Day 5, 188km so far. Unlike the UK, decent petrol stations are only slowly catching on so you stop where you can.

It’s been a long mileage day, with plenty more to go until another £10 room – if I’d know it would have been that cheap I’d have not bothered with a bivy! But I have it and, if worst comes to worst…

No pictures today, haven’t had time and it’s been fairly flat and uninspiring. The plains are a bit like Norfolk writ large, along with accompanying headwind.

It’s currently 32 degrees, and only just starting to cool down. Getting nutrition and fluids has been a challenge. Lots of Fanta and random drinks full of sugar.

The loneliness is starting to bite now the tail of the race is thinning – Serbia not being in the EU means rationing internet or finding free Wi-Fi (at risk of being political, this is our future as a ‘third country’ when travelling around the EU, and it’s not great). Although my other half is only a whatsapp away, I’ve only had a couple of short conversations with other racers passing by and I’m starting to randomly start blubbing at nothing and everything. The soviet attitude to customer service is starting to grate as well.

They also like their folding cash. Although they have got Tesla on a note, it doesn’t help with me fumbling under the increasingly annoyed gaze of the cashier.

As the CAD invariably says, more to follow if they let me check in late…

MTF: 270km and the oddest hotel room ever. And then I look at what the race leader (cap 66, Fiona, sponsored by Boeing, probably) is putting away and I feel just a wee bit inadequate 😂