Friday, September 12, 2008


The train deposited us in Bucharest after a surprisingly good night's sleep. I put together the tandem and we set off into the traffic of an early Saturday morning to find our Gheo and Cosmi's place.

Night Train to Bucharest

We awake to misty rain. We'd been counting on getting breakfast at the monastery and had nothing more than tea. Unfortunately the welcome in the morning to our request for breakfast was less warm than that the previous evening for dinner.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Though it wasn't our last day it felt much like it. We needed to organise to get ourselves and bike back to Bucharest. It hit home just how difficult this could be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


After a difficult couple of days we figured that we could give ourselves a slightly lazy day. We washed clothes, I tighten bolts etc on the bike which had also had a pretty tough time, read and visited the monastery which was yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. In the evening we had yet another delicious dinner at the pension.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


No bears found our ridge top hiding spot, though rain on our tent roof and the occasional falling branch brought us out of our light nervous sleep. The rain had partially filled the pots and cups that I'd left out the previous night so we had a warm cup of sweet tea. We packed up and headed back the way we'd come.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mountains between Humor & Sucevita

We left Voronets having been wowed by the monastery and with plans to see more of the same. The idea being to go North via another monastery and cross the mountains to Sucevita.We'd been told that the direct road had been cut by the terrible rains of the earlier part of the summer. However we figured that we ought to be able to make it with the tandem. Things turned out a little different.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We were looking forward to this as our first visit to one of the famous Buchovina monasteries. Which was a gem. We'd decided to try out staying at a cazare, a room in someone's home. We struck gold! We stayed in the house of an old couple. Our room was pure 1950s! That evening we had a nice dinner overlooking the vallery.

Distance 89 km
Time 5 hours 35 minutes
Position N47°31.383 E25°51.862

Saturday, September 6, 2008


We found a lovely camp site after a long bumpy ride through a village. It was in a large clearing in a forest and just after we set up camp a local came through collecting firewood, and later a shepherd took his flock through the clearing.

Distance 83 km
Time 4 hours & 51 minutes
GPS position N 47°31.376" E 25°51.854"

Friday, September 5, 2008


Today was designated as a rest day. We got up a bit later, had a nice breakfast, did some washing and went walking. I ought to say that we intended to have a rest day but it turned out to be much more energetic than restful.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


We awoke having not been spotted by either a bear or a park ranger and had a slightly chilly breakfast. The sun didn't reach into the deep gorge until after we left. Before heading off we took a stroll up the road that we'd camped beside and it gave us the idea to spend a day walking soon.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bicaz Gorge

We did some climbing today, covering our second col of the trip. This one being 1256m in height. We had arrived in the Carpathian mountains! It was a lovely climb up a lightly trafficked road. Along the way we overtook two Slovak cyclists with considerably less luggage than we were carrying.

We passed by Lacu Rosu, a site that our Lonely Planet raved about but unfortunately left us rather cold. It was an odd place in the middle of the mountains but without the sense of clarity that ought to come at such a place, it was a sordid spot. What we found was an odd lake with a bunch of tree stumps sticking out of it, surrounded by rubbish and insensitive development, to add to this it seemed the sort of people who came were not the walker types. We left quickly after realising that there were no wild camping possibilities in the area. It was getting late when we arrived at the top of the Bicaz gorge which was gorgeous. Fortunately we quickly found a suitable wild camping spot down a side road that would leave us the greater part of the gorge to look at in the morning when we'd be more appreciative of the natural wonders around us.

Distance 84km
Time cycling 5 hours 48 minutes
GPS position N 46°48.393" 254480.423"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The day didn't start so well. Getting travellers cheques cashed took a long time as did our search for a pump to replace the one that we'd lost on arrival.

Monday, September 1, 2008


We continued through an area of Romania that was until quite recently inhabited by Germans. They were brought in as colonists in the 13th century by a Hungarian overlord to what was virtually unbroken forest to secure what would have been the border with the Turkish empire. They built towns and villages in which a central feature was a fortified church.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


We finished putting together the tandem and baggage and headed off to see Bran castle. The centre of Bran village was given over to tourism, and despite the extremely tenuous link to Vlad Tepes, on whose character Dracula is said to be based, the souvenir shops were filled with Dracula merchandise.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


We arrived in Bucharest not knowing what to expect. We'd contacted a couple through the Warm Showers List in order to have a place to leave the box which protected the tandem during the flight there and back. What we got was so much more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preparation for Romania

The trip to Romania is getting closer and closer. On Saturday I hauled home a huge cardboard bike box hoping it would fit the tandem.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Terracota Warriers

The whole World was impressed with the display at the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing. Though personally I found the reports of the cost somewhat disturbing, if correct the national debt of many a country could have been paid off in a stroke. Of course the purpose of the event was to show the World that China had arrived as a power on the geopolitical stage.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Warm Showers List

In the last couple of months we've had quite a few guests. I'd been thinking of making a deposit or two to the karma bank after a long period of being in debt to it. I became a member of the warmshowers list a couple of years ago but only just lately ticked the box which said that people could stay. The warmshowers list or WSL is as it suggests a list of people who can offer a passing touring cyclist a warmshower and a place to sleep or who want one themselves. It must be wholey offered without fee. Within a short period we had requests coming in.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter in the Ardennes

During an early Easter Freddie and I took a spin on our Christmas purchase, a second-hand 20-year old Vittorio tandem. We'd been out with it on day trips from time to time. I was a bit nervous about it as most of the time we went out something broke on it, this trip was no exception but we got through nevertheless and had a great time too!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Back again!

After a very long time away from the blog I've decided to come back!

The last year and a bit has been very full of events.

After a brief period but very pleasant time in Geneva I am back in Amsterdam, back at UPC and have been so since the beginning of 2007.