10-20-2012, 05:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: East Anglia
Day 6 Sebes to Varna, Bulgaria
There was an air of excitement in the air this morning, we were woken by a tractor ploughing the field we were camped in at 5 o clock. I had a great sleep which is unusual for me. Once we were up and breakfast was cooking on the old whisper lite, the driver of the tractor came over for a chat. Fanni turned out to be the land owner who was extremely proud of his John Deere tractor.
Fanni and his John Deere
I tried to get him to let me have a go at ploughing but he laughed and im sure he swore in Romanian at me:) He did say it had been a tough couple of years for him and his farm as there had been very little in the way of rain recently. No good for poor farmers but great for motorbikers.
We set off from Sebes and headed towards Sibiu and the Transalpina. This was another thing I had on my bucket list and when we got to the start of the road I could hardly contain myself, reminding myself to ride properly and not get lazy in the bends. It started off well, the road was a concrete type construction and nice and dry. There was no traffic and the sun was out, I was leading and started to up the pace.
Al is a far more competent rider than I am and I could see him in my mirrors straining at the leash to go faster. After about 10 minutes the road surface changed to tarmac and the traffic started to get heavier. We were making good progress though, beautiful sweeping bends, left then right, past clear glistening lakes and thick woodland.
At one point we tipped the bikes into a bend to be met by an overpowering stench of diesel, there was a huge arc of the stuff on the inside of the bend on the white line running down the middle of the road. I am glad I had decided to ride like a pro and was on the outside of the bend trying to see as far forward as possible because quite often I get lazy and drift into the middle, in this instance that could have been catastrophic. Al had got bored of following by now and flew past me on a sharp left hander and had disappeared from view in seconds. I plodded along at old mans pace taking in the views and enjoying the ride.
I enjoyed the road but I have to say I was left a little underwhelmed if im honest, the Transalpina was a nice road but I have ridden far better roads. The A487/A470 from SW Wales to North Wales is just as good a riding road and the A832 in the highlands blows it out of the water for views. There was far too much traffic and diesel for it to be classed as a truly great road. Maybe next time I will try the Transfargaren instead.
We stopped at a place called Pitesti for lunch and I had spotted a nice looking sandwich shop which made us a huge bread roll stuffed with chicken, hot tomatoes, red onion and some mushrooms with a can of Mountain Dew each all for the princely sum of £3. Chatting with Al, he agreed with my assessment of the Transalpina, we had both ridden better roads.
We headed towards the border with Bulgaria and Bucharest. I have a small confession to make to Al here. I decided at the last minute to bolt off the motorway so I could have a quick look at Ceausescu's palace and as I was in the lead he followed. We spent the next 2 hours or so gridlocked and going round in circles trying to find our way out of the city. Wish I had just stayed on the motorway because I did not see anything that resembled a palace never mind the real thing. Sorry Al.
Just over my shoulder you can see a smashed up bike, bet that hurt
We crossed into Bulgaria at Giurgiu, I made the normal stop to get some local currency only to be amazed to see that Frank Lampard had found a new job, but surely he had the wrong colours on. (Sorry for the non British who may not have any idea what that means)))
Frank Lampard selling Bulgarian Cash
From the border we headed on the E87 from Ruse to Madara and what an amazing surprise, it was a stunning road, nice surface, predictable sweeping bends and not a car or truck anywhere. I think I like Bulgaria.
The Nights Camp