Taking a STRAY PUPPY around the WORLD! // Tall Bike Tour [Ep.10]
So today's video is pretty special This is the story of how I found Nova and went from this... To this So what happened? Let me explain and without further ado please enjoy the 10th episode of the Tall Bike Tour series. In the last video I began Crossing Serbia headed towards Belgrade Eurovelo 6 follows the Danube River through Serbia and borders Romania in parts as we began entering the Iron Gate Gorge We finally crossed into Romania for a day, and then back into Serbia the next. So I'm now at the crossing going back into Serbia from Romania It's kind of empty today as you can see A lady came and took my passport asked where I was going I explained that I'm riding across Europe It's been five minutes, she's kind of just disappeared with my passport...
hopefully she'll return one day, and that I get across this border in one piece. So I'm just on the border between Romania and Serbia still and like - in the middle of nowhere on this bridge... There's this cute little guy... Hello Cute little puppy and he's all alone here... he's really friendly I really want to adopt him but I think border control will say no.
But he's so adorable, look at that! He was just too cute I couldn't bear watching him just be all alone here... so I may have done a thing... here's the thing all right then are you ready to attempt border control little guy? I will take that as a yes I still haven't named you yet.
All right, c'mon little guy we're going for a ride now Don't jump out please How are you doing down there little guy? you good? all right how many borders have I got to do today... I don't know if it's this box or the next box... guess we'll find out ...It would help if there was someone *in* the Box anyone in the box? hmm... I could try just - That usually works, yeah. At this point the GoPro video froze - which
had mysteriously happened at two other border crossings that month too. The Border staff eventually turned up to stamp us into Serbia. Hi England - on my way towards turkey at the moment well... I do now as of like 10 minutes ago yeah I thought I'd take care of him because he looked quite lost and very friendly, so I guess I'll name him later.... but he
seems nice so I'm gonna go check him out at a local vet, see if he's okay and then maybe keep him, I don't know He seems like a stray, I'm assuming - He wasn't on the Romanian side, he was literally just - you see that bridge right there? he was just running around the bridge, and I think he would have fallen off, so I thought I'd at least get him to a town or something where he can find food. I'm following the Iron Curtain Trail, I was on the Danube and I'll be following the Danube for another 30 kilometres to Negotin, and then following the Iron Curtain Trail after that towards Bulgaria and then going into North Macedonia and then Bulgaria again, then Greece then turkey. She's now having a little nap, it's the next day...
and we took her it's a her by the way we took her to the vets this morning, and she's had one of her vaccines and a tablet to do... something Apparently she's healthy - a little bit thin but fine and healthy, no diseases from what we can tell. I just need to take her back in two days on saturday, give her the rabies vaccine and give her a microchip and then a pet passport as well, all of which is done for less than 25 Euros - I love Serbia for this price.
And her name... is Nova say hello, Nova Nova is a bit sleepy but Nova is very, very loud when she wants to be - or when she doesn't get enough attention. Over the next few days Nova got another vaccination, a microchip and awarded with her new passport. She also learned how to steal food... Nova what have you done This is why I probably shouldn't leave dog food lying around on the tallbike...
silly puppy We had now been at the campsite almost a week. Nova had already made friends with the local dog, and learned that she could bark when she wanted attention. Since we were staying in Negotin longer than planned due to the addition of Nova, we took a day off and drove with Bojan - the camp owner - to explore a nearby village near the border.
Rajak is a small settlement, famous for its wine cellars built almost 200 years ago and also for an ancient graveyard Some of the unmarked tombstones here are thought to date back to the 14th century Sadly both the village and graveyard are not maintained much, and are slowly deteriorating By now I had decided that Nova would join the tour for at least a few weeks, since we couldn't find anybody to adopt her in Serbia. The difficult part was where to put her Luckily, when I designed Mambo's cargo bay in 2021, I managed to make it just the right size to fit a dog carrier in the most protected point on the entire bike So the next day we left Negotin and continued the trip with four extra legs. So it's now about 3 PM. I've already done 50 miles to the top of a mountain basically - or a very big hill - more than three quarters of a mile high altogether... and just taking a break with Nova, giving her loads of water - she's drunk at least half of my water today which is annoying, and I found a shop so I've just got as much as I can for what I could afford because it's the first shop I've seen in almost 40 miles. Nova's doing okay say hi Nova Nova was thought to be two and a half months old when I found her and she was a very curious puppy who wanted to see, smell and chew everything in her view all right we're ready to go down the big hill, aren't we say yes Nova that's good enough for me Here comes the left turn I'm not actually gonna go full speed today because I've got a dog I have to be responsible - and also I don't fully trust my rear brake right now, my front brake does f*** all how are you doing down there little girl? look at Nova awww she's just looking out to see where - she loves watching all this must be a great view to be a passenger, I'd love to do that Good morning, it's now day 76. I'm in - or near - Zajecar, which I can't pronounce,
and I'm aiming to get towards Dragoman for three days from now. Yesterday was exhausting - I had a really bad headache, did about 50 miles but a lot of hills, so hey Nova morning And for breakfast I've got some ham, some bread left over from yesterday that I'm just gonna cut and then we can head off, because it's already like feels like 30 degrees I'm already overheating and I'm just sitting here see you stroke and she just does that instead - which isn't that hard, but sometimes it's harder and we need to teach her not to do it Because it's not good, is it? Hmm? Hmm? Well to be fair I'm usually the one creating the traffic, so it's a good change to be stuck behind it for once... although it's been a while and it's agonisingly slow. Nova is just having a nap down there at the moment. I've been on these terrible cart tracks since 7am, and then after this I've got lovely main roads where the trucks pass you at like 90mph... so today should be fun. Doing this with one hand probably isn't the safest idea but - you
know, I haven't recorded much all week, so yeah here you go. It's now 7pm and I finally got off the cart tracks hey And onto the main roads. Luckily at this time it's not too bad, but the hill I'm about to go up over the next day (I'm not attempting it tonight) is over a mile high - and if you think that looks high... that's literally like not the one, but it is near sunset now so I'm just looking for a nice wildcamp spot with a good view somewhere a bit like... that actually...
I wonder Okay so um, yeah, false alarm. That's all farming land and there is a nice spot there, but the ground is terrible and there's a hut that looks like it could be occupied, so I don't want to get a morning surprise ideally oh, the views Come on Nova, let's do this I missed a good hill, I've already been down that one - I was halfway down, saw the amazing views and was like "ah should have got the GoPro out for this" Hey England, cycling to Turkey I don't speak Serbian sorry we're now getting towards the end of the day. I'm still going up this massive hill, I haven't found any camp spots yet - I'm just enjoying the views to be honest But the sun's already gone down over here because it's over the peaks, so it looks like I'll be setting up the tent in the dark at this rate. Nova says hi Drive carefully: landslide. That's the first semi-english sign I've seen in at least a week
Well - I guess I'll just have to learn to dodge the falling rocks on the tallbike - you excited for that Nova? Let's do it. I see what you mean... hence all the plaques for dead people you know, it's marked that there is a cave like right there - look - Korinatak cave it says - where is it? I think it might be down there, and I'm not taking a detour all the way down there. I was so hopeful to sleep in a cave tonight... I think that's it, but... yeah oh well. Well I don't know if you can see it but there is definitely a little cave up there although I don't think I'm gonna manage to lug Mambo up, so... oh well, no camping tonight in a cave. Don't worry Nova, we're gonna find a lovely camp spot soon... I hope. I've only been searching for two hours
Arghhhh It's just roads here, there's no fields - there were plenty earlier - I found loads of places, but I wanted a spot where I would get a lovely sunrise in the morning - oh my God, a cave... nice but it's not Mambo-able, so... I'm sure that I'll find a campspot any second now. It's like 8:45 in the evening, and I still haven't found anywhere because this is just all mountain, and everywhere is too steep. So on the upside, I'm in this tiny little
town now - so I can find out what's around, maybe a shop. So I gave up, and camped in this small town - this is registered as a hotel like literally right there, but it doesn't look very open. But the locals seem to think that it'll be fine if I just pitch on this bit of grass here opposite the cafes and restaurants on the main road. ....and now I want to adopt more dogs the one time i get my chocolate to stay cold because I'm not in the sun... and Nova sits on it
Thanks Nova, I was looking forward to having my oreo chocolate cold, but oh well. So on today's episode of random encounters... We've been invaded. And she or he will not leave us alone. She's inside the tent - biting, scratching the dog, the tent - not me: she's quite friendly... but I don't really want him to give whatever - if she has nits (fleas) or anything to the dog, and plus she's annoying and ripping apart my gear. I chased her away three times, and she comes straight back - locals said not to worry. dog? I had a dog. Nova?
s*** Nova? Nova! oh for ****'s sake Get out of my tent... please. Somebody's got to tell him that his name is not Nova, and that he's not allowed in my tent. Get out of my tent - no no no no out - come on, come on out get out of my tent, I'm not picking you up - you probably have fleas - thank you and goodbye. This cat is really asking for it. Go, Shoo no no no no no no not near the tent, you stupid cat get awa- no no no out of the ten- what is your pro- c'mon, you're a guard dog [horrifyingly loud howling all night] Well it's the next day and I did find a cave - not a very big one, but I still have to get up a massive hill (mountain) so I definitely won't be camping here. Plus
look at that floor - I don't think it's really that suitable. I made it to the top of the hill, now I have to go down it. I've got about 15 miles until Pirot, and somebody is whining because I've left her alone for more than 30 seconds. Nova hey Nova hello Who's a sleepy doggy? you've been sleeping all day, haven't you Anyways, let's see how steep this thing is wheee wheeee I was now only a day or two away from the Bulgarian border where I planned to meet a few other travellers who would join for a couple of days. Well you can see the sorts of mountains I'm having to go over at the moment And if you can see it over there - the one I just came over a few minutes ago that one was horrible. And I think - I'm not sure, but I think I'm either going around this one or through it or over it, or - well, I've got to get through it somehow Every time I get passed, I get honked at. Which is usually quite nice,
it just brightens my day a little bit - but when trucks do it suddenly from behind you, with no warning... it scares the living **** out of you. so today I'm in Dimitrovgrad on the border to Bulgaria, and I've been here since yesterday, but it's 3pm and I still haven't set off... because I'm waiting for someone to catch up we're gonna go to Dragoman together today, which is about 15 miles I think Georgia was an Australian bikepacker who had been behind us by about a month since the beginning of the tour - but with the hiatus of adopting Nova, she was able to catch up. So this shows that she's just down the road, so I should be able to see her any second now... and there she is hello wow. yeah, that crossing was just closed I think
We crossed into Bulgaria together with a plan to reach Dragoman that evening and wait for two more travellers to catch up as well, so that we could all ride into the capital together. I'll be okay, yep yeah, go for it it's a bicycle, it's okay Thank you oh great, more borders. oh sh- ... that is dodgy Any questions? yeah they just literally looked at the passport, looked at me put it back; Looked at the dog, didn't care I'm liking Bulgaria so far say hi So we just made it into Bulgaria by some miracle, and as we were warned, the roads here aren't very safe on the way to Dragoman - so this is what we're supposed to be taking - the right hand lane - but the lane we're in is the one for the other direction of cars, but there's literally no space when you have trucks passing on that side, so we're just staying on this side and hoping not to get hit.
We got the Dragoman and Georgia had plenty of fun with Nova while we waited for the other two to arrive The next two months were going to be incredibly challenging but you'll have to wait until the next series to see what happens I've had so much fun creating this series so far, and hope to continue making these videos as we travel around the world so if you have enjoyed these videos please consider subscribing and making a donation to help support us See you next time