Friday afternoon caught me in the train, going to Brasov. I’ve left behind the oven Bucharest had become (with temperatures that day reaching 40). The train had just a breeze of AC, so you won’t forget it’s still summer. While crossing the mountains, I’ve seen some of the consequences of the heat and drought that hit Romania – vast forests smoking in the distance. According to the news, during that weekend there were wildfires in 35 counties (out of 41).
In Brasov, I got on my bike and started the 40 km ride to Intorsura Buzaului. I was making good time. I’ve retired the Samuras and I was using some new offroad Continental tires. They had softer rubber, so they were a pleasure to use on tarmac. The air was hot, the tarmac hotter and I was pedaling as fast as I could, breathing intensely, getting a weird feeling of.. burnt nostrils.
When I started the small climb towards Pasul Buzau, just before Intorsura Buzaului, the sun was setting. I kept my rhythm – I didn’t want to bike by night. I was at Transylvania’s border, the mythical land of Dracula, and I didn’t want to encounter any vampires. Furthermore, it started to get cold and my cotton t-shirt was not an appropriate choice. Thankfully, by dusk I reached my godparents.
The next morning, I woke up with a view of the Ciucas Mountains. I went on a short ride to the town’s center, where I noticed people don’t lock their bikes. In Bucharest, I use one thick lock in guarded parkings or two thick locks elsewhere. I was a bit scared leaving my bike unprotected, but I also enjoyed the feeling of a small community.
Around noon, the rest of the group arrived. I didn’t know how many they would be, since facebook event attendance varies vastly when compared to actual attendance. Still, here the number was spot-on: we were 18.
I was afraid that, with such a big group, we would move slowly: someone wanted to eat – the whole group would stop, someone wanted to pee – the whole group would stop, someone wanted to take a photo.. and so on. Instead, everybody kept a good pace and we managed to make 50 km, mostly offroad, with enough daylight left for putting up the tents and gathering some fire wood.
We stopped near the village of Comandau (or Komando, in Hungarian). Having no paved roads and no cell signal (well.. I don’t have Cosmote) protected this village from rich-but-tasteless city people (the kind that build houses in strident colors and personality-less architecture).
In Comandau, we stocked with supplies (potatoes and sausages) and then we proceeded to our simple but tasty barbecue.