Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Romania - Croatia

I spent a few days in the town of Sibiu and did a bunch of day rides, its the home of the Romanics extreme enduro

Ive just had great day riding through some back roads in Croatia, linked up a bunch off fun dirt roads and one that went through a National Park that I don`t think I was supposed to be on, whoops, with Autumn well and truely arrived everything was looking golden.

It´s getting late in the day and I break out onto the highway just after passing a world war two memorial that has been pelted with bullets, I have about 80km to go to my destination of Zadar on the coast and I run out of gas and flip the fuel taps over to reserve, ok time to find a gas station. I ride for a bit and no sign of any gas stations and strolling ahead on the gps doesnt bring úp much in the way of towns but I can see that the gps is taking me to a major motorway and what appears to be a tunnel through a mountain range that I can see up ahead. The motorway also has a toll, first I try to avoid entering it but after talking to a lady at the booth in sign language it was really hard to determine where the next fuel was. With the tank getting low I reluctantly decide to take the direct route through the tunnel instead of taking what looks like a fun road up and over the range.

With all the tunnels in Norway I was always thinking that it would really suck to have a break down in one, I´m about half way through this 6 km tunnel and the bike just splutters and stops, shit. Due to the amount of kms I´ve traveled since hitting reserve on the fuel tank I know there should be a decent amount of fuel left, I just have to blow through the fuel cap breather and push a little from the very bottom of the tank over into the carb, no worries. Only problem is is that there is a truck not too far behind me, I don´t have time to get the bike fired back up, there's a bunch of traffic coming the other way and the lanes are narrow in this tunnel, I can´t get the bike out of the lane as there is a concrete step up onto a narrow shoulder against the tunnel wall. I´ve got the indicators flashing which should stand out like dogs balls in the dark tunnel and signal to the truck that I have a problem, he has plenty of room to stop and wait for the oncoming traffic to pass, but the dosen´t and just rolls on past me on the horn, all I can do is lean the bike into the wall and hope for the best.

He sneaks past with out incident but I´m really pissed now, I could be up on the top of this mountain enjoying a fun road through kasrt outcrops lit up by a brillant full moon but instead I just about get run down by this truck. The bike fires back up and I´m off again and in no time up behind the truck, I give him some horn back but it barely makes a squeak under the roar of his engine in the tunnel, the best I can do is flip my super bright Squadron Led head light on full and aim it right at his big rear view mirror, that ought to piss him off in this dark tunnel!!

Out of the tunnel I pass the truck, he gives me some more horn and I give him a few hand signals, the bike stops again, this time I have plenty of space to pull off the road, I do some more mouth to mouth on the fuel tank breather and resuscitate her as the truck fly's past again, I think he now realizes that I had a problem and was not having a picnic in the tunnel! I cruise down the hill and find a gas station, there was very little fuel left in the tank. good thing I didnt try and ride over the top.

A rest day at Hostel Zen

The gps had me traveling through some sunflower feilds

Quite a few of these wells on the town streets, no running water in the homes

lots of folks out on the street just watching the day go bye, they all seem quite happy and content

Another one for the Romanian Post collection

the cheese here is good

..... and the roads too, the Transfagarasan, Top Gears best road

and  Dracula hangs out here somewhere too, though I did not see him, he probably would have had a feeding frenzy on my blood with its high sugar content!!!

This Shepherd reckoned the road would lead me out, maybe on a horse, I had to backtrack out

Another of Romanias fine alpine roads

had a good laugh with these country folk

A sign of a good day out on the bike

and some not so well maintained signs

traversing this ridge for an hour or so and made the summit below....

found some fun skidder tracks to ride....

..... and these fellas that made them. they put the billy on and we had a coffee in their mobile shack that they dragged around from camp to camp behind the skidder


One of the nicest people I,ve met this year. Toma stayed at the hostel with me in Sibiu, he liked cooking and insisted on keeping me well fed.
The hostel also had its own bar next door with cheap beer, very handy after a hard days riding. During my 5 days staying here I saw many people in the bar and I,m sure I was the only one that didn,t smoke, there was a constant thick haze at all times, something of the past back in NZ
Another day on the road....

Spied these bi planes out in the feild and went in for a closer look

I don,t recall the name of this, but it was a sweet little bike that was for sale near the border with Serbia

I passed through the north of Serbia in a few hours, it was flat agricultural land and not particularly interesting

This was a little gem of a road that I found in Croatia, It was covered in leaves, mainly do to the fact that vehicles were not permitted on it as it was national park so I realized afterwards!!!

lots of evidence of recent wars in this part of the world. In some areas there is still a lot of mines and not the place to go off road riding!!!

Looks like a gun fight went down on this corner

Enjoying some sun on the Croatian coast

I could smell this from about two kilometers out, a common sight in Croatia