Continuing where I left off on day 3 of the trip. We got down the Calimani Mountains and entered Dragoiasa. This village looked pretty remote, with no paved roads and no convenience stores that we could see (although we didn’t pass through the village center). We continued towards Bilbor. We followed a forest road that got from decent to muddy to none – the road ended and we had to backtrack all that mud.. Tried another route and ended up pushing hard on a steep unpaved ascent, going through our water fast due to the effort, sun and heat.
No water, no problem, as we were entering Bilbor, a place where sparkling water (literally) shoots out of the earth (apparently shooting water is bad – it destroys the wells people build around springs). There were no restaurants in Bilbor though and we had little hope to see one in the following hours, so we had to make due with some crap we bought from a convenience store.
The remainder of the day was spent pedaling down paved and unpaved roads towards Hasmasul Mare. The sunset caught us biking up a mountain, towards a pass. We descended using our headlamps and stopped for the night in Lacul Rosu.
Day 4. In Lacul Rosu we had electricity! Toilets with running water! Beds! Such a luxury given the previous days. Had breakfast in a communist era restaurant – the kind of restaurant that takes you back in time. “I would like a cup of tea” I asked the waitress. “I’m sorry, we’re out of tea” came her response.
Left Lacul Rosu and started the climb up Hasmasul Mare. We followed an unpaved road that was pretty bikable.
A storm swept in just as we were arriving at a sheepfold. We took shelter there for about an hour, with the nice folks offering us some cheese.
It seems that higher up the mountain it hailed, with a considerable layer of ice pellets forming in shaded places.
The trail was pretty muddy and technical, so we mostly pushed our bikes. Eventually, we made it out of the forest and were greeted with this view from on top of the Hasmasul Mare ridge.
We stopped for the night as Piatra Singuratica Cabin, namesake after the rock which rises abruptly right behind it. This makes it one of the most photogenic cabins I’ve seen so far. We were the only guests staying there. We had a wood-burning stove and electricity. There’s no running water, but you can find a spring a couple hundred meters away. If you want to serve food, you’ll have to call in advance. We didn’t, so all we bought was a bottle of Pepsi.
Two minutes away from the cabin there’s a view point over the valley. We got there just in time for sunset.
Day 5. Warmed up with a steep bush bike on a rocky forest trail. This took us on the ridge again, opening up with some beautiful views over the town of Balan. Alas, from here it was mostly downhill. We were leaving Hasmasul Mare behind. Our journey was approaching its end.