LOG ENTRY: 2
Deva-Bucharest- Bulgarian Border Crossing-Burgas
Odometer: 650 km - 1299 km
Leaving Deva in the morning, crossing the Carpathian mountains, de-touring Bucharest and entering Bulgaria through the Friendship bridge over the Danube. Our campsite is on the shores of the Black Sea in Burgas.
So we are officially touring around the world with the first sunshine shining through the peaks of the Carpathians. The road is pretty slippery after the night's rain with lots of leafs on the tarmac. Surprisingly all of a sudden the road became excellent. The night before when we arrived at Deva, it was bad as it can get but the morning it was just great. Hold on, was it the road or just our tiredness and the constant rain made everything look awful? Tarmac snake of Transylvania
Either way, the morning scenery was just out of this world. I had thoughts just to screw our itinerary and spend a week or even a month in the Carpathians and discover all the wonders this place has to offer. The bikes are just made for this curvy and hilly terrain. Not a single hick up from neither of the bikes even when we are pushing them hard in some serpentine with fifty something extra kilos on them. Unfortunately, the fun is getting close to its end, and the landscape is flatting down like a freshly made up bed, realities of Romania hitting us as no more beautiful mountains around but polluted cities with lots of ran down Dacias. The Carpathians
The Friendship Bridge
Little before 10 am and we are already shooting the distance of Bucharest, as we are progressing into the dream and of course the daily Etap we decided to skip Bucharest and try to get out of Romania as fast as possible and have a dinner on the shore of the Black Sea in Bulgaria. As we are battling with navigation on the outer ring road of Bucharest, gravitation win over Dad as we stop, pulling him and the bike down to the ground, I almost followed him as I couldn't stop smirking and laughing under the helmet. Our lunch was rather satisfying somewhere on the very shady outskirts of Bucharest where we made quite a scene arriving with two fat, colorful bikes.
The first slightly eventful border crossing waited for us in the early very early afternoon today. We decided to cross the border over the Danube, my favorite river which banks accommodated my whole childhood. The friendship bridge as formerly called stretching over the two countries with its enormous iron structure, a big reminder of socialist times and its style of architecture in the 1970's. Today the bridge is called Giurgiu–Ruse Bridge, named from the two cities it connects on each side of the border. Leaving Romania was just as easy as one would spit into the Danube but as one would say, letting the trash go is always easier than accepting it. This is exactly what happened to us on the Bulgarian side. Neither of are smoking but just in case we bought three cartons of cigarettes at the Hungarian border just in case we need it, or we can just barter with it in some thick jungles. Oh well, of course, the first question of the Bulgarian custom officer was towards cigarettes and alcohol in our boxes which we vehemently denied. Either our firm denial or the curiosity towards our gear made the police order us to empty all of our boxes. Seriously? Two days before we packed them so carefully just to be opened and completely emptied now? Long story short, our cigarettes were confiscated, and after some negotiation, we were on the way towards Burgas, the city where it all begun for me 20 something years ago.
LOG ENTRY: 1
The first day of the trip, leaving Budapest's Hero's Square and heading down towards Szeged to cross the border to Romania, rainy mountain ride in the afternoon.
Day 1. Budapest-Szeged-Border Crossing to Romania-Nagykata-Deva
Odometer: 650 km
About to leave the Hero's Square in Budapest.
So this is it, eight in the morning and the bikes are all warmed up on Hero's Square, Budapest. About thirty interested friends and other bikers who are prepared to take us to the border are gathered on this sunny day. Just to add to the feeling, one of the primary TV channel's crew turned up for the usual -let's fill the program with something- kind of interview. We have been preparing for this day for quite a while now. The idea of riding around the world on a motorcycle was, in fact, my Dad's idea. It came on one Christmas Eve when our biker friend Samu surprised us with the book of Zoltan Sulkowski and Gyula Bartha, the first duo to circumnavigate the globe with a motorcycle. Nevertheless, we both hooked on it as the motorcycle bug was already in the family for a long time. So this is eight in the morning, and finally, our dream about begins. There are around ten bikers who decided to ride along with us until the Romanian border together with a car with some of my friends and my grandpa in it. We have reached the border without any exciting event, excellent riding conditions, good mood, a perfect day to see my beloved country for the coming years.
Aurel Sr. giving interview to the RTL's TV crew
Only 2885 kilometers in the V-strom on the day of leaving Hungary.
Crossing over to Romania was probably the easiest border crossing. About five minutes of administration we were already rolling on the roads of Transylvania. As this beautiful area use to belonged to Hungary, communicating with the locals are not an issue. Not as we stopping at every corner for tea, we are trying to reach the Carpathian mountain before sunset. Our primary goal is to arrive at the Bulgarian seashore by the next afternoon, so we need a long first-day ride. The only thing holding us back is the quality of the roads. The constant holes on most of the Transylvanian roads were a sad reminder of the negligence of this region, however, as we approached the Carpathians the view of the mountains completely made us forget about the shaky road. The Carpathians are the major dividing line between central and eastern Europe with peaks over 1500 meters. I would recommend this region for bikers as this is probably the best way to get down to Istanbul from western Europe.
Mom, Dad and me before crossing over to Romania
Last touches in Hungary
By late afternoon we were already climbing the Carpathians when the first storm of the trip caught up with us making our progress a bit slower. Finally, we have reached Deva, a small city inside the mountains. It took us about an hour to find the only one available accommodation which was moderately cheap with its 15 dollars a night/room price.