This was probably the most beautiful day - or really half day - of riding I'll have in Romania.
I left my pension after a decent breakfast - four fried eggs and about ten pieces of bread - heading down into Tigur Neampt. It was a bumpy ride and my back was hurting on every bump. My bed, and bed clothes, did not work well for me last night. The sheets were thick and the mattress was not very comfortable. I went to sleep around 10 PM, but woke up, with my back hurting around 11:45. I decided I couldn't sleep without resorting to my camping sleep gear. So I got out my fancy sleeping bag liner and sleeping bag and Mr Pillow-vest and used those on the bed. That helped a lot, and I slept pretty well, but there was damage done and my back was much more of a problem today. Fortunately, on todays route, only the streets in Tigur Neampt were really bumpy. After lunch in Piatra Neampt, my back was less sensitive to bumps.
Terrain view of today's ride
My new water bottle
Starting out from my pension
In Tigur Neampt
Riding through Tigur Neampt was challenging with bumpy streets and a wide variety of traffic including very large logging trucks. However, neither in Tigur Neampt or any other place else today, was the riding experience bad or dangerous. Drivers were courteous and riding was good although quite hilly for the first 8 km or so. After that, it was, between climbs, very easy riding. Today, like everyday on this tour in Romania, I had head/side winds pretty much all day. Sometimes they were strong enough to slow me down, bit mostly they just helped keep me cool.
The really beautiful part of today's ride was the first 40ish km to Piatra Neampt.I knew, from looking at Google maps terrain view, that there would be a lot of climbing in the first part of that section, and then things would get easier. I expected that to be the best part of todays ride, and it was. After Piatra Neampt, riding was basically flat down the floor of a river valley. Riding was easy, but not boring, on that stretch because there were a bunch of different villages along the way.
Storks in Grumazesti
A crowded stork family
Panorama before going down into Grumazesti
Going down into Grumazesti
Riding out of Tigur Neampt was hard because the road climbed a lot. The views were excellent. Then the road did a long fast downhill into a beautiful valley. The small city in that valley, Grumazesti, was really neat and the climb out of the valley was really hard, but the scenery was simply spectacular. It was some of the nicest riding of this tour.
A house in Grumazesti
Pretty valley wall, from part way up the hard climb
Looking ahead from farther up the climb
Looking back down the valley from most of the way up the climb
Sheep grazing near the top of the climb
I talked with a, young, shepherd after taking this image
After climbing out of that valley,there was a gentle, and very long, descent that lasts most of the way to Piatra Neampt. I spun along at about 25 kph for what seemed like most of an hour. When I finally stopped to rest and snack, I had covered about 40 km without stopping other that take pictures. I was tired and hungry. The town I was in, Garcina, just kept going, so I stopped on a concrete platform, in the shade, and in front of a house but with a fence between me and the house. I settled down, refilled my water bottle, made two Nuttela and peanut butter sandwiches and ate a banana and one of the sandwiches. Several people came walking by and said hello to me as I sat there. One stopped and started talking to me. At first we didn't make much progress and he went on to the next house where he as joined by and older friend using a walker. I packed up but, instead of leaving, I rolled my bike over to join them. We ended up having nice conversation in English with some romance language words.
Orthodox monastery near D15
There are lots of monasterys in this area
It is famous for them,
but most are a few km from D15
Hay wagon that passed me while I snacked
He might have caught me on the next hill if
I hadn't stopped, after about 40 km of riding,
to rest and eat. He had a fast horse.
Then I cranked on down the road and, much more quickly than I expected, into Piatra Neampt. Piatra Neampt is a long town stretching down a steep valley. When I got near the centrum, I saw signs for a McDs, but, before I got there, I saw restaurants on the other side of the river and made my way over there for a veggie pizza lunch. Then I rode on towards Bacau and stopped at McDs to use their wireless to post yesterdays ride report which I forgot to do this morning. Since I'm seven hours ahead of the US east coast, posting at lunch time still are in the early morning for most of the folks on the touring list.
Orthodox Monastery shortly before Piatra Neampt
Hillside in Piatra Neampt
Church in Piatra Neampt
In Piatra Neampt, today's big city
When I left McDs, I turned the wrong way! I should have realized it right away since I was no longer riding into the wind, but it took me a km or so and then I had to turn around and crank uphill into the wind to get back to McDs. After that, and after I got off of Piatra Neampt's bumpy street, things went very smoothly. It was 60 km to Bacau, so I cranked on down the road for 30 km, then stopped at a little cafe with a car and three wagons parked in front of it for a coke to have with my second sandwich. Then I cranked on into Bacau, getting here, finding a pension - a little up scale from the one I stayed at last night in order to get a better bed - getting my stuff up to a hot top floor room - always! - and cleaning up. Then I checked for wifi and Google told me I had logged in exactly four hours after I logged out at McDs.
Cranking down the road - D15 - means going though lots of villages
A strange, and kind of fun, church.
I suspect this is a Ukranian Orthodox church
Romanian Orthodox is the majority church here, but there are lots of minority chuches
Another stork family getting too big for the nest
Entering Bacau 'county'
Getting close to Bacau
An image showing the mix of traffic on D15
It doesn't include a big truck, but everything else is in this image
Tomorrow I head south on D2 - I hope it is better down here - to Focsani. It is another 110 km ride, like today, but with less climbing. It should be a pretty, but not spectacular, ride.