03 Sep Cycling To Hateg, Romania
Our legs feel like spaghetti, our butts hurt, and we are tired…but we get up early again to keep on going on another adventurous ride. Today we are going to cycle to Hateg, Romania.
The route leads us on a busy highway, over some easy rolling hills. of the siderails that are supposed to keep drivers safely on the road have a tendency to become quite the obstacle on a bike in busy traffic. After an easy 20 miles we decide to stop in Orastie to have lunch at the city park and to check out an Orthodox Basilica.
We find the Orthodox Churches to be very interesting. Inside are many paintings and icons. Usually they are very open and high spaces, the front is richly decorated and in general there are no pews, most people stand. There seem to be many rituals that we are observing but do not quite understand, but somehow it is all catching our attention.
After our short break we get back on the road. Eventually we get off the busy road to head toward Hunedoara. All of a sudden we reach….. Tampa??!!
We take another turn and end up on another beloved gravel road, the gravel road turns into a dirt road, than in a grass road…. it is hard to believe that this road actually has a number, DC113. You would need a 4 Wheel drive to get anywhere on it, that is how uneven the lanes are. Jessica, Ron and Petra take a short break to snack on some gummibears as Sam continues his bumpy ride. As the 3 try to catch up with him they hear all kinds of yelling going on, along with some dogs barking. They look around but see only a sheep herd out in the distance; until they turn the corner. And there he is….Sam is trying to fend off 4 sheepdogs that really like the panniers on his bike. One got a hold of his bag and pulls him for 2 feet. Fortunately, once the 3 of us come closer the dogs don’t seem to like the odds and run back to their sheep.
Thankfully nobody got hurt and the bike is ok.
We continue on our bumpy path all the way to Hunedoara. As we get into town and try to
figure out where to find the castle on one of the city maps posted in town, we meet Mike.
Like heaven send, he seems to appear from nowhere, asks where we would like to go and then leads us with his bike all the way to the castle. He talks to us about Romania, how much he loves his country, how communism was bad for the people and religion, how he studied religion, he is just a wealth of information. After we find out that the castle closed earlier he led us to the basilica in town and then showed us the way out of town toward Hateg (on a paved road). Before we parted we exchanged numbers and e-mail-adresses to hopefully learn more from each other.
After another long and sometimes steep uphill we finally find our well deserved downhill thrill on a paved road all the way into Hateg.