Out of the camp this morning we continued on the climb we had begun out of Resavica the evening before. For much of the morning the road was similar to yesterday, a quiet country course that went up over the hills, scarred and pockmarked from the multitudinous potholes that were either forming or had been filed in.
At the bottom of the descent after the morning climb (during which time we passed by first an army barracks and then what appeared to be a holiday resort) the road forked. On our map both roads would eventually hit a larger secondary road that ran perpendicular to the two, and this larger road would take us out to the next town where we could find the next road south to the border (that wasn’t a busy road anyway).
So it was left or right, both would take us to the same location. Left seemed to be a smaller road still than the one we were on, so we figured that would be the more interesting route to take.
Interesting was one way to describe it, challenging probably another. We cycled along for a couple of kilometres, and the road then turned to a gravel track, which turned into a rocky strip and then finally a rocky and muddy trail, all going uphill. It was a fun ride, looking back on it, and it was utterly quiet the whole way, we passed only a smattering of dwellings and no tractors or motorbikes (the only motor vehicles that could probably navigate this track).
At the time though, it was tough. There was a lot of getting off and pushing when the rocks got to big, or the mud to thick. We spent about two hours making this climb, and at the top the road got better. Once we started descending we found ourselves back on sealed Tarmac again. We followed the descent into a river valley and stopped at the bottom for lunch.
After lunch we got onto the secondary road we had been trying to reach and in comparison to what we had been riding before this was the best road in Europe. We crested a climb out of valley and found ourselves up on a plateau with a big mountain stretching up out of it and it w as under this vista that we rode out east to Boljevac, a town where we could get on another tertiary route south to the border.
At Bojlevac, another one of these country towns with high rise apartment blocks, we picked up some supplies in the supermarket and filled up our water at the public tap in the square. A little bit of searching and we found the right road out of town that would take us south over the hills. We rode for thirty more minutes, but it was starting to get dark earlier and earlier so it wasn’t long before we were looking for spots to camp.
We ended up down by a stream next to an old stone bridge, one of our more picturesque camping spots, it’s always nice to find somewhere to sleep that isn’t the corner of a field.