Crossing Romania to the Black Sea

The Transfagarasan, Romania, May 2014

It’s been an odd couple of days, with some amazing riding as well as my first bad experience.

The campsite near Paulis was nice, and the time there relaxing. Thursday morning I hit the road, fully kitted out, and resumed my journey eastwards.

From Sebes I picked up the Transalpina road heading south into the mountains. Weird indeed. Initially it was all very nice, with undulating corners snaking alongside a river. Then the road surface changed. In fact, the road surface disappeared.

Pot holes. Pot holes would be an understatement. I couldn’t navigate around them, I just had to pic the not-too-bad ones and take the punishment… and that’s what happened. The two new tyres hung around the top box came away somewhere along a 10Km section. I scoured the section twice, but they are gone :(. That’s a 200 Euro fuck up on my part for ont securing them properly. Damn it.

All said, that’s all the badness that happened over what turned into 60 miles of muck and mire.

Real muck. Deep muck. Romanians aren’t much into road signs and I seem to have turned off the Transalpina somehow and ended up on a network of trails used only by locals and logging trucks. It was bloody brilliant fun. The new rear tyre (that I managed not to lose because it’s fitted to the wheel!) came through in spades. I even managed a muddy 30+ degree hill climb without incident (some swearing though).

It was a long, hard ride and the bloody trails dropped me back near Deva, west of where I started the Transalpina!

Anyway I made it to the campsite that Heinz suggested, just south of Sibiu, and all was well.

Yesterday, Friday, I still had the self-pity of the tyre-losing-fuck-up hanging over me, so I went for a ride in an effort to move on from that whole thing… and it was a long one.

I headed east again to see what all the fuss is about with this Top Gear road – the Transfagarasan. It all started off a bit non-descript, with good road surfaces followed by bad surfaces. Then the scenery started to grow in majesty, backdropped by a bloody big mountain. This was obviously the target of the ascent.

The road became wiggly-er and decidedly alpine-looking.

Finally I got to see what all the fuss is about. Beautiful scenery – not the road itself as it looks like Romania builds its roads on the cheap. It really was pretty though, and virtually deserted.

As I ascended, however, the snow and fresh/cold air took hold on the road. It was obvious that it had been ploughed just that morning. Finally there were big lumps of snow and ice blocking the carriageway. No problem – I would just move them out of the way. I stopped the bike only to hear someone around the next hairpin (serpentine) trying to get my attention. It was the bloke who was ploughing the snow!

The road was impassable from here so I took a few snaps and left it at that. The view back along where I had come looked eerily similar to Passo delo Stelvio, but less well maintained.

The only thing for it was to backtrack and then continue east.



Intorsura Buzaului

Buzou (Buzao ?)



Constanta (Route 2A)

Mangalia (just north of)

It was a long ride late into the night but the roads were good and the traffic light.

In all the villages I passed through, men would gawp at me, teenage lads would egg me on to rev the engine, young lads would wave and women would ignore.

I wanted to push myself so that I was forced to wild camp again. This is much easier to sort out when it’s dark.

After using the bike/groundsheet arrangement (no tent) I awoke on a patch of unkempt land with the sun rising over the Black Sea. Perfect. Oh, and a big train went right past – apparently I pitched next to the railway line. Oops 🙂

I’ve scooted along the coast this Saturday morning and I’m sat on the beach with a cup of tea. People are getting their shops ready for a day of sunseakers, and I think I’ll tap up one of them for a coffee and some breakfast.

Plan for the day – clean the muddy remnants of Transalpina from the bike.

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