On the road in Romania

Trip Start Jul 22, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the road in Romania

We are no longer the slowest vehicle on the road! That belongs to the horses and carts, filled with hay or people who are oblivious to passing juggernauts. Romanian roads are a challenge. If you are lucky there are two lanes but the inside one is half a hard shoulder. We are expected to stay here to allow cars and lorries to overtake. However, this lane is also often occupied by horses, carts, parked cars and people selling fruit so you've got to be ready to swerve.

The road from Oradea to Satu Mare is the worst in the country. It has three types of surface. Rare stretches of smooth black tarmac; old surfaces of melting tarmac and potholes and large parts of the road that are still under construction. These are 15 cm or so lower than the rest of the road and so bumpy and rough that all the cups and plates shake madly on the shelves. We lasted half an hour before we turned back.

We are happy trundling along at 70kmh on flat roads with few stops and no hills. Why then did we decide to cross the Carpathian mountains in Transylvania, not once but twice? First there was an hour of gear-straining climbing up hills on hair pin bends and then another hour with the foot on the brakes on the way down. At one point the brakes threatened to give up altogether so we were forced to stop beside the road amidst pine forests and spectacular mountains. The nearest house turned out to be Hotel Dracula, the castle that inspired the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Lucky enough it was midday and not midnight. We were close to knocking on the huge wooden door to ask for help from the geriatric butler, but the brakes were ok in the end.  Phew close one.

Finally, we are still wondering how it is that the slowest vehicle on the road was given a speeding ticket....

Where are we now?
fb:Wild Thyme Organic Farm & Eco-holiday
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