Monday, 5 June 2017

Romania - Day 1...

I set off on Saturday morning from Cumbria around 7.30am, a few stops en route, saw me pick up some last minute bits for the bikes, then collect JP from his place and finally call into to see my sister before heading away for the whole summer, then it was driving time!

We arrived at Dover early, expecting to have to check the dog through customs, then have the van checked through by customs, but as it turned out, we just got  waved through to an earlier ferry, so was on board for 20.30 hrs, 2 hours before our booked ferry. P&O ferries were slick and really good, so very happy with that!!

The dog was left in the van for the 90 minute crossing, so we had a coffee, then once in France, it was a quick stop for fuel, feed/water the dog, then drive time again. We split the driving, doing shifts all through the next 24 hours, eventually arriving at our accommodation for midnight on Sunday.

Gareth & the boys were well into their beer heads so after a 10 minute rond of introductions and a brief chat, JP & I crashed for the night.

08.15 Monday morning came way to early for me... I was still knackered and not really with it. But excitement at the riding the surrounding hills overrode any caution and so once we were all kitted up, we were off!!

Gareth had gotten chatting to a local lad who wanted to come out with us, they know each other from a few earlier visits and so the route was set with our own local guide. The 'Doc' is actually a vet by trade and very good with his bike!

JP & I were both still hanging and a couple of the boys had hangovers from the night before so it was a sorry bunch that set off first thing.

The one thing about where were are staying is that it is the head of a valley in a village called Poiana Marului, so everything is up from here. REALLY STEEP UP too! Our accommodation is called Pensuinia Florina which is a collection of apartments and a farm. There are a lot of bikes here in the summer and the winter brings the snows, so probably skiing here too.

After crossing the head of the lake on a gravel road we headed off onto one of the single tracks which climbs to the hill tops, steep ascents into a bit flatter ground, then  another steep loose up and so on.

The local lads found it easy as this was their back yard, JP & I were soon off, not used to the heat and the lack of any kind of warm up, plus we're both not the fittest of people these days. Once you've picked your bike up a few times, then you start to feel it and it takes longer to recover each time.

This early in the day was not a good sign for me, so after I slid back into a tree and nearly broke my arm on the 4th attempt at a steep loose section, I called it quits, deciding to take a day of rest, sleep, walk the dog to the river and try to talk to the locals to find out more about their country.

On the return journey, I found a lovely trail that wound along the hillside and went past a lovely little stream, so I stopped for some pics, then did the last bit back to the accommodation.

Getting here, we used 3.5 tanks of fuel in the van, (75 ltr fill ups)  for the 1800 mile trip which cost us:
Fill up 1. UK - £86.00
Fill up 2. UK - £87.00
Fill up 3. Germany €92 / £80
Fill up 4. Hungary - Forint - HUF -  20064 / £57  (352 - £1 exchange rate)

We had no tolls en route but we paid 2 Vignettes, one for Austria - €8 / £6.95 and one for Romania - €16 / £13.91

The ferry cost us £135 for the long wheel base sprinter on a flexi ticket with P&O ferries.

In Romania we picked up 5d litres of petrol for 281 Romanian Lui, (5.23 - £1) = £55

So total spend so far is £520 or £260 each for JP & I.

We'll see what day 2 has to offer but hopefully I'll be more rested after a lazy day and the swelling on my arm will have settled down!.