12 August 2011

This road is famous. One of the most scenic and best driving roads in Europe it is claimed. Right from the outset this road had been on my radar.

The days started out perfectly. Great breakfast including two generous slices of chilled watermelon. I’d seen roadside vendors throughout most of Romania selling watermelon and wondered if they were any good. I’m a bit fussy about them. Will devour almost an entire one if it’s right but won’t give it a second look if not. This one was almost the perfect watermelon.

The weather couldn’t be better. Clear blue skies in all directions. Temperature ideal for touring. GPS is set to my pre-planned route and I’m off.

About 30 minutes out of Sibiu I stop to refuel as I doubt there will be many petrol stations on The Transfăgărășan (DB7C). I can see the mountains that I will soon be riding over in the distance, their peaks shrouded in white cloud. They look spectacular. Better get some photos while I’m stopped.

D’oh! Some damn fool forgot to recharge the camera battery and it is completely flat. This is not good. I take some shots with my phone. Will just have to make do with it today.

That’s very average.

Maybe I can get some charge into the camera battery when I stop for lunch at the top of the mountain. Good plan – time to get back on the bike.

The road surface is very good and there are a surprising number of trucks going in both directions. The road follows a river so is reasonably twisty in parts and the scenery is interesting but not what I would describe as spectacular. And when will the climb begin? And why are there so many trucks? And why aren’t there any other motorcyclists?

It is still an enjoyable ride and maybe the climb and spectacular scenery comes soon.

I stop in Ramnicu Valcea to consult my paper map that had been marked up for me with routes recommended by a motorcycle tour guide. I’m definitely on the road suggested but it is highway 7 otherwise known as the E81. The DN7C is further east but almost parallel to where I’ve been riding!

And worse still I’m now past the southern end of the fabled DN7C. I’ve missed it completely. I’ve come all this way and missed the one reason for choosing a route to Turkey through Romania.

It’s not quite midday so plenty of time left in the day.

Time to make a plan.

Update: I remember showing my marked up map to Kalahari George before we parted company on my Turkey motorcycle tour, and he alerted me to the fact that the road marked may not be the correct one.  He was right and I should have listened to him or sought another opinion in the least.  Those who know me are unlikely to be surprised by my inability to listen to him.  Lesson learned but I’ve come this far and just have to do this road – it was not one I wasn’t going to bag!