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Stage Forty Six - Saturday 14th July 2012

Sean Barker


Mountains west of Beles (Srb) to 10km outside Nis (Srb)

Today was an eventful day.

Even though I had camped in the shade of a wood last night I awoke this morning hot and saturated with sweat and shaking. I’m not sure if I’m coming down with something or going through withdrawal but I felt rough.

Today was quite the contrast in terms of cycling terrain. The morning was spent on mountain paths and then in the afternoon I was back on some busy roads. It was on one of these roads (the 134) that I woke up in the middle of the road with my head in a field workers lap as she moistened my lips with some freshly cut water melon. As I regained my senses I could see my bike had been pushed to the side of the road and was resting against and under the shade of a tree. A driver had stopped his car and put the hazard lights on to prevent anyone running me over. I stumbled to my feet and thanked them both and sat under the tree with my bike to recover.

I soon became aware that I was no longer under the shade of the tree, which had moved some 45 degrees around the tree. I had lost all sense of time. I was now acutely aware that I was not safe on the roads and would for the foreseeable future have to forge a path north west off road.

I have made camp tonight in the forest and as I write this a tortoise has just walked past the door of my tent.

I think I’m some 10km southeast of Nis which I think is going to be a sizable town.

I will head in tomorrow and if I can find somewhere open replenish my stocks before making my way back into wilderness again.

P1000948.jpgThese out of the way roads in the Balkans may have been quiet but they looked as if they were bomb cratered


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