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duminică, 12 februarie 2012

Crossing Romania by bike with a friend from Canada in april 2009 ( part 1)

On 17th of april I arrive at Bucharest after an eventful journey in Romania and about 1500km of cycling. Here I cycle with some friends among which Florin Leonte, a cycling trainer, one of the most fervent cycling promoters in Romania. The last 30 km till Bucharest I cycled together with Florin and another 2 cycling friends Horia and Alex.
In the evening I go to Horia Nitu, a friend of mine, a keen cyclist and after a good meal and a few beers, quite late after chatting so much I decide to sleep in his garden in my sleeping bed on an iron bed under an apple tree in full blossom .
Oh, I slept so well, dreaming about my cycling travels. The next morning we snapped a photo with us and that wonderful tree.

It's a grand day for me. After cycling more than 100 000km in the last 10 years, after some memorable bike tours in Europe, after appearing in some important newspapers and even TV reports, I became pretty well-known as a cycletourer in our cycling community from Romania. Therefore one of the most successful patron of bike shops from our country, Mr. Mircea Florescu invited me to Bucharest to give me a great bike.
On 18th of april 2009 is the great day one of the happiest of my life.
I go to one of his bike shops accompanied by Horia, I meet the kind hearted patron, I am verry emotional, and I also meet Dan Mazilu, the editor-in-chief of Mbike, the only one bike magazine from Romania. He snapps photos of me, I'll be a star in the bike magazine. Oh yes!
I receive a Kona Sutra, a bike more expensive than my father's old car. I should have worked hard 10 years in Romania to be able to save money for such a bike.
The generous patron also gives some nice outfit, some special trousers, cycling T-shirts and a crash helmet.
God bless Mircea Florescu! I was a happy young cyling star!

Then I wait a bit till Razvan Anton makes his appearance. He pops out of a cab carrying a super heavy bag. He came by plane from Ottawa, Canada just to cycle with me a couple of weeks. He is such a good friend of mine.
I give him my brand new Kona and I cycle on my old MTB. The first day we cycle just a bit about 40km till the village Luciana where we are allowed to pitch out our tent in the garden of a local businessman on a perfect lawn. Here we eat well and we enjoy some beers. We spend a great evening.

The next day I am impressed by the wooden cart I see in this garden. It was one of my best camping places ever.

After the breakfast we start pedalling. On our way we meet some interesting carts.

It's Easter day, so buck up friend! We stop in a village to make merry with some youngsters.

In a couple of hours we get to Targoviste, an old town with many touristic attractions. Here I catch a glimpse of Chindiei Tower that dates back to XVI century. It's one of the most beautiful bastions from Romania and it is 27m high.

Then we cycle some more 25km till we get to a guest house in Fieni where we spend the night. The next day we start climbing. We will cross the Charpatians soon.

We have to climb a pass that gets to 1100m high. As we climb more the temperature gets chilly but I endure quite well.

After the descent we pass through the most important ski resorts from Romania which are quite long especially Sinaia and the traffic is busy. From Predeal we turn left on a secundary road. We have to climb a few km till we get to another pass. Here we halt to have a dinner in a nice restaurant. We stay on the terrace and we admire the view. We can see the Postovaru massif.

Then we carry on cycling for the accommodation here is very expensive. We have to go down about 15 km on a bumpy road full of potholes and we take risks for it's getting dark and this area is famous for the great amount of bears roaming freely. Finally we get to a safe place where we find a hotel that is quite costly but it can't be helped. We rent a room and we have a tasty dinner.
The next day we are ready for the adventure.

Near the hotel we see a pool full of fish. Here we buy the most expensive bottle of mineral water from all my life.

After less than 30 minutes of cycling we get to Bran where one can see the most famous castle from all Romania.

Here we find a tiny spectacular old church.

After the Moeciu de Jos'touristic village we start climbing and the route is scenic with many hairpins.

We gain altitude soon and we enjoy the gorgeous views. Below us we can see Moeciu de jos village.

Then in the distance we can gaze at the snow-capped Piatra Craiului' massif.

Razvan says my Kona Sutra bike works miracles. We stop to snap a picture with her and the lovely scenery.

After an half of hour of climbing, the weather dramatically changes, bleak clouds are invading the sky.

The storm overtakes us en route and we get under a shelter very wet.

We are lucky to have reached under this shelter and from here we can attend to a terrible hailstorm that lasts only a few minutes. Then all around us we can see plenty of ice.