Soggy Saturday (that's the polite title for today)
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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Where I stayed
The cycle to the border was steady, we stopped in a final Hungarian bar to splash the remaining coins we had in our pockets. The lady behind the bar smoking away found it very funny that we were stocking up on chocolate bars just to ditch the left over Florents. We got a little uncoordinated at one point and were helped out by the funniest couple we have so far encountered. The old girl was on an electric scooter pulling her husband (one tooth remaining) on his broken down scooter using a piece of string. When she jolted to a stop to help us out, she got a telling off by the big fat husband. In between her very pleasant "Romania, turn left and straight" and "Good bye" she was giving as good as she got to her impatient lump tied on behind
The border police were very pleasant and interested that we had made it from England. They were also very amused, like many this morning, that we were wearing shorts in the cold and rain. Did I not mention the rain, today has been wet and cold, really wet and cold. As we cycled into Romania we were challenged by our first mad dog. He did not go as far to bite the bare leg but gave us a scare none the less. He was the least of our worries over the next few hours. Our introduction to Romania has not been good. The landscape was dull, villages and towns we passed through contrasted sharply with what we have seen previously, even the basic ways of Hungary looked luxuriousness next to the poverty now on show. Dogs roamed the streets, luckily too soaked to show us any interest (for today at least). The worst part of today was the driving. Normally on a bike you have to look out for what is coming behind and hope it gives you a wide enough berth, today it was much more about the overtaking cars ( + lorries + buses) coming at you on the wrong side of the road. We were driven off the road on to the verge on several occasions and my bad language and arm waving escalated accordingly. We will have to look for other routes because that sort of driving is not what we need.
People really sat up and looked today
We limped into Timisoara after cycling about 62 miles, most of it without a stop and on edge with the driving around us. Pavements and roads are battered and with the puddles it was tricky getting into town. We checked into a clean but basic hotel (the receptionist saw an opportunity and stuck on a few quid for the bikes, I liked his style and responded with "whatever, I am cold and wet and want a hot shower".
I hope Romania gets better than today. A night in the crypt with Dracula would have been less of an ordeal than the bike ride today.