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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cross-Border Swims On The Danube

Courtesy of Canah along the Danube River, Germany.

Romanian Avram Iancu continues on his scheduled 60-day stage swim of 2,860 km along the Danube River through Europe.

The 41-year-old librarian from Petrosani, Transylvania started his stage swim from Donaueschingen in the Black Forest in Germany. He is now heading into Day 59 as each day is a dynamically different replication of the day before.

Day 55 on August 13th

Iancu swam 26 km in total, reaching the 1085 km milestone at the end of the day. He had to put a lot of effort into today’s swimming as he was passing the last lake in Serbia. Using freestyle, Iancu was feeling determined despite the cloudy weather. However, towards the end of the day, he experienced a very pleasant surprise: a Serbian triathlon competitor tracked him down via the online GPS coordinates and expressed his interested in swimming a little with Iancu. "This gave me another boost and we both swam together the last 4 km. Only 9 km away from the Romanian border."

The distance traversed on the Danube from Day 1 to Day 55: 1,776 km

The distance remaining to be covered on the Danube: 1,084 km

Day 56 on August 14th

Iancu swam another 26 km today, reaching the 1059 km milestone and the Serbian border before entering Romania. The last 10 km were rather difficult because the Danube is extremely wide – approximately 3.5 km – therefore, it is also quite still. A strong wind has been blowing all day and the waves hit Iancu from the front were there once again.

I could see Romanian land in front of me pulling me towards it like a magnet so it felt quite easy swimming today, despite the strong waves. It has been such an emotional day for me, being so close to my country. The triathlon competitor joined me again today for the last kilometers and we have developed such a nice friendship. We had to stop for the border control - the Serbian officers have been very nice and let us camp here overnight. After swimming through 6 countries and 4 capital cities, I will finally reach my home country tomorrow.”

The distance traversed on the Danube from Day 1 to Day 56: 1,801 km

The distance remaining to be covered on the Danube: 1,059 km

Day 57 on August 15th

Today has been a magical day for Iancu. He cleared the Serbian border in the morning and swam to Moldova Noua on the Romanian border. “There are 11 km between the two border control points and I swam this stretch with much enthusiasm. Two boats came to meet me here and I could feel the excitement of the Romanians waiting for me to enter the country. I was extremely surprised and all my expectations were highly exceeded – over 1000 people were waiting for me there.

It was such an intense moment, all the pains and worries went away and instead, I felt full of positive energy. I realized that I am not only doing this journey for myself, but also for my country and for humanity at large
.

He went to the shore and, as the Romanian officers were expecting him, the paperwork for entering the country was done very quickly. Iancu jumped back into the water and swam towards the thousands of people on the shores. He waved at everyone and they started clapping as he swam by.

It meant so, so much hearing all those people appreciating what I was doing. I finally went back to the shore, touched the Romanian ground and made sure to thank everyone present there as well as my team and my sponsors. Canah representatives have always been fully by my side. The mayor of Moldova Noua was there as well as other officials from nearby towns. I felt so overwhelmed by all this support. I was also reunited with my family, including my daughters whom I’ve been away from for so long… I couldn’t continue swimming today as I had to spend time and take pictures with everyone coming to welcome me. I look forward to starting again tomorrow. I am so full of energy and positive vibes.

The distance traversed on the Danube from Day 1 to Day 57: 1,811 km

The distance remaining to be covered on the Danube: 1,049 km

Day 58 on August 16th

After leaving Moldova Noua, Iancu swam the first part of the day through a very wide Danube. As he approached his ground team, he was pleasantly surprised to see his family swimming towards him for another quick reunion before they left for home.

It was terrible saying goodbye to my family, especially to my daughters, who were literally clinging onto me. However, my masseur has joined the team and I really want to thank her for doing such an amazing job – these massages are so important. My shoulders and joints are in less pain now.

As Iancu is approaching Romania’s first dam on the Danube, the waters are again quite still and difficult to swim through. Whilst most of the day they enjoyed warm, sunny weather, they had to stop and wait in the cars when a sudden storm hit. Due to all these hurdles and events, Iancu only swam 17 km today. “I have to keep on fighting until I reach the Black Sea. I reached the 1033 km milestone and all the festivities are behind me now. I will be in the water at 7 am tomorrow and I hope to reach the 1000 km milestone. I feel very determined to keep pushing forward.

The distance traversed on the Danube from Day 1 to Day 58: 1,827 km

The distance remaining to be covered on the Danube: 1,033 km

A report on his stage swims between Days 1-9 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 10-13 is posted here.
A report on his stage swim on Day 14 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 15-16 is posted here.
A report on his stage swim on Day 17 is posted here.
A report on his stage swim on Day 18 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims on Day 19-20 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 21-23 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 24-27 is posted here.
A report on his stage swim on Day 28 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 29-32 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 33-35 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 36-41 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Day 41-44 is posted here.
A report on his stage swims between Days 52-54 is posted here.
A report of his stage swims between Days 55-58 is posted here.
A report of his stage swims on Day 59 is posted here.
A report of his stage swims on Day 60-62 is posted here.
To follow Iancu on Facebook, visit here.

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