While waiting at the airport I called around and managed to find a decent place to us to stay that night. The challenge would be getting there with no sat nav coverage, and in the dark. My friend’s flight came in on time and fortunately she had only brought with her a small back pack – awesome. After some skilful navigation and out running packs of wild hell hounds disguised as stray dogs, we checked into the YMCA hostel.
Bucharest was as ugly and disgusting as I remembered, which reminded me why it wasn’t on my main itinerary.
After cleaning up, we chilled out with a beer before getting a reasonably early night.
After breakfast the next morning we packed up the bike and set off for Brasov. As I began to pull away I felt a jolt through the handles. This was accompanied by a large metal clank – oh dear. I feared the worst, and remembered the gaping chasm of a pot hole that almost devoured us on the ride over to the hostel. Eager to avoid another night in Bucharest I jumped off the bike and began to investigate. A guy watering the street and the girl at the hostel had also come to investigate. I looked down to find the disc lock I’d placed on the rear wheel in a multiple pieces on the floor. Great, as if that was ever going to stop anyone stealing the bike. I handed the broken lock to the man watering the street and set off.
Bucharest is that ugly that everyone tires to escape it. Little over 10 minutes into the journey and we are stuck in a multiple mile tail back in 32c heat. We decided to stop and cool down as the bike begins to tell me it needs a drink by excreting more coolant over the floor. When we set off again I decided to be ultra aggressive in filtering and manage to get through the traffic. After that it was an easy 2.5-3hour route to Brasov in what was only Heather’s third time on a bike, the other two times were 15-20minute journeys.
On the way to Brasov there was an annoying truck driver who was pissed off with me at something, maybe overtaking him. He kept needlessly honking his horn and generally peeing me off. I decided to slow down to about 5mph give him the finger then speed off into the mountains.
This part of the trip was all about taking it easy, this was probably also evident in my riding as 2-up i’d managed over 235 miles to reserve. I’d been to Brasov before so wasn’t interested in the sights, though I did take Heather to Bran castle. We met a great bunch of people at the hostel and enjoyed a few drinks over a couple of nights before signed up to go bear watching. Not the most eventful excursion to the edge of the city, but we did get to a couple bears before they were scared off back into the woods by the bear police.
Originally I had planned to go stay in Constanta on the east coast of Romania, but during my research I found that the city’s beaches and waters are not the best. And that staying in the tourist resort of Mamaia would be cheaper (camping) and be nicer overall. Off to Mamaia then.
Eventually I got to use Romania’s only motorway, not first though without going back through Bucharest and getting lost for 30mins. Leaving Brasov late morning / early afternoon, we arrived on the Mamaia strip around tea time. We checked out a number of campsites unfortunately the one with the prettiest girl at the desk wasn’t the best or cheapest so we settled for the first one we’d checked out earlier coming in form Constanta.
While the campsite didn’t look pristine with plush green grass and amazing facilities (like Klon) it was adequate. I spent some time looking for the perfect spot in between two trees. There was another tent (if you could call it that) next to mine which was in a better sport. I enquired with some the other campers if anyone was still using this as it was literally a tent carcass folded over a piece of string between some trees. A family two tents down informed me it belonged to some crazy woman – great.
Despite my list of what to bring, in an effort to carry only hand luggage Heather had not brought any camping gear at all, so it was off to the shops for a lilo and a large penguin patterned towel.
The campsite was right on the beach and about 100 metres from Club Lite which on the weekend we realised played its electro beats until 7am, still it didn’t much matter as I am able to sleep under any circumstances. Heather on the other hand found that a sticky pink lilo and cheap towel under 37.5c (day) heat isn’t the most comfortable sleeping arrangement.