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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!