Norwich – Mamaia

5,500 miles to the Black Sea resort of Mammia and back

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Lacrosse to Le tunnel sous la Manche

This is the second year I’ve been to Bluesfest. The festival went well, my team got beat mostly my premiership sides and I ended up with a few bruises, but at least I got a chance to test out my new camping gear.
First impressions of the tent (an OhVee tribe 2-man tunnel tent £38) were not good. One of the poles of the tent frayed on the first day and the zip broke on the front door. All that was on the Friday when setting up.

On the road

The crossing was over pretty quickly, it was smooth but not particularly pleasant, and anyway I was now in France and riding on the wrong side of the road for the first time. In fact I didn’t even notice the difference. The autoroute was billiard table smooth and very quiet compared to UK motorways. I arrived in Dunkerque after a while and stopped to set-up my Sat Nav.

Czeching out the Republic

Köln to Prague is over a 6 hour ride on the autobahn, when breaks and fuel stops are factored in this becomes well over 8 hours. Add to that a stop off in Nuremburg, and the girlfriend deciding to go underwear shopping and you’ll be lucky to make Prague by 10pm, which is about when we arrived.

Church of bones

Originally Kutna Hora was supposed to be a day trip from Prague, but since it was on the way to our next destination we decided we would stay there for night. I went to retrieve the bike from the hostel garage only to find that the battery was completely flat. Within a 35 meter space, I manage to run with it, jump on and kick it into 2nd before grabbing a handful of front brake to prevent me from going to the wall, just a few meters away. Anyway, the bike started and was ready loading.

Invading Poland

We left Kutna Hora around mid-morning and set off on the 6+ hour ride to Krakow. I was pretty excited as I’d been wanting to visit Krakow for many years but never made it there on my Interrail trip.

Krakow to Budapest

During the last night in Krakow it seemed as though the bike had managed to jump off its stand and then picked up by a passer by. I noticed it was missing the top the clutch leaver and the indicator lens was sitting on the tank. Neither of them were anything too much to worry about. Ignition on, run, jump, 2nd vroom!! Time to load up and head for Budapest. I had checked the battery over and found it was completely dry – oh dear. I stopped off and topped it up at the first fuel stop.

Budapest or bust

Typically most of our time in Budapest was spent seeing the sights and heading out drinking. We paid a visit one of the many Turkish baths, and managed to kill a whole morning/afternoon there. Budapest has a number of huge shopping malls, and true to form I was dragged around every one of them.

Lake Balaton

We arrived at Lake Balton around 6pm, and had no trouble finding our pre-booked accommodation. The GPZ decided to leaped off its stand but no damage was done. We wasted no time at all cruising down and jumping in the water. With an air temperature still over 30c the 24c water actually felt quite cold, but was amazingly soothing after riding around in the searing heat.


After a couple of days chilling in the sun it was the end of the road for my girlfriend, she was due fly back so this would be our last ride together of the holiday. We made the airport in good time 1.5 hours from Balatonfured and said our goodbyes. While it was sad to see her go, we‘d had a great time and was looking forward to riding solo for a while and being able to sing/talk to myself inside my helmet (without rider/pillion radio).

Romanian run

I was pretty exhausted so went to sleep early that night knowing i’d have an early start the next morning. I loaded up the bike, said goodbye and headed off. The guy at the campsite mentioned that Bucharest was only 200KM away but it would take around 4 hours, that’s fine but I needed/wanted to go to Brasov first.