their dinner, considering our current situation we feel like being more on the homeless side ourselves so decide not to worry too much.
The place has a wedding party where the music stops exactly at the moment we get up in the morning, so sleeping is not too much of a thing that night. We’re just happy to be able to move on and wait for the ferry, which is more than half an hour late, so the odds still seem not to be too much in our favour. Anyway, as we’re standing on the ferry with the sun shining over Danube, we feel that today will be much kinder.