12 August 2011

It is about 30km east to pick up the DN7C at Curtea de Arges. It’s an enjoyable ride with a good concentration of horse and cart to contend with. Three motorcyclists going in the opposite direction give me the customary left hand wave. It’s a good sign that I’m finally headed in the right direction.

At Curtea de Arges I turn left onto the DN7C, bypassing the centre of this small town. No time for sight seeing. I have only one purpose now. No more turn off’s, just stay on this road and go over a mountain pass which is almost directly north of my current position. At the other end of the DN7C I’ll be a stones throw from Sibiu where my morning began so well.

The DN7C takes some time to get going though. A few more small towns pass by and the road starts to follow another river. The campers and naturists start to appear. There are guesthouses and food stalls by the roadside. The road starts to twist and climb. This is more like it.

The first landmark of note is Lacul Vidraru. The road crosses over at the dam wall and follows the eastern side of the lake. The road surface starts to deteriorate with many potholes camouflaged by the filtered sunlight making its way through the forest canopy.

The actions of other motorists become unpredictable. They slow unexpectedly and go in any direction to find the smoothest possible path through what has now become a pothole minefield. There is no respect for the centre line which is regularly crossed. Corners are getting tighter and the road continues to climb.

I’m now acclimatised to this type of road and this is heaps easier than if it were raining. I try to give the cars a wide berth and make steady progress up the mountain. Other motorcyclists are making their descent. Taking the left hand off the bars to give them a wave while negotiating a tight bend could be treacherous – but it is courteous to respond to their friendly gestures.

Most of the bikes are of the Massey Ferguson variety although a couple of sports tourers and cruisers appear from time to time. Definitely no sports bikes. This road is just not good enough.

After some time the road improves. The traffic thins as I climb past 1,500 meters and emerge from the forest. The views are spectacular. Not far to go now.

A tunnel some 800m in length takes me through the very top of the mountain. As I emerge from its darkness street stalls selling food and souvenirs appear. Pedestrians, cars and motorbikes are everywhere. There is a café but parking spaces are scarce. Clouds envelope the mountain and then clear for a few moments to reveal the spectacular beauty of the mountain lake and rugged summit.

Time to give the Family Truckster a rest and get that camera battery charged.

Update: I managed to get a bit of charge into my camera battery over lunch.  It would do for a few photos now and some on the way back to Bucharest. Luckily I had my Go-Pro charged and filming all the way up and back to record this eventful and spectacular leg of my Turkey motorcycle tour.