8 August 2011

It’s raining this morning. My eye looks like a “cut me Mick” job. Will it be ok to ride like this?

Check out is not until noon so we have some time to see how the weather shapes up.

I think about going to the pharmacy to get an eye-patch so I don’t scare the women and children of Satu Mare. I’m not sure how riding with one eye effects your perception of depth. But I decide not to more on the basis of how would you ask for this in Romanian anyway. Does “Polly want a cracker” or “shiver me timbers” translate? I bet “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” does!

By mid morning the rain has cleared, the bags are packed and the bike loaded. It sure is steamy now after the early rain and I sweat gallons just getting everything ready. The eye is much the same but fingers crossed it improves during the day.

Kalahari George and I have different itineraries through Romania so we bid farewell and I’m off east. Kalahari George heads south. We might catch up again in Bucharest so he tells me the hotel he has booked just as I pull away. He’ll be relieved to get some respite from me I bet!

Not long out of Satu Mare and I learn about the hazards of the horse and cart. No, not the rhyming slam variety, I mean literally. There are plenty of them. Cars pass them without either a wide berth or hesitation – and this can cause problems for motorcyclists no matter what direction said H&C is going.

They are kind of quaint though. Mostly a single horse but sometimes there are two. Always full grass and whatever else has just been taken from a building site. Must be mandatory to carry a minimum of 5 people at all times. And it does seem they have right of way.

The roads so far have been OK. I’m sure worse are yet to be experienced. My first stop in the hills has attracted the interest of the local law enforcement officers. As I am parked they pull their police van in behind me.

No problems – they are just interested in the bike. But not as much as I am interested in his pistol! He took great delight in showing me the bullets. His English was pretty good and he was kind enough to have a photo with me.

It’s always nice when someone shows an interest in your bike – no matter what bike you own. The common question in Romania so far is how fast does it go? When the police guy asked this I informed him about the speed I have had it on the unrestricted Autobahns in Germany. Everywhere else I always travel at the speed limit, of course.

After our chat I’m off again. It’s not a big riding day today and before long I pull up in Borsa – my scheduled overnight stay. Not much here bit I have a quick wander around and find somewhere for a coffee.

Not exactly a thriving metropolis.

Hope I can find a place to stay

Luckily for me the Motel Rodna does not appear to want my custom (reception is closed) so I head a little further down the road, refuelling for the next days ride on the way.

Just a short way out of town I come across a nice guest house, the Pensiunea Vaduri, so I pull over and make enquiries as to the availability of a room for the night. They can accommodate me so I unload my kit and head upstairs to my room for a shower (Kalahari George told me they always give bikers the top floor and he is right – they seem to take delight in watching you carry your kit up as many fights of stairs as possible). Today I’m also early enough to do some clothes washing – just the essentials – hope they dry by the morning.

This is a very nice place and the cheapest of the trip so far. About 19 Euros and another 3.50 euros for breakfast. Beers were 0.60 euros for a 500 ml bottle and a bottle of wine was just over 3 euros. Good internet access in the dining room so all was well. Did the blog and a couple of videos.

It’s starting to get dark, I need more afternoon sun to dry my washing.

An early night is calling. Hope you enjoy the scenery from the guest house.

Total miles today 117 (188km), cumulative 2,098 (3,376km).

Update: Finding the Pensiunea Vaduri was incredibly lucky.  Not only was it clean and very comfortable it was also exceptionally good value and my room of generous proportions with a rear facing balcony.  It was a little bit out of town, certainly more than walking distance I recall.  Given my earlier stop in down-town Borsa this posed no problem as whilst a quaint town, Borsa was not exactly blessed with restaurants, night-life, historic sights or anything else of much to interest the passing traveller.   Not much English was spoken by the guest house staff but as always we managed to get by.

It was nice also to have some time on my own again for day 12 of my Turkey motorcycle tour.  Even though Kalahari George and I had left on good terms, little did I know what was to come from him over the next couple of days.  Nor did I realise as I updated my blog that evening that we would never cross paths again.