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marți, 24 ianuarie 2012

Michel Sardou - dedicatie speciala distinsei doamne Mihaela Rusu - cu multe multumiri si recunostiinta

sâmbătă, 21 ianuarie 2012

Tour of Europe by bike 2011 - Part 12 - The French Alps (SAVOIA)

By turning down the hotel room offer, I have no choice but to keep peddaling through pitch black darkness, on an deserted road, hey... but I have headlights. Passing by some highway, allof a sudden from above, right, I see the shadow of something that looked like imposant peaks,but in fact, after further scrutiny, it turns out they were just huge bolders; so I end up in dream land behind a rock. How wonderful it was. Next morning I realize I slept right next to a "No tresspassing" sign! What a rush!

I have just a short ride along the Arc creek valley, and I enter the wonderful village of St.Jean de Maurienne. Once here, I start exploring around a bit and in a cathedral, I find the tomb of the founder of Savoia: the count of Maurienne, Humbert aux Blanches Mains.

In the same cathedral I discover an interesting bas-relief, depicting scenes from the glorious history of Savoia.

Once inside, I discover the emblem of this legendary state.

While admiring this sanctuary, I hear sublime organ music and I discover the tomb of a bishop or saint of some sort. Again, I fall into a profound spiritual state.

But soon, the moment comes to attack new alpine passes. After a quick snack, I start the ascent towards Col du Mollard. The ride is very picturesques and the traffic is very light. This road leads towards charming resorts.

After a series of spectacular switchbacks, with an average gradient of 9-10%, I enter the alpine village of Albiez le Jeune.

I continue climbing towards Albiez Montrond resort while the view becomes more and more spectacular, slowly filling me with excitement.

The weather is perfect, still, and after a few more Km of climbing, I take my lunch break in a superb alpine meadow.

Not much left on this climb and I arrive at Col du Mollard where I meet a Belgian family having a picnic. We start chatting and the gentleman is snapping my picture for me.

What follows is a few km of descent, through traditional comunities and villages while the view remains as picuresque.

After St. Jean d'Arves I take one more break at a tourist spot, one more dip in some creek, followed by some sun bathing while I ingurgitate some sweets.

A few more Km, and I arrive at the tourist village of St. Sorlin d'Arves. Here I find a very interesting church, which displayed all kind of wires attached to it. While being puzzled by this peculiar display, I snap a picture of some cyclist with a grizzle goatee.

While leaving this village, I tackle a difficult ascent, full of switchbacks. with great enthusiasm, I find out that the La Mauriene area boasts one of the greatest cycling areas in the world: there are 46 routes, totaling a 1,600 Km length and a 43,000 m vertical drop, a real cyclist's paradise!

The weather is perfect for cycling and taking pictures. The luck is on my side again. I meet a lot of cyclists. Whoops, there goes the cyclist with the grizzle goatee again, I pass him, even though I am carrying 20 more Kg. He does not seem to be in the greatest of forms, or maybe I was in the shape of my life. I am in my element and I am on cloud nine!

After I climb a few more Kilometers, I stop and eat a can a tuna, followed by a cake, while admiring the mountains surrounding me. It is so beautiful!

While continuing my peddaling, I have the chance to spot a marmot, whose den was right by the road. I get close to within a few meters and I manage to snap a picture.

As I gain altitude, the view becomes more and more impressive.

As I stomp on the peddals the village of St. Sorlin d'Arves remains behind.

At around 2000m I come across a small glaciar lake.

Soon, I was to arrive at Col de la Croix de Fer (2067 m). Through here, the Tour de France passed not less than 15 times, starting with the year 1947. This pass remains one of the most beautiful in the Alps.

Once again, I meet a lot of cyclists. Once inside the chalet, a lady of Afican origin treats me to a delicious fruit tart and a juice. What follows is more chatting with an older French cyclist, over a glass of wine, while being caressed by the beneficial "rayons du soleil" and surrounded by a magnificient view. After all said and done I snap a pic of the famous "Croix de Fer"

What follows is a dangerous descent, of about 10 Km, into the village of St. Collomban des Villards, where I had the misshap 4 years ago. Philip Deeker, an English amateur cyclist, of many accomplisments, abandoned me because I could not get ready for the 7 AM start after a night spent in the wet tent. Ahh.. resting, eating, drinking some juice, combing through sad old memories...and comes a fellow, a little bit tipsy, poking me with questions. He is a local shepperd,inviting me to sleep at his place, hmmm people here are either very generous or very perverted! I snap another shot of this establishment, for future reference, of this place, a place that motivated me and saddened me, once upon a time...

After a chat and a beer with the shepperd, I continue on, finishing the 12 Km descent back to the Arc creek valley. Here I unpack and strech out my sleeping bag, in a mowed down pasture or field of some sort, close to the village of La Chambre. I had a great rest here, falling asleep under the full moon and gazing at the stars.

--- Copyright 2011 by Claudiu Moga ---
All rights reserved - No part of this material can be reproduced without permission of the author.

Traiasca campionii! - Vive la gloire au velo!

marți, 17 ianuarie 2012

The Paschal Tour 2010 - part 6 (cycling in the great Banat Region)

On my way to Herculane Spa I come across a storage lake.

Then I can admire a lovely karstic zone.

I even spot an interesting cave and on the sheer cliffs I see some gorgeous samples of black pines that can be found only in this region.

7km before entering the spa there is special place under the road where some hot springs flow into a cave. Here the people can enjoy the great beneficial water for free. Of course I made a halt here and bathed a few hours talking to some youngsters.

Then I enter Herculane where I spend 2 days enjoying myself as well as I can.

From here I follow the Danube Defile and then I cross Locvei Mountains and arriving at Oravita, I meet Raul Buhas, a good friend of mine who is a grand cycling champion even if he is very young.
His lovely parents are kind enough to offer me accommodation for 2 nights for free and Raul will be my guide in the region.
We take our bikes and we begin to cycle for he wants to show me the town. Soon we are cought by a pouring rain and we are soaked through in 5 minutes but then the rainbow salutes us.

Not far from the town center we see a very nice tree with spectacular flowers.

Then we visit an old and gorgeous church dating back to XVIII-th century.

We have a long and steady climb till we get out of town and here we find a clear lake.

From here we have to struggle against a very steep slope with gradient up to maybe over 20%. I am very happy to vanquish this climb. I am Pantani Carpaticus, so not quite an usual cyclist. This road gets to a nice chalet where we have a juice and then we return to his flat.

The next day after a fretful night where I could get a poor sleep for I was not used to the bed, we go on another trip, Raul wants to show me the toughest climb of the area and a wonderful monastery. After 10km of cycling we get to a traditional village.

Here we see a lovely orthodox church perched on a rocky hill.

We are entering the Anina Mountains and we begin to climb. Soon we get to an imposing larix tree.

The road narrows down and the landscapes get wilder.

All of a sudden we run into a large colourful and speckled lizard.

I fall in love with the beast, so I take it in my hands and I blow him a kiss. Oh, how cute this salamander is!

Afer setting the reptile free we have to climb a terrible aclivity till we get to Calugara Monastery.

Here there is a waterfall right next to the religious monument.

Then it's time to return home and after one more night in Raul's flat I have to go home.
In a small village not far from Lugoj, in the county of Timisoara, I have the great honour to meet Stefan Hodi and his family, the very best family of cycletourists from all Romania.
He accommodates me one night and makes me feel very good. It is quite a special day for me. The next day I have to take leave of the master Stefan who has such a lovely daughter and cute puppies.

I also have a picture with his son Stefanel who did the tour of Europe by bike when he was still a child accompanied by his wonderful family.

Till home I have to cycle another 130km. This tour lasted 2 weeks and i cycled about 1000km. It was the one of the best Paschal' tours from my entire life.
Long live cycletourism!

sâmbătă, 14 ianuarie 2012

The Paschal Tour 2010 - part 5 (cycling in the glorious Wallachia)

This Jiu's Valley is an important thoroughfare and besides the road there is a railway, too.

For more then 30km the views are amazing. The road slightly descends following the river's course.
Here there are the historic boundaries between Transylvania and Wallachia.

After pedalling 24km from Petrosani we get to Lainici Monastery. This is one of the best cinobitic communities from Romania.

The old church has glamarous wall painting and dates back to XVII-th century.

I am very happy to find here a suggestive painting epitomizing the ladder of life.

Cycling just another one kilometer we run into an imposing cross. It's here that the outstanding general Ion Dragalina was deadly wounded in the First World War.

As we keep on cycling we get to a panel where we find out that rafting adventures are provided for the tourists on this boisterous river.

Soon we get to the small town of Bumbesti Jiu where the Jiu's Defile ends and we meet another friend of Liviu and it's time for a little break.

We take leave of the Middle Carpathians and we cycle on the worst possible strech of road from our tour.

Soon we get to the municipality of Targu Jiu, the main town of this county of Gorj.

From here we cycle on a tableland type of terrain with numerous ups and downs. Suddenly we are flabbergasted by an awe-inspiring phenomenon of nature. The sky seems to be illuminated by 2 suns.

We get hungry and we come to a stop at an interesting restaurant to have a decent meal.

Then we carry on cycling, the night overtakes us again and we continue cyclling till Baia de Arama where we find a cheap guesthouse that has only one big bed in our room but after a tasty dinner and a few beers and over 150km we manage to sleep very well.

The next day, we have a big climb, we have to beat the Godeanu Pass(1050m). It's a long and tiresome climb but the real obstacle is a steady drizzle that has soaked us through till the pass where we are lucky to find a rustic restaurant.

Here we can dry our wet coats beside a hot stove and we enjoy some good sour tripe soup and tasty red wine. Long live our bike trip!

Soon we have to go and we have to cycle another 36km till Baile Herculane, but it's going to be a long descent.

After a few kilometers we get to a huge rock where we take another picture of us.

The scenery is admirable. It's a pitty the weather is nasty.

But we are thrilled to cycle down the Cerna Valley on such a splendid route.

Soon we get to the county of Caras Severin where we meet fruit trees in bloom.

Here we make a halt at a restaurant for it's time to eat something.
Here we decide to separate for I want to prolong my trip with a few days and Liviu has to hurry to Timisoara for his holiday will be over soon and his office' job is awaiting him.

Thank you Liviu for this magnificent trip together!