Blissful day off!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of Serbia  ,
Saturday, October 23, 2010

So happy to wake up at 9 feeling really tired after yesterday's epic trip and hear Mikey asking the Hostel owner if we could stay another night! Decided to take the opportunity while the sun was shining and we knew there were bike shops to do some repairs and just relax! Had lie in, did some urgent washing and then wandered into town in serious sunshine. For once people weren't looking at me like I was crazy wearing flip-flops. Really like Nis, a town with everything you need and lots to do but easy to walk around and happy friendly people. The river looked gorgeous in the sunshine and markets selling mad things lined the banks. After another Costa Coffee medium latte and pain au raisin breakfast in the square we pedaled to a bike club Vladimir at the hostel had said would help us. Brilliant place with lots of cyclists very excited to look at the bikes and talk about them. After much discussion one of them got on his bike and the only one that spoke English said we should follow him, which we did. First stop was a bike shop which redirected us and our guide to a welders to fix the front fork. The welder wasn't there, but our helpful guide said we should go back in an hour. Mikey left me reading and drinking another latte while he went back to the bike shop so that he could sort mud guards and more water bottles. Sitting in the cafe I was hassled by lots of very cute but cheeky children begging. One of whose tactics was to whack me with a cardboard box and shout in Serbian, When I said I didn't understand he shouted MONEY very loudly. He then went on to another couple making faces and sticking his tongue out. Mikey left his bike with the shop and returned and we wandered around what is a lovely town trying unsuccessfully to get a map of Bulgaria. Mikey returned to the bike shop where he had a really long conversation with the guy fixing his bike.  The man was really unhappy about life and confused by how we can travel for a year.  It really made us think about opportunities in life and it was a real glimpse into the real lives of Serbians.  He had fought in the war and now led a life of survival more than anything.  More nice guys did some welding on the front fork  and the bikes were pretty much ready to go again. We  had a picnic by the river then went back to the hostel so that Mikey could attach all of the new gear to the bikes - looking very good now, especially Mikey's retro mudguards. Then wandered into the fort where we took what looked like a children's train, but was filled with adults round the grounds. Turned out to be a long way, so was 50p very well spent. Saw a wedding photo shoot on the way round, at least we hoped it was a shoot as the bride was not remotely interested in the groom. Mikey then finally managed to Skype his mum and dad from the Itouch which was brilliant. Returned to the hostel where Mikey cooked us a healthy meal (with some vegetables!) and I had a chat with the Barnetts. Spent the evening in the hostel trying to sort out the Gick family Christmas in India, complicated, but is definitely going to be amazing!
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