Heading into bad weather in the mountains of Romania
He, and his wife, and their granddaughter are delightful! His wife speaks a little English; her older brother lives in NYC. The lady that arranged this told them I came from Portugal, which is true, but confusing < grin >. I'm happy to be here and not riding in the rain on a holey, bumpy, road where I'd get splashed a lot and have to worry about what was under every puddle!
While I was waiting for the rain to end at the restaurant, I refigured my route and, with maybe a half day's extra time, came up with a better set of stopping points. Of course those depend on stopping at major cities, and now I have stopped at a small town...
Beautiful and rustic, Romania
Fields on a hillside, with a man working in them
Highway 12, which I rode for most of the day
Bumpy, but very nice riding
And yes, that is a horse drawn wagon coming my way
Once out of the urban area, I was on an expressway ,Romanian style. That means everything from horse drawn wagons to very fast cars use it. As another tourist who had ridden across Romania reported, it is normal here for a bicycle tourist to pass slower vehicles. On that expressway, which is a four lane concrete (thump-thump) road, I was cruising at 15 to 20 mph for the first hour of my riding day. Then I turned off on highway 12, which is a normal road, and my speed range dropped to 12 to 15 mph. Some of that is because highway 12 isn't as flat as highway 11, the expressway, and some of it is because Highway 12 is much bumpier. Highway 12 is also much more fun to ride.
The center of Miercurea-Ciuc, the biggest town on my route today
note the poor quality of the pavement
Most of the pavement in Romanian towns is worse than this
A beautiful church near the center of Miercurea-Ciuc
A typical street scene away from the center of Miercurea-Ciuc
The car with its brake lights on is a Dacia
This model is, by far, the most common car in Romania
Coming into Baile Tusnad
Highway 12 near Baile Tusnad looks like a mountain road
Racu is a small town about 20 km past Miercurea-Ciuc. By the time I got here the rain looked serious and I was in serious need of real food - I'd had two 'hot dogs' and a liter of Coke near Baile Tusnad, and my tummy wasn't happy - so I stopped at a 'rustic' restaurant that also had the room sign. They weren't serving a meal at 4:30 PM, but I did get a beer, a basket of bread, and a large bowl of good soup.
After eating, I brought my computer in and asked if I could use it there. That is when I changed my route and also when I created the images for this web page. That took and hour or so and the rain was still coming down. Then I asked about a room and, well, I covered that part at the beginning. I went back to the restaurant for supper. It was a fixed menu, which was heavy and not too exciting. My tummy, after the hot dogs, would have been better served by something lighter. The lady that runs the restaurant asked me if I was coming back for breakfast, and when I said I was, said I could pay for it all in the morning. I don't know what, or if, she charges for room location, but I'll be happy to pay it.