Two days in Beograd

29th and 30th May 2016

Seems we just can’t stop cycling …… we chose to do a 4 hour bike tour of Beograd. The tour consisted of a small group of four of us plus the guide, us on our tandem and a retired couple from the Netherlands.

Remains of the war damaged central building in the previous concentration camp in Novi Beograd, just over the river from Beograd.

Our guide took us across the river, which involved a second trip in the bike lift at the bridge.

First we saw a site that had been originally been built as as an exhibition area .  But during WWII it was used by the Nazis  as a concentration camp, which involved the extermination of all the Jews living in the city at that time .

We then moved on to see various buildings from the Tito era and heard about it taking the extensive building programme all over Yugoslavia masterminded by Tito. Apparently it took quite a while to complete some buildings as the unpaid labour of young people from different parts of Yugoslavia was used; but additionally, parties and concerts and all sorts of cultural events were organised. Those that took part in this, including our guide’s parents certainly saw this as a great time and look back it with fond memories . Amongst the buildings constructed apart from houses and apartment blocks was also included the Yugoslavian parliament building.

The Yugoslavian parliament building. Since the break up of Yugoslavia into its seperate states.
The Yugoslavian parliament building. Since the break up of Yugoslavia into its seperate states it has only been partly used.

Young people from all over the newly formed Yugoslavia got to know each other and their languages and dialects and it helped to bond the new nation together quite effectively.

The tour then took us in a boat to an area that is almost an island, just joining the mainland by a narrow strip. 20160529_124551It is clearly a very popular place for a Sunday afternoon bike ride. After stopping for a welcome cold drink, we rode back to the city centre.

Following a visit to the tourist information, we took an early evening boat ride in what was called the “Turtle Boat” because of its turtle like observation floor on the upper deck. We were able to see the array of bridges spanning both the Dunav and the Sava rivers linking not only places but histories.

20160529_182952The next day we took advantage of an open topped bus tour of the older part of the city seeing the various buildings that survived or were rebuilt after various wars and conflicts.

We also passed several bombsites dating from when NATO launched a series of targeted bombing raids which destroyed various buildings related to the Serbian Military and its resources. In fact, just opposite where the tour bus left there was a huge banner with hundreds of photographic portraits which referred to those who lost their lives in the “Albanian incursions” and ” NATO aggression”….

We were also able to appreciate the place that Serbian Orthodox religion, the memory of Josip Broz Tito, and the more benevolent communism had in the sense of Serbian nationhood and identity.

The Gardos Tower in Zemun built in 1896 to mark the millennium of the Hungarian Empire.
The Gardos Tower in Zemun built in 1896 to mark the millennium of the Hungarian Empire.

We took advantage of our unladen tandem to travel over Brankov Most (a bridge named after Branco Radičević, a Serbian romantic poet) to reach the “surburb” of Zemun  an interesting place that once formed the boundary of the Hungarian Empire. A tower built on the prominent hill above the town in 1896  is the last remaining tower built to mark the millenium of the Hungarian Empire each of them marking the extremities of the Empire across central Europe. Although the origins of the tower date back to the 1400’s. The town also marks the boundary between Roman Catholic influence (Holy Roman Empire) and the Serbian Orthodox church, each with their characteristic architectures.

Catholic churches and cathedrals with spires and “onion shaped”

Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Sava.
Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Sava.

domes on them and the squareish look of Orthodox churches and cathedrals with middle eastern looking domes.

We’re now on the way to the Iron Gates…..

Surduk to Beograd (Belgrade)


Our route into Serbia’s capital city was going to be relatively short, but again, allowing for rough tracks and slow progress, we thought it best not to go too far.

As it turned out our way was along asphalt roads, which were busier and busier as we got closer to Beograd. For our lunch stop we chose to make a detour along a minor road for about 1km towards a signed campsite beside the Dunav; fortunately the caretaker was quite happy for us to have a picnic in the shade of the tree… the days are getting quite hot now…  approx 30°C and fairly humid.

20160528_135009The campsite was slightly above the river and we could see our destination in the distance.

Pressing on we passed through the old part of what has now become a suburb of Beograd, Zemun, on cobbled streets which were so rough we had to walk on the sloping downhill bits… we passed a cycle repair shop and thinking we might be able to buy some chain lubricant we stopped outside.

The owner, Katić Slobodan, came out and asked in good english if he could help. Unfortunately, he had no chain lube to sell, but he was very keen to give us advice on our route through the Iron Gates. It turned out he led occasional bike tours himself ( Bickilane ) and also went on long distance cycle journeys with his wife and, later on, with his children.

We spent about half an hour there after he got a map out and told us all sorts of useful information… where to stay, things to see… he also told us why it was better to travel on the Serbian side…. it has better views, is less busy, and although going through tunnels and one or two steep climbs is, importantly, on the shady side of the gorge. Very important now that the days are getting quite warm.

The view towards Beograd from Zemun
The view towards Beograd from Zemun

After Zemun, our way into Beograd was along a traffic free cycle path and promenade, clearly very popular with the locals. So we stopped at one of the numerous cafes and had an ice cool beer and home made lemonade.

Refreshed, we then continued on to the city…

Crossing a busy bridge we were pleased to come across a special lift for cyclists to take us down to the riverside path that was to take us to our Airbnb accommodation near the city centre.

Cycle lift down to the riverside from a busy bridge into Beograd.
Cycle lift down to the riverside from a busy bridge into Beograd.

Arriving in late afternoon we were able to begin exploring the older part of the city at the start of a 3 night, 2 full stay day.

IMG_20160528_200432We saw a church with the most amazing glittery gold decoration on the steeple catching the evening sun, and also came across one of the pedestrianised streets with an attractive collection of umbrellas strung up over the street to provide shade from the sun – not much good when it’s raining we fear… but for now we have sun!IMG_20160528_200225

A search on trip advisor came up trumps again with a vegetarian restaurant.

Comments said it was difficult to find; this was true. As well as the location being tucked away, the entrance was inside an apartment block with a small sticker on the door indicating it was a restaurant.

We were standing outside looking at the restaurant trying to work out how to get in, when the waiter opened a door length widow and invited us in.


Nerd’s Corner

Surduk to Beograd: 32 miles

Distance travelled so far: 2019 miles… our second thousand miles!


Novi Sad to Surduk


Our stay in Novi Sad was in a little family guest-house and provided all that we needed after our day in the saddles.

Refreshed after showers we took to the streets on our unloaded tandem to reach a specialist vegetarian restaurant near the city centre, attracting a few appreciative cries from motorists and pedestrians alike on the way. In a land of ardent meat eaters this restaurant ( Emchi ) was lovely… good food, great decor and very reasonable prices.

IMG_20160526_205806Simon had a Mexican corn soup to start, then rice and grilled vegetables. Diana had a mushroom and rice dish. A fruit and nut roll and chocolate mousse finished the meal nicely.

Each of the next two stages of our route (in our e-book guide) towards Beograd (Belgrade), the capital city of Serbia,  were only approximately 30 miles;  but we knew some of it was likely to be on unsurfaced paths, so we thought we would reach Beograd in two stages rather than one.

The Petrovaradin Fortress at Novi Sad.
The Petrovaradin Fortress at Novi Sad.

We crossed the Dunav under the shadow of the Petrovaradin Fortress.

This was originally built as a fort by the Romans, then a monastery then a fortified castle against the Ottoman invaders. Re-taken by the Hapsburg empire, the Austrians fortified it further which enabled it to resist two attempted attacks by the Turks in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. 20160530_055822The clocktower has an unusual feature in that the hour hand is longer than the minute hand so that from a distance the hour can be seen more clearly.

The road onwards was busy with heavy lorries, so we were glad when our route took us away from the main road for a while.

Here we went through a town called Sremski Karlovci, where there were several school trips visiting the town. It is important because during the Ottoman occupation it maintained a majority of Christian inhabitants and became the centre of the Orthodox Church in Serbia. Then, when it was part of the Austria-Hungary empire under the Hapsburg’s, it was the place where a treaty was signed to return control to the Serbians. It remains the centre for the Orthodox Church in Serbia. We didn’t try and visit  any of the buildings as they were so busy with school parties and we knew we had to press on.

The route rejoined the main road for a short distance which was not pleasant, so again we took a side route when the opportunity arose. This turned out to be a very rough track in places with a stony surface and undulated a lot. It was  very hard going and we ended up pushing the tandem quite a bit.

On eventually reaching  a tarmac surface, we started making good progress but we needed to look for a place to camp because it was getting late in the day.

20160528_103324We came across a sign which indicated “pension”, camping and food in 3km and sure enough in a tiny hamlet called Surduk we came across a house with a sign outside.

We were shown into the garden where we could pitch our tent amongst a small orchard of fruit and nut trees, next door to a little chalet where there was a shower and toilet. It was a lovely spot and much preferable to the wild camping we were envisaging without a shower.

20160527_175116The owners clearly grew a lot of their own food – there were numerous net bags of hazelnuts hanging up out of the way of mice, jars of honey stacked up (for sale) and the plum trees looked like they would give a good crop later in the summer….

Nerd’s Corner

Novi Sad to Surduk: 31 miles

Total distance travelled: 1987 miles

Opotoyac, into Serbia and on to Novi Sad


IMG_20160526_085846From our lovely impromptu hostess, Paula, in Optoyac we travelled along a busy road along to Iloc,  passing fields of sunflower seedlings, well developed wheat, maize, potatos and the odd vineyard. We dropped into and climbed out of four attractive combe-like valleys on our route negotiating sandy bluffs on our tree-lined road. Non of the climbs out were more than 8%, we managed all them without stopping except the first. But we had only just set out and not really settled into our stride.

As we arrived in Iloc, the Croatian border town  we met a local who spoke German and asked if he could help us. He proved to be a walking tourist information bureau since he directed us to the nearby supermarket, told us of a bar which had internet access and told us how we could change our remaining Kuna into Serbian Dinars once we crossed over the border. We stopped there for a couple of hours buying provisions and making use of the wifi internet access at the  Here, whilst coffees and apple juices were drunk, and finishing with a refreshing local beer.

We ordered and arranged the dispatch of  our replacement tandem wheel from J D Tandems in the UK and contacted the hotel we had booked into at the border town in Romania (which is in the EU, unlike Serbia) who confirmed they were happy to receive and hold on to the wheel until our arrival.

Our 7th border crossing on our journey... this time a non EU country.
Our 7th border crossing on our journey… this time a non EU country.

The journey administration sorted, we then peddled the 5km to the Croatian border post on one side of the bridge where our passports were checked.

Crossing the bridge we reached the Serbian border control, noting long queues of lorries, coaches and cars waiting to be processed through the border post into Croatia, here we had our passports stamped for the first time on our journey.

The first few kilometers were along a very busy main road with disintegrating verges and lots of heavy lorries…. we discovered that Serbian drivers are a bit less respectful of cyclists, some passing rather too close for comfort.

We noticed few signs of the civil war this side, probably because Serbians were trying to take over Croatian territory and Croatians lacked the fire power to exert much damage onto Serbian buildings.

Our first picnic spot in Serbia some 20km from the border crossing.
Our first picnic spot in Serbia some 20km from the border crossing.

We looked out for a track off the road onto the river bank and fortunately we were soon bumping along a grassy track to the riverside where we came across an idyllic picnic spot on a sandy beach on the river.

We were fascinated by the sight of a tractor a little downstream which appeared to be driving through the water. As we continued along the track on the flood bund, we met it coming up from the river and discovered it had an ingenious trailer attached which rotated a large cage which was full of potatoes. Apparently the Dunaj acts as a potato washer for the local farmers.

Our path was initially a good surface, but after a while became a grassy track… then degenerated into a rather rough surface which had been chewed up by local tractor traffic. Fortunately we didn’t have to walk the tandem far before the surface improved as we came closer to Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city of some 210,000 people.

20160526_161713As we neared the city we came across wizened cowherds with their cows grazing across and around the path, then a stretch of gravel and sand workings, and, as we reached the built up area, passed by a Soviet era helicopter that had been half buried in a wall, and formed a distinctive landmark to what appeared to be a night club venue.20160526_163119

Soon we were on busy city streets and making heavy use of our GPS smartphone navigation to reach our overnight stay in the city.

A distinctive night club entrance as we entered Novi Sad.
A distinctive night club entrance as we entered Novi Sad.

Nerd’s Corner

Opotoyac to Novi Sad: 47 miles

Total distance travelled so far: 1956 miles


Osijek to Opatoyac

A second visit to the market at Osijek and on the road again.

Memorial to 714 Croatian men kept in a Serbian concentration camp.
Memorial to 714 Croatian men kept in a Serbian concentration camp.

A few miles out of Osijek we passed a memorial to 714 Croatian men who had been in a Serbian concentration camp in 1992 during the Serbian/Croatian confict.

Much of this part of the route is on main roads, but we had been recommended at several of the bike shops we visited and by the tourist information yesterday, to take a slightly longer detour on smaller roads.

This took us to a ridge through lots of small villages through pretty wine country.

Here we had some lovely views over the Duna. 20160525_130550The villages were pleasant with many of the homes seemingly having a well in the garden.

The thing about a ridge was it was a slog up hill to get to it, however, the upside of this was having a long downhill to rejoin the main road. We reached 26mph without even having to pedal.

The war damaged water tower just outside Vukovar that now stands as a monument to the Serbian/Croatian conflict in the early 90's.
The war damaged water tower just outside Vukovar that now stands as a monument to the Serbian/Croatian conflict in the early 90’s.

We stopped in Vukovar, a town that saw much heavy fighting between Croatian and Serbian forces in the Yugoslavian  civil war that lead to the break up of former Yugoslavia 26 years ago.

Much of the town has been rebuilt, including a new bridge over to Serbia – however we passed many buildings looking damaged and derelict which presumably used to be occupied by Serbians who no longer felt safe living amongst Croatians. The population of the town has almost halved since the beginning of the conflict. Other buildings not being smartly renovated or rebuilt still showed pock marks of bullets and shells.

Pedalling on again, more main roads with lorries hurtling past us at speed, we reached a tiny village (Apotoyac)  where the guide book had said there was accommodation….. but no ‘zimmer’ signs to be seen.

We stopped at the only shop to stock up with water in case we needed to wild camp. Simon went to enquire at the bar. Whilst Diana was waiting outside the shop a friendly lady called at the shop. Diana wanted to ask her if she knew of any rooms, but English would not be much use……

At the bar several calls were made by customers and the barman. Eventually we were directed back up the hill to the home of the mum of the barman.

There we were greeted by Paula, the friendly lady at the shop. A very hospitable lady indeed, speaking Croatian, a little Italian, and a little German. Various languages, gesticulations and pictures all aided communication. She kindly made a phone call to her daughter, who spoke good English and confirmed a few important details.

Paula, who kindly put us up for the night at her home.
Paula, who kindly put us up for the night at her home.

We had a very good and welcome night’s sleep.

Nerd’s Corner

Osiyek to Opatoyac: 55 miles

Distance travelled so far : 1910 miles

Kopacevo to Osijek


We woke to a dry but cloudy and windy day. Said farewell to our campsite of last night, packed up the tent and made the short journey to Osijek, a city of some 108,000 inhabitants.

Here we changed currency again, into Kuna. About 1 kuna to 10p.

We then visited the post office to send off another box of things to the UK we now feel we can manage without; waterproof leggings, Simon’s shoes (he does still have sandals) and other bits and bobs. This giving more space in our panniers  to carry more food now that we plan to camp more often.

Osijek market
Osijek market

In a colourful market nearby we had a bountiful choice of fruit and veg, much of the produce being sold by the people that had grown or prepared it.

We soon filled the space in our front panniers!

The rest of the day was spent visiting tourist information, bike shops and an internet cafe trying to sort out a longer term solution to the front wheel situation.

We were not surprised to find we could not get a suitable wheel here, it is quite a specialist item. So we have begun liaison with the bike shop  we bought our tandem from. ( J D Tandems  of West Yorkshire ).

We had to work out where we might be in a week or so within the EU and then find an address to have it sent to. All of which will take a bit of time.

View from our accommodation in Osijec
View from our accommodation in Osijec

So we stayed on in Osijek for the night.

Nerd’s Corner

Kopcevo to Osijek: 12 miles

Distance travelled so far: 1855 miles

Mohacs to Kopačevo – into Croatia

Waiting for the ferry to Mohacs.
Waiting for the ferry to Mohacs.

On waiting for our ferry over to Mohacs who should we see but our fellow cycle traveller, Beno…! Benno’s Blogsite tells of his exploits en route to China on his bike.

After a shared coffee we caught the ferry over to Mohacs, a medium sized town where we could buy our provisions for the day.

Stocked up, we were on our way again, when Simon noticed the front brakes behaving differently. On examination of the wheel he noticed a crack in the rim of the front wheel. A combination of the load we are carrying, wear from the brake blocks, the bumpy tracks and being a few years old meant it was in danger of splitting on us. Not something we wanted to happen in the middle of an isolated track!

Bike shop in Osijek who fixed us up with a replacement front wheel as a temporary measure to help us on our way.
Bike shop in Osijek who fixed us up with a replacement front wheel as a temporary measure to help us on our way.

Tourist information in Mohacs guided us to a very helpful bike shop owner.

He did not have double skin wheel, but was able to fix us up with an alternative wheel as a temporary measure which had thicker spokes, one that at least was much less in danger of disintegrating unexpectedly.

An hour later we were on our way again.

Soviet era watchtower near the border with Croatia.
Soviet era watchtower near the border with Croatia.

Passing an old soviet watchtower just before the border we checked through passport control (Croatia is not in the Schengen area although it is in the EU, similar to the UK) and we passed through the border with Croatia.

20160523_135525We had a short climb to the top of a ridge to get up and over before the path went through a nature reserve.


The climb of 139mtrs we managed, with two stops to catch our breath on the way. The ride down was steeper than on the way up but was cobbled at the bottom, so we were very glad we were not going the other way!

As we approached the turn for the nature reserve, we saw the face of a 20160523_155414sandstone outcrop we had just passed over. Here we could see the face all peppered with ‘front doors’ for sand martins.

The nature reserve was a lovely ride for 30Km along a mostly good surface, atop the bund for flood defence.

We soon saw wild boars foraging at the edge of the woods with their young. As we were looking at a deer standing in the shade, a boar ran across the path right in front of us.

We also saw two foxes, herons, egrets, black storks and possibly two wild cats. The latter was a bit far away to be sure of, but was not fox colour and cat shape with longer legs. We also became aware of a grand chorus of thousands of frogs who had the marshy land as their home. The sound was quite surreal….

On reaching Kopačevo, we discovered on this occasion the campsite was where it said it was on the map. After pitching our tent , hot showers, a good meal we then had  pleasant conversation with two German couples we met who were travelling in their minibuses – the evening was just excellent.

The campsite owner even brought out some slices of cheese, wine and a spirit of something like slivoviç for us to share; it made it quite perfect. We sat in a communal eating area and talked about travels as a thunderstorm passed overhead with rain. A good night’s sleep followed to the chorus of massed ranks of frogs in the wetlands nearby.

Nerds Corner

Mahocs to Kopačevo: 49 miles

Total distance travelled so far: 1843 miles

Koloksa to Mohacs

Shepherd with his flock
Shepherd with his flock

Today we were woken up by the sound of a shepherd and his flock at our riverside campsite, making their way to a pasture nearby ………

With the sun soon drying the dew off the tent we were on our way to find a Paprika Centre mentioned in the e-guide to the Danube cycle way that we have been using…. after all we were in the middle of Hungary’s prime paprika growing area….

We arrived at the appropriate village but no signs, no indication of where it may be. Asking a few people we passed with the words “paprika centrum?” “paprika muzeum”, some mime brought one suggestion with a few gesticulations, left, right…. along a winding road….. after a bit more exploration we didn’t manage to find anything beyond what appeared to be a factory shop (which was closed because it was Sunday).

Disappointed, we carried on our route along quiet country roads, decent surfaced cycle paths, and the occasional stretch of gravel.

Being a Sunday we thought the best option was to stop at Baja, a medium sized town on our route to find a restaurant to eat a large lunch so that our provisions we had in our panniers would be sufficient for our supper. We managed to find a mexican style restaurant which provided us with an excellent and satisfying lunch , just under HuF 5000… sounds a lot but it was the equivalent of just over €16… and then Diana located an Italian style ice cream shop which was proving very popular with the locals.

Fields of purple poppies in the distance.
Fields of purple poppies in the distance.

On our way again we were passing lots of fields of paprika seedlings, some fields of purple poppies, maize, wheat and sometimes herds of sheep .

We reached a small village just off the cycle track where there was a campsite mentioned in our e-guide (last updated 5 years ago) … a tour round the village, query at a small bar brought no joy apart from an offer of “zimmer” – a room for the night…. on to the next village with a supposed campsite….. again no campsite apparent… then we followed an overgrown track which our GPS showed led us to the supposed campsite. Here we discovered a concrete wash-house/toilet block amongst the trees…… locked….. a couple of standpipes …turned off …. so we decided to wild-camp at the spot since it was right beside the Duna with a little sandy beach and quite attractive.

Wild camping spot just opposite Mohacs.
Wild camping spot just opposite Mohacs.

Having had a sweaty ride we were both looking forward to a nice shower…. and we didn’t fancy a dip in the cold river( it was getting near sunset)… but we set up camp for a night’s rest on our last night in Hungary. Diana had never wild camped before so unfortunately had a fitful night being a little nervous about the location and her vivid imagination.

Nerd’s Corner

Kolocsa to Mohacs: 58 miles

Distance travelled so far: 1794 miles


Apostag to Kolocsa


Our overnight stay was in what appeared to be a holiday let cottage ( courtesy of the website). The owner had kindly left a couple of pizzas ready to be put in the oven when we arrived , which was a nice surprise since being a tiny village the shops had already shut by the time we arrived. Unfortunately they weren’t gluten free so I had a very skimpy supper with the remainder of the food in our panniers.

The day started with a bright sunny morning, and quick trip on our tandem into the village centre soon had our breakfast,  lunch and tea sorted for the day.

The day’s ride today was on a mixture of good quality cycle paths, minor roads and short stretches of main road, which, because it was a Saturday afternoon, were quite quiet.

IMG_20160521_120113In one of the villages we passed through we noticed a stork’s nest on the top of an electricity pole. There were two adults and what looked like 4 fledglings. They had sublet the nest to one or two sparrow families as well who had taken up residence amongst the twiggy construction.

Our route took us into the main paprika growing area for Hungary… we passed field after field of seedlings which already were around 1 foot tall…. must be quite a sight in August when they are ripening. Maize was also planted in anundance, although these seedlings seemed to be only about 6 to 8 inches tall… still, not bad for mid May.

IMG_20160521_151224We are travelling through a very rural area, and we have seen the odd horse and cart and stooks of corn arranged in the traditional fashion.

Being such sunny weather we decided to make use of the tent we have been carrying with us and camp for the night. We managed to find a campsite on our route right beside the river. IMG_20160521_185016

Arriving at around 6pm we were helped by a kindly elderly couple who spoke no English or German , but twigged that we needed to contact the caretaker by phone to check us in. They rung him up on their mobile, and sure enough, a half hour later the caretaker arrived to book us in . 2,000 Florints for the night… the equivalent of just over €6!

Nerd’s Corner

Apostag to Kolocsa: 46 miles

Total distance travelled to date: 1736 miles.



Budapest to Apostag


We left the bustle of the city behind and set off again on the tandem. Although we didn’t see all there is to see in Budapest, we felt ready to be on the road again.

We knew our fellow traveller, Beno ( who is cycling to China) was setting out today as well, but we set off before him.  Having left Budapest we got a little muddled by the signs for Euro Route 6 in a small town further on. Having a mini detour whilst we worked out how to get back on the route, we saw Beno just about to make the same mistake as us. We called out and we cycled together for an hour or so on our route.

We stopped to enjoy a beer and a cold drink in a small village further on whilst Beno ordered food for his lunch we continued on our way.

IMG_20160520_164103Much of the journey today was along quite bumpy roads and tracks alongside fields planted with maize.

We caught occasional glimpses of a side river from the main Duna…. attractive views with what appeared to be weekend cottages dotted along the banks. We passed lots of little fishing platforms on the banks, occasionally with contemplative fisherman with rods waiting for their catch; it must be a popular fishing area.

IMG_20160520_174657Having done some 50 miles we came to a point where the sign for route EV6 went down a grassy path. We decided against this and went round on the main road, but this was quite busy with fast traffic and we were glad to get off it again!


We were able to find a decent surfaced cycle path and quieter roads to reach our stop for the night in a tiny village called Aposteg. Rather appropriately the village has a set of statues which are the 12 disciples on the village green…..

Some of the 12 disciples in Aposteg
Some of the 12 disciples in Aposteg

Nerd’s Corner

Budapest to Aposteg : 62 miles

Total distance travelled so far : 1690 miles