After leaving Sinaia we were going to spend a night at a campsite in Brasov. However, to our utter surprise, the campsite changed location and there was no other campsites nearby. Aaron was always eager to wild camp and it seemed like the easiest option. We followed some small road taking us to a river where we were hoping to find a nice spot. As we turned into a track leading to the river, all off a sudden we entered a different world: a world of tiny poor houses built from different kinds of wooden boards with mismatched windows where a group of kids immediately surrounded the car, barking dogs just behind them and eventually even a couple of adults joined them. We turned around as fast as we could taking into consideration the safety of these kids and drove away as far as it made us safe. There was no time to take photos of this particular settlement but we took a few photos of the nearby area.
Typical for Romania: rubbish is everywhere, although admittedly this was more than just rubbish normally left on a side of roads.
Our wild camp far enough from the 'danger zone'
The book Aaron used to plan our trip around Romania had 14 routes, some quite long. Although the German people who themselves did all the routes on motorbikes were able to do one route a day covering even over 200km in one day, I found it impossible to do the same. I don’t think our way of travelling suits such long distances. But we didn't always follow the book exactly and Aaron sometimes mixed in parts using ‘main’ roads. This is how our next route started, going on a mountain road to get to a forest track. Even that can have its excitement. Since the kids were getting hungry, we planned a quick stop to make them sandwiches at the back of the car. Aaron pulled over in a village and got out of the car to prepare the food. It wasn’t long before he suddenly appeared by my side whispering: Start the car and go! Completely surprised I didn’t know what to think and do so he repeated: Start the car and go! And then went to the back. I found my spare key and jumped into the driver’s seat without getting out of the car. Aaron got into the passenger’s seat and we drove off. Once we moved away from the villages Aaron explained that a very dirty (as in probably hadn't showered or washed her clothes in a long time) old gypsy woman had immediately come to the back of the car as soon as Aaron opened it and wanted items from the car and she would not take ‘no’ for an answer. She was actually attempting to buy items, such as Micky Moo's nappies, for 1 lei (worth about 20 pence). She wouldn't get out of the back door so Aaron couldn't close it, hence the car needed to be moved forward.
A town on our route completely off the tourist track.
Nearly the beginning of a route we planned to take through forests: an old mining town. To be honest we expected a ghost town but apart from a few abandoned blocks of flats , the town was liveable and full of people. It did, however, feel like in the middle of nowhere as the sealed road didn't go any further.
Here's the beginning of the forest track.
We were so pleased we took this route as the forest and views of the mountains were stunning. And this is how it often is in Romania; a poor and not well maintained town located in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
A small pass above the forests.
Aaron’s shower and water heater unit comes in really handy when we have to do some dishes too. Obviously, the water tank has to be refilled every so often but with the equipment Aaron has it can be done anywhere. He even has filters that stops bits like little rocks getting into the tank. In these photos we are sucking water up out of a mountain stream into the tank. The water looked pure, but in any case water that goes from the tank to the tap in the car passes through a 0.5 micron filter that can remove giardia and cysts etc.
Still a very common sight in Romania, not only on a forest track, but also sealed roads. One or two of these went up the hill in the dark of night to steal logs that had been cut down awaiting collection by trucks.