Biking in Romania
fourth report of Dave, 08.16.2007-08.18.2007
Dave's biking in Romania continues - the same as his reports. I'll let Dave speak cause he's doing great. You won't see much of my comments on this page. I never "walked" these parts of the countryside myself and I already told you I'm not a biker. So, I have mostly used the main roads or the train between Sibiu and Alba Iulia.
he last update on biking in Romania was from an Internet cafe in Sibiu the evening before I left there.
I am now in Alba Iulia.
The fourth stage of Dave's trip
When I left Sibiu I spun west on highway 7, then turned north to Loamnes, then onto Pauca. At Pauca I met the "Birhala" family, Sorin, Andrew (early 20's, speaks English) and their parents Gicu and Elisabeth. They are poor but sooo generous. I had dinner with them, they put me up for the night, then breakfast the next morning. Helped feed the pigs and then even hooked up their horse and cart and they showed me how to drive it! What fun. A highlight of the trip for me.
I have to comment on this. In fact, I want to emphasize that you should not avoid the countryside of Romania. Maybe you won't have the best hosting conditions (separate bathroom, hot water) but the people are great. You'll have an unforgettable, interesting experience.
Then I left and spun to Rosia de Secas, south to "Spring" and then into AI (Alba Iulia). When I got here I thought "oh no, this does not look good". All I saw was industrial stuff. Made my way west until I was on a kind of residential street. Two young men were just getting into a car. Asked if they could tell me where a hotel was. The said "Follow us! We will go slow for you". So I followed them to a nice upscale hotel. They waited while I got settled, then we all had a beer and they eventually dropped my off at a nearby Italian cafe when I told them I would like some pasta. Again, great fun.
Alba Iulia can be just a little town for a foreigner. But it has a crucial importance for Romanian history and in Romanians' hearts. It's a symbol. On November 1599, since the Wallachian ruler Michael the Brave's victorious arrival, Alba Iulia has become the capital of the first political union of all Romanians. It wasn't for long time, that first union. But 319 years later, in the same place, the union was done again. This time for good.
That's the good news. Now the bad news about my biking in Romania trip. I don't know how much longer my (new) bike is going to hold up. There is a problem with the bearing (or bearing carriage) in the crank. Something is moving that should not be and for every full revolution there are 2 loud 'pops'. I found a hardware store today and purchased stuff for a 'mickey mouse' repair which I will try later today. I don't have much confidence in my idea but it looks like my only choice since I can't seem to find a bicycle repair shop. Maybe you could do some research for me and find a good repair shop in some big city. I could take a train there and get it fixed if this attempt at repairing it fails.
I've done some research and sent him few addresses where he can try to fix his bike. Now I'm waiting for his answer.
Highway 7 runs north to Rose de Secas, then to Spring and Alba Iuia and is an absolutely beautiful bicycle road. Some of it is new asphalt, almost all of it is paved. But what a beautiful ride. Very little vehicle traffic.
I'll spend another night here then head west I think.
We was out for a couple of days. Once back, I didn't find a word from Dave in my inbox. I hope that means he handled to repair his bike and now he's back in mountains area. No Internet Café. No signal (or poor) on his mobile phone.
More about Dave's biking in Romania trip after his next update.
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