Romania - part one

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September 10th 2007
Published: September 10th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

It was late on in the afternoon when we crossed the border onto romania. Wow! Its different. We had a rare afternoon of sunshine and it made it look really good if still desolate. The border crossing was dead, no tat or exchange places here! the border police asked us lots of questions; more out of something to do that worries of border security!!

There followed a kind of 10 mile stretch of no mans land across bare plain before the first romanian villages, and it would have seemed quite eerie were it not for the sunshine.

Planning to stop at the first town, salonta, it didnt look promising to start with. Got some money out, not sure how much cos as usual no idea of exchange rate!! anyway it was going dark and we had passed through the shabby town centre with no sign of pensione or hotel. On way out of town noticed a small sign for a pension, and were well set up for the night at a nice B and B run by this nice old lady with a squad of v friendly cats!! It was encouragingly clean and cheap at 60 leu ( approx12 quid??)

the next day we headed out in the cold drizzle in an eastern direction. The roads were quiet and passed through lots of small villages with not much but horse drawn carrieages, and old ladies dressed in about 10 layers of home knitted cardies!! and slippers! Oh apparently its perfectly acceptable to walk in the middle of the road in romania, and to stand around at the side of the road for no apparent reason. Oh and lots of the blokes have moustaches and leather jackets.

With teeth chattering stopped at a shop after 30 miles of so. There being a complete absence of cafes or anything, we decided the covered area outside the shop would be as good a place as any for lunch of jam and bread. It turned out to be the focal point of the village and there were loads of people in and out, and staring at us!! Two old farmers type geezers with missing teeth stopped for a drink, and we had a friendly conversation (via gestures) about how it was bloody freezing, and how, yes, we had cycled from england!!

Got to town of Beius about 4 ish and had major wimp out by heading for nearest pensione!! Citing reasons for this as rain, cold, and ian not feeling great. Soft git!! I think he knew somehoew that they had eurosport at the pension. Well it was relatively expensive for romania (but cheaper than YHA at home) but the best pension ive stayed in!! had very pleasant afternoon drying out and watching tour of spain. Then sauntered downstairs for pizza and beers!!! quality...

From there decided to head across 100 miles of winding pass road to Turda (yes ians spiritual home as he will be a T'ird cat next year). Again freezing drizzle and 30 miled of uphill!!! Fairly gradual to start with then the pass started for real... 10 miles of steep uphill; had to keep stopping for a sweet..Didnt get to top til 3 when rushed into posh restaurant and had large helping of chicken and chips... yum. or just chips and a large helping of bread for ian!! Thinking we would have a bit of descent then maybe uphill we pressed on.

Wow! what fillowed was 40 miled of descending through a really strange valley. In one aspect it was quite touristy in that there were ski lifts and loads of pensions and restaurants. In other aspects it was just like a scene from Borat film when he visits his home town!!! Some villages had markets and festivals on and were mobbed with people and animals. One town had a stage set up with a band singing traditional romanian songs....Oh and everyone is in the road yet again.

Planned to do 60 miles to Campeni. Assumed woulf\d have no troble finding somewhere to stay. Ha! how wrong. all the touristy stuff mysteriously dried up 5 miles before campeni and we arrived at 7pm is in a really ugly little town, with only a really minging sviet style hotel in the centre. Didnt really feel comfortable as got some hassle from locals too. Werent sure what to do but decided to go on and cycle into night if necessary! Luckily found a pension at 73 miles. Thank god!! Thought we were quite hard til read Chris Es account of his trip to France. Mad..

Had quite easy day today and cruised remaining miles to Turda (you may laugh) Off to find a pizza or revederie!


10th September 2007

sounds like your having a right Romanian time!
Hey jenny and Ian! What an adventure you two are having! Whoevers writing should publish your travelling about fun fun fun! I love cycling at night too! You see everything in a different light! ha ha see ya on a club run sometime soooooooon xxx love Ruthie
11th September 2007

Reviewed your Romanian post with a Romanian colleague in the office. He says he is familiar with your route and the places you are visiting. He also says they are Gypsies in that area. Expecially the multi-layered Old Ladies. So beware !!! Those Gypsies will steal your children. Post a few few pictures so we can confirm conclusively the presence of these Gypsies. We are enjoying your trip so far Cheers Murray
12th September 2007

cheers laura and murray....we have seen quite a few already at the side of the road and been warned already...apparently we go through the heartland of Romas in about 5 days so will have to be ultra on the ball and aware....wish us luck!!
12th September 2007

where to go..
well, if you really want to get a glimpse of romania, try sibiu and centre Transilvania.. I am sure you will love it there:) the centre of romania is great.. have fun!
17th September 2007

Hey ian and jenny just a quick message to say hi and i havent forgot about you both. i havent read your blog yet but weill go and read it sometime soon. havent been on the computer for ages. will write a proper comment soon. love tara xxxx ps cant believe you have kept up to date with the blog thing welldone. pps thank you so much for the bday pressie. i was well impressed you had got me something. its really nice too. you are both very oprganised arent you?
24th September 2007

Ian's nearly 30! ha ha!
Hey Dudes! Ok managed to read your blog eventually! Romania sounds good fun! reading it really makes me want to go on tour like you guys. ian i cant believe your nearly 30! Im twenty and its scary! i just keep calling myself twenteen! he he he! hope you have a good bday if i dont message you by then! When you come home you can come up to lancaster and have a night out! Youll both be able to reminisce over your student life! just got a week being at home now. going up to windermere tomoz though to visit clare and andy for a night. they are staying in a 4 bedroom lodge. dont know whether we will get up to much though cos the weather is a bit poo! it seems like winter is drawing in now and its chilly! Whats been your fav country so far??? xxxx miss you both! xxxx
26th September 2007

tara you nutter...
tara you not 30 till next year...its amazing that all the Stottkins are in their 20s for a whole year.....going to have a big do next year!!

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