Crossing into Romania was a breeze. I rode over the bridge that separates Bulgaria from Romania and midway over the Danube river noticed the signal welcoming me to a brand new nation – ROMANIA!
After crossing the bridge and biking onto Romanian soil, I then pedaled as much as the Romanian customs and passport patrol cubicles. And not using a phrase I handed over my passport the place two males sitting inside a cramped room typed away at their computer systems, stamped my passport after which handed my documentation again to me. I used to be in!
Moments later I used to be being pulled over by the police. The 2 fats officers inside their tiny white automobile pulled up beside me and mentioned one thing to me in Romanian. I don’t know what they mentioned.
“Do you need to see my passport?” I requested the driving force.
He mentioned one thing again to me whereas making a movement along with his fingers, however once more, I had no concept what he was saying, so I handed him my passport anyhow.
The driving force eyed the passport, confirmed it to his fats accomplice within the passenger seat, flipped by the pages a bit after which handed the passport again to me. The 2 males mentioned one thing to one another, shrugged their shoulders and returned to me with one other lengthy line of Romanian. Not understanding what the 2 males mentioned, however anxious to get away from them, I simply mentioned, “Thanks” earlier than throwing my leg again over my bicycle and pedaling off. I half anticipated them to cease me once more, honk, or yell at me to come back again. However they by no means did. I used to be free!
Romania regarded precisely the best way I believed it was going to look. This lengthy row of practically similar (however completely different coloured) automobiles within the photograph above just about sums up my expectations. However the additional I went down the highway, the extra I started to see the panorama change.
After lower than an hour contained in the nation I hit my first filth/gravel highway and I had no concept how lengthy the off-road situations would final. In the long run, it took me practically three hours to journey about 40 kilometers down the filth and gravel highway that you simply see within the photograph under. Despite the fact that this highway was bumpy and infrequently very tough to navigate, the great factor was that it was flat and there have been hardly any automobiles on the highway in any respect.
As soon as the filth/gravel highway ended I discovered myself biking on a really flat and easy asphalt highway. The roads in Romania are surprisingly nicely maintained (after they really paved).
In a small village the place the highway took a pointy flip to the proper I made a rapid cease at a retailer promoting ice cream out of a freezer. Utterly off my bike and with my head half-way within the freezer, I heard a honk from behind me. After I regarded up, I noticed one other Romanian police automobile parked simply toes from the place my bicycle was parked. I jumped a bit as the driving force waved me over.
With two unpaid for ice lotions in my fingers, the driving force once more mentioned one thing to me in Romania, which I couldn’t perceive. He made an indication along with his fingers as if he needed a paper – cash maybe? (I had been warned that the police in Romania, Moldova and Ukraine will usually instances cease international vacationers and attempt to get cash from them for no purpose.) Conscious of the truth that they is likely to be in search of a bribe, I made a decision to play dumb. When the officer started rubbing his thumb and fingers collectively, I pretended to don’t know what he might be asking for. I attempted at hand him my passport as I had performed with the opposite cops earlier within the day, however he didn’t need to see it.
Lastly, I began pointing up the highway within the route I used to be heading. “Brasov!” I stored saying. “I’m biking to Brasov.”
The officer appeared to be getting uninterested in me at this level. I couldn’t perceive him and he couldn’t perceive me. So once more, I simply mentioned, “Thanks” earlier than turning round, grabbing my two ice lotions and going contained in the store to pay.
Inside the shop I may see that the proprietor of the store had been watching my altercation with the police from a tiny curtained window. The younger man had a wierd bug-eyed expression on his face as I entered. He appeared to be nearly afraid of me. I paid the person for my ice lotions, smiled after which returned to my bicycle exterior. Sadly, the police had been nonetheless there – nonetheless watching me – simply sitting of their automobile, which was not more than a meter away from my bicycle.
Attempting to disregard the policemen, I turned my again to them as I approached my bicycle, shortly put the 2 ice lotions inside my handlebar bag, jumped on my bike and pedaled off down the highway.
As I cycled down the highway, I may hear the police automobile zip away in the wrong way. 100 meters down the highway I took a fast look again to see if I used to be being adopted, however the police automobile was gone and I used to be alone as soon as once more.
Autumn is clearly right here and the times are getting shorter. I really feel this increasingly more every day that I’m on the highway. Someday round 6 PM I started to search for a spot to sleep. However the highway was flat and there have been hardly any bushes or bushes to cover behind. So I simply stored biking. I cycled right into a small city the place I ended to get some provisions for the evening at a formidable grocery store buzzing with Romanian consumers. I locked my bicycle up exterior and received a very good starring at from the safety guard inside the shop as I walked round in my grubby bike shorts/jersey whereas selecting out some tomatoes, lettuce, Snickers bars and water.
Again on my bike, my one and solely thought was that I wanted to discover a place to sleep. The solar was setting and I may inform that there was a storm on the best way. I wanted to discover a place to arrange my tent… and I wanted to seek out it quick!
After biking by a small city I turned left onto a bumpy asphalt highway after which made one other sharp left up a muddy filth highway coated in trash. Pushing my bike up the steep filth monitor to the highest of the hill, I knew once I reached the summit that I had discovered what I used to be in search of. Earlier than me was a big tree-covered hillside with nobody round and dense inexperienced woods for so far as they eye may see. I cycled about 1 km down a not often pushed filth highway after which pushed the bike on foot a pair hundred meters again into the bushes the place nobody passing by may simply discover me. It was right here that I arrange my tent and unrolled my sleeping bag. Simply moments later the skies grew darkish and opened up in large downpour – a rainstorm that may final for the following twenty hours and hold me trapped inside my tent for the following day-and-a-half.