Only an hour later Victor woke me up to offer me some Salami, thank you but I would have preferred the rest. I got another 30mins of rest, then I decided to get up again. Nothing of the Carpathian Mountains was yet visible, all still covered in fog and clouds. Sun was not up yet. As the petrol station did not offer any AA-batteries for my spot I headed on in the hope to find something in the next/ last village before the climb. So I did. Batteries, yoghurt, TUC-salty crackers and some salami. This climb was just smooth and so calm, amazing. There had been plenty of picnic and camping areas around the round that headed towards the climb. This was pure nature, if you have ever heard of bear protected camping sites and waste boxes, forget about it, not existing here. Everything is very open to attract these species, especially the handling of the waste. But I did not meet any bear along my entire road, neither in Italy, Slovakia or Romania. As the last day was rainy, my chain was quite noisy this morning and I was slightly concerned that I put some damage on it, as it was not totally new for the race, put it on, early this year.
One some minutes later I met Simon- we met before in Hungary and Romania already – who broke his chain and tried to fix it on the side of the road. The best hint I needed on this morning day. I continued and put on my very last lubrication, the chain worked well again, for some time. Crossing the clouds opened an amazing view to the top of Transfagarasan. Nice and beautiful turns, green grass, white sheep, some huge but lazy dogs laying around, and the amount of tourists got more and more. Cars and motorcycles stopped anywhere to take the best picture possible. A wonderful morning, my perfect level of temperature and humidity, could continue climbing all day along, under these circumstances. Juliana showed up to descend this hills for climbing, as it was on her bucket list as well. It was easy to reach to top of the pass, cross an ugly tunnel and start the descend towards the very last check point. Made it, stamped. Coffee and a spot clarification as my newly acquired batteries obviously did not work anymore, so I had to find new ones. Descending further down and riding around this artificial lake was one of the most boring things of the last days. I got sleepy on the bike, luckily there were little climbs in between to wake me up again. Finally I reached human life that did more than just taking pictures. Village, energy for my spot and myself. I tried to grab some oil at a car mechanic, but all was full of waiting queues and no one was actually willing to let me through. The chain got more and more noisy, but as there were no steep climbs in range, I accepted the noise for a while and collected some food and working batteries. I had a rest next to some dogs and horses, everything recharged and back on track, it got sunny and hot again. I chose some off track passages, only to get some closer feelings about where I had actually been. Very soon, after the EXX roads, gravel and sandy roads began and led along for a long time. Life stood still decades or centuries ago and often enough -through the morbidity of the facades- you could see that many farmers houses did look really wonderful when they were built. Wonderful wooden decorations and ornaments under dozens of layers of paint. In many villages, each house had a bench outside of the property on the road. Old signs of village life and communication. When I came further south, in the evenings, there was some village life, people were out on the roads, kids were playing. The further away from the big cities and roads, the more rural, the more lost it appeared to me. The roads were bad and often I have seen trucks that brought water tanks into the far away villages. For me it looked as if these people are forced into that kind of dependency. No roads, no water. Basic needs for getting independent, impossible in these regions. Possibly some strong minorities that are kept silently by not allowing access to these basic requirements. One village I passed in the late afternoon, made me think a lot. A young girl was peacefully playing on the sand road outside her house. As she has seen me, pedaling up towards her, she let her toys and ran into the house, almost crying but screaming. In the same village a cow walked along the road on her own, as she realized me cycling along, she ran into her owners yard and found shelter behind the fence. Strange situation for me. In the next village I found a small supermarket and stopped for a while. As the people and also myself tried to get in touch with the other ones, I was not worried about anything in particular, anymore. As my progress was really slow on the minor roads I wanted to reach Craiova before I calling my wife. I failed. First I hit a pot hole in the road so hard that my handle bar rotated towards the road, later I stopped at a farmers house to ask for some chain-oil. As the Romanian language is a Roman language, it was not really difficult to understand each other. He pulled some engine oil out of his garage and simply poured it over my cassette, oh my dear. This was more then enough and I gonna spill this oil everywhere over my bicycle. But the chain was running smooth until the end of the race. I went on and stopped at a huge terrace of a cafe next to the road as I promised Nico to call her, so I had a rest and got tired quickly, very tired. So I pulled out the sleeping bag and slept for two hours, contrary to my habits. it turned out that this bar was a 24 hour place and shortly after midnight some kids showed up and tried a conversation with the help of their smartphone dictionaries. I was not really in the mood to talk, but to rest. I did not take any strength out of this place, so I left it during the night. In Craiova I changed from one major road to another. But the new one was way more busy and worn. The heavy lorries engraved to smaller lanes for the tires into the tarmac, which provides very uncomfortable riding for cyclists. At this moment this appeared too dangerous for me, so I stopped at the next possible option. A closed bar at the side of the road, so it was noisy from the traffic but no people that tried to talk to me during the night. There had been some dogs around me when I parked my bike and prepared for sleeping. The placed around me as if they wanted to protect me and two were sleeping under the bench that I chose for sleeping. So no aggression at all, strange things…


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