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.
Simon 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.
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. The 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.
We 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.
The 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….
Novi Sad to Surduk: 31 miles
Total distance travelled: 1987 miles