73.90km – 10H14’
Altitude : 148m
This is the last stage in Romania, which I leave but to which I would like to return. Thanks go to all the Romanians we met along our road these past ten days. It was a land of hospitality and smiles, a succession of agreeable surprises and varied scenery. We had no trouble communicating (it’s worth knowing that in 2006 Bucharest hosted the 11th summet of Francophonie). From now on we will go through countries rather quickly, as you will see from the following program: Hungary, Slovania, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Today was a cut and paste of yesterday, with a tiring highway and a string of trucks. International trucking is king and the traffic more incredibly dense than usual. In 3 hours Serge counted and made his statistics on the number of vehicles he crossed (so in only one direction) and it gave the following results: an average of 17 vehicles per minute, so more than 1,000 in an hour during 10 hours of race makes 10,000. You can add as many in the other direction.
It’s interesting to note that since we have been in the Carpathian mountains, we rarely see stray dogs, which were only a problem in the south of the country and in the cities such as Bucharest and Pitesti. We are still vigilant but the psychosis evaporated some time ago. The worst place for mean dogs remains northern Greece, i.e., Macedonia, which won the gold medal for stray, aggressive hounds.
We are leaving the region of Transylvania to enter Crisana. Oradea, which we will reach this evening, is the capital of this border region with Hungry. It was annexed to Romania after the first World War. Like Transylvania, there is a large Hungarian population (in Cluj, 20% of the population is Hungarian).
At km 10, 3 runners from Oradea : Cristian, Istaven and Jozsef join Serge on the road. They are members of 2 clubs: Ro Club Maraton of Bucharest and the XTR Triathlon Oradea. Next June they will organize their first triathlon “iron man”. Jozsef, who runs the marathon in less than 2H30, will run the marathon of Debrecen in Hungry in two weeks. After 10km of chatting, the climb of a beautiful hill at Bucea shut them up, then in the descent they were off chatting again. A light morning rain gave way to frank sunshine and wind. A t-shirt is comfortable gear.
This evening we count up our Lei because since Bulgaria we have had to use the local currency and tomorrow in Hungary the Lei (or Ron) will not be accepted. We can use this local currency to fill the fuel tank. Diesel fuel is the same price in Hungary, i.e., 1€ and a few cents per liter. Since our departure, diesel fuel almost never costs less than 1€ per liter, except in the north of Spain where we found it at 0,969 per liter.
Lastly, if you plan to go to Bulgaria and/or Romania on vacation, and keep in touch with your tribe by taking your computer or notebook, Wi-Fi is free and available everywhere. In France you often have to pay for Wi-Fii and in Italy it is not always easy to find…..
Town : Oradea
GPS : N 47.0211.1° E 021.5916.3°