We had breakfast on the top floor, discovering some pretty decent views towards the sea of Ovid’s exile home.  This, coupled with the previous evening’s impressions, drew comparisons in my mind to Galveston around the Strand area: grand old city with a slight air of decay mixed with some vibrant new elements, slowing regaining it’s glory. As we began biking north through the  Mamaia Beach area, the Galveston of Stewart Beach appeared: very touristy, lots of clubs, lots of people. Past that, we got to the West End: lots of condos, with some overbuilt areas with buildings in various states of construction, some abandoned. Then we got to Năvodari and the comparison was with Port Industrial Boulevard: dusty, lots of trucks, and not really a fun place to be. But as they day wore on, it got even less fun.  This was by far the hottest day we had seen, with temps approaching 35ºC (that’s 95ºF). The asphalt seemed to be sucking us into the roadbed, and it didn’t help that we had some long uphill climbs. Top all that off with a breeze that didn’t cool but was crossways or slightly a headwind most of the way, and you have the makings of a long day.  We stopped rather more frequently than on previous days. We did have a great spirits-booster riding through the town of Sinoe, which we luckily caught all on the GoPro. As we entered, there was a little boy on a bike who saw us coming, and he immediately started pedaling as furiously as he could to keep ahead of us. As we finally pulled even, he gave us a great big smile as we cheered him on. We then got cheers and a high-five by another kid a little further into town. That was enough to power us on to Mihai Viteazu, where we bought some drinks and lingered in the truckstop’s A/C for a good while. We finally stopped for a late lunch in Baia, after an amusing exchange with a group of three men at an adjoining table about what to eat.  We pressed on to Babadag for our stopping point, whereupon John immediately crashed while I tried to find out more about the shipping situation. The first response I got was from FedEx, which said it would be ~€420 ($535) per bike…yikes! As I continued to call and email outfits, I got an email from my friend Dilara Sultan who had contacted a friend of hers in Ankara; he said that there was indeed a ferry from Constanta to Istanbul (Pendik, on the Asian side). I googled it, and saw that it was a RO-RO ferry for trucks, and not a passenger ferry. I wrote to him about this, and he wrote back saying not to worry, and that he would write back soon.  Could it be that we’d be able to go with my original plan after all?  I stopped worrying about it for the night, and was getting ready to crash when I got a message from Anne needing help getting our friend Alistair’s laptop set up. Alistair Donkin comes to Houston every year to direct and star in the Houston Gilbert and Sullivan Society‘s production (this year is one of my favorites, Iolanthetickets available now!). I lend Alistair a computer for his stay, but since I wasn’t available Anne gamely stepped into the breach. They couldn’t get the computer to go online, and I asked her what lights were on on the router. I told her to check that the cable was actually plugged into the wall just as she saw that it was not.  Alistair got online, and all was well with the world.