Fresh from our first successful night of free-camping in Serbia, we were looking forward to spending a night indoors to wash etc etc, however Romania was to have other ideas! After entering the country, the first task was to conquer our first “mountain” , all 400m of it!! We are glad to report that this “pass” was completed without any pushing, although we did have a couple of stops to remove layers! Once at the top a quick picnic in the drizzle and down the other side to look for a B&B in the first town, Moldova Noua, however, after conducting a drive-by of town, we decided to drive-through! Re-assessing the situation and map, we selected another free-camping spot, although the wild dogs barking at us throughout the night wasn’t ideal!!
Not so fresh in the morning we packed up and pedalled on until we found a restaurant/cafe, only to find that they did not take cards or Euros but they did refill our water. Pressing on into a lovely headwind we stopped at the next town and found The Shop, only to find that neither did they take cards or Euros. Through broken English we managed to establish that the nearest cash-machine was over 70kms away, which was completely unachievable in the remaining daylight!! Rechecking our food situation (low) and desire to push on against the wind (low), and without local currency, our 3rd night under canvas and in the wild was the only option. A lack of cafe-toilet stops meant that Tim was the first to use the backpackers trowel!
Next morning with 70kms to the money machine, the sun was out, the wind had dropped but we had eaten the last of our super-noodles! Time to break out the emergency chocolate and reserve sports drink! After a super-effort and 200m+ (!) climbs through the spectacular scenery of the Iron Gorge, we checked into a hotel in Orsova to recharge and wash! We must have looked like escapees as earlier in the day the Border Police requested to inspect our documents!!
The next day with our previous camping successes, we were provisioned and ready to set off for another night under canvas. However, a thunderstorm rolled into town and by the time the rain had stopped there was not enough light to make our intended destination, so we checked into the cheapest hotel in town and learnt the art of hotel-cooking on our 5th floor windowsill! (poached eggs and salmon on toast, yum!)
For the final 2 days in Romania, the Sun finally came out to shine, even waking up a tortoise! We managed 103kms with a tailwind and on the following day raised this to 116kms as terrain was flat and there we no obvious camping spots.
After misplacing the wallet (and looking very sorry for ourselves) we managed to blag a free ride on the ferry to Bulgaria! Hooray!! How it ended up in a sleeping bag remains a mystery, but Tim had a great time racing back the 16kms to the previous campsite to look for it! (not)