Friday, 4 April 2014

Hungary and Romania

Heroes Square, Budapest
I must admit to blasting through Hungary with just the one stop in Budapest with my lovely hosts Llona and Csaba who spent their whole afternoon taking me around the sites of Budapest. Another very interesting and beautiful city with it's chain bridge between Bud and Pest, the houses of parliament and the many cathedrals. I was quite surprised at how considerately everyone drove as I entered the city. I have become accustomed to people driving up my rear end and expected worse to come in Budapest. Not so. They kept their distance and I had no problems at all. Even the lorry drivers were considerate! Amazing!

The Chain Bridge, Budapest.
I'm a country girl though and having now sampled Prague, Krakow and Budapest in quick succession,
I decided to head for the Transylvanian hills in Romania for a couple of days before pottering over to Belgrade in Serbia where I am to meet my host, Sean, who has travelled the world on his Vespa.

It was a long ride to the border and once crossed I found myself on a busy, lorry filled route at the end of a tiring day. I headed straight out in to the country and made my way to the edge of the Apuseni National Park. It was late but I felt good so I pottered on for as long as I could before I came across a hotel. At first glance it appeared closed. It may as well have been as I was the only guest. The lady at reception spoke no english but we got by with sign language and smiles!

Romania felt nice! Once off the main route it was beautiful. It reminded me of home. I had some dinner and a nice hot bath, once I had found a substitute for the missing plug (my deodorant lid was made for it) and settled in to bed listening to radio 4 on my iphone! Rock and Roll!

Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania
My plan for today was to camp although I am so far under budget on my accommodation AND food there is no need as yet. Not bad going for a tiny budget such as mine. I just felt it would be nice in Romania. Sunshine and countryside! However, things didn't go according to plan! I was a little disappointed with myself but it all happened for a reason. I ended up in a wine tasting seminar with free wine instead!!

What a great day! I headed out early in to the park where I found some nice dirt tracks and lovely twisties. I checked out some roads that weren't on my GPS just for fun and found myself up in the snow, then I headed back down these lovely roads and made my way over to Albac on the DN75. Lovely road for bikes and totally empty. Just me and the Foo Fighters all the way. Perfect.

Are you stalking me?
Unfortunately I had not changed any money and on arrival in Albac (both Rhonda and I close to empty) I discovered that no one takes cards in this part of the world! I mean no one! I kept going and eventually I found a supermarket that would take my plastic. This at least fed me but Rhonda was running very low! I stuck to the edge of the road, allowing people to overtake me and slowly made my way out of the hills towards Deva, stopping at every garage on route. All of them turning me away. I thought I was stuffed and with the sun getting lower in the sky I thought I was going to have to camp on the side of the road with an empty bike. I didn't want to leave the hills. I wanted to stay and camp in one of the many beautiful spots I had seen, but with no money and no fuel I had to at least try and make it to a town. The price to pay for being unprepared! Eventually I found a nice policeman who directed me to a station 3km away! They took my card! Phew! I had made it. Rhonda was gasping for fuel by then.

Now at maybe 6pm I was in a town and although fuelled and watered I had no choice but to find the
Apuseni National Park
nearest hotel and compose myself again for the next days ride after 10 hours in the saddle. What a shame. It was a beautiful evening for camping! There are plenty more beautiful evenings to come though so I let it go and instead found myself in the hotel restaurant being served free wine with my spag bol, courtesy of the hotel owner (who was dressed like the mayor!). He seemed to be hosting a wine tasting evening and was serving up lots and lots of it to his guests whilst telling us all (in Romanian) what each one was (I guess)! I sat in the corner nodding and smiling and drinking! They stopped including me after glass no 4! Perhaps I didn't look the part in my slightly unclean Ace Cafe T shirt and helmet hair!!

Tomorrow I will head for the next national park on route to Belgrade. More twisties and more countryside. Not sure where I will sleep but I'm sure the road will deliver!

Just over 2000 miles done! Rhonda and I are doing well and still smiling

Check out the video diaries on the tab above and the route to date here


  1. Never forget cash is king in the back woods

    1. and not always easy to access when you are changing country so quickly and have no access to ATM. Nice thought though xx

  2. Mark (Sundance)5 April 2014 at 10:11

    Hi Steph,
    Glad to see you're still having fun.
    You probably have already but just a thought , have you emailed photocopies of all your bike documents, license and passport to yourself. ? Downloaded colour copies came in very useful when I lost mine. Authorities rarely know the difference...
    All the best ,
    Mark (Sundance)

    1. Hi Mark. Thanks. Yes done exactly that. Cheers xx

  3. Ride on! Ride safe! Have fun!

  4. Love reading your blog, just visited it for the first time when my stepdad came over, your uncle Barry! Keep riding ans stay safe. Tim, Nicole Charlie and Jack,x

    1. Hey Tim and gang. Glad you are enjoying the read. I'm enjoying the ride!! : 0 )
      Heading for the Turkish Border tomorrow and onwards to Istanbul. See you there!!! : 0 ) xxx

  5. You should have met some other hungarian female motorcycle riders... if we would have known the date before.

  6. In sure countries we tend to even supply special tours providing you with associate expertise out of the normal – Romania and its capital Bucharest, for instance. Bucharest may be a town sadly unmarked by several once selecting their vacation abroad.