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    • Day 67

      The bear foot trail

      August 4, 2020 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      When we woke up today, we decided to have breakfast at the next minimarket as it was really windy and cold at the campground and there was no corner to hide from the wind. At the market, we had a coffee and wanted to eat our bread, but it was moldy. The market didn't have bread, so we had to continue to the next one. Here, we were lucky as the bread delivery van had just arrived.
      Afterwards, we took a trail through the forest. On the map, it looked like a hiking trail, but we don't mind a bit of pushing and definitely prefer 8km on a quiet forest trail compared to 40km on the busy main road. The first part of the trail was ok. We had to push a couple of steep sections, but could cycle most of it. We had to pass a pasture through a gate, but like in the Alps, this is not a big deal. When we met the cowherd, he explained to us how to get to the village on the other side of the hill. But as he spoke Romanian, we didn't understand much and trusted on our GPS.
      Then, the "fun" part started. Our GPS showed a trail, that didn't exist in reality. We followed some traces that looked like a trail, but didn't exist on the map. We also just pushed and cycled between the trees to kind of match the GPS trail. At some stage, we arrived at a path we could cycle for 1 or 2km, so that's what we did. But it got worse and worse with more and more sections to push or even carry the bikes. We saw lots of signs for bears like footprints and bear poo, but no sign of civilisation. The trail ended at a meadow with a deserted hut and really high grass. We looked for a way out, but no chance. So we had to go back the terrible way we came. Once back at a known intersection, we tried a different turn. This time, we were more lucky. Not a good trail, but after some more pushing and carrying the bikes we got back on our trail in civilisation. Instead of 8km, we spent 20km in the forest and about 4 hours! We were totally exhausted and hungry.
      However, even though there were houses, we couldn't find a store to buy food. So we continued on our route. We had to climb 250m on gravel first, but were then rewarded by a really long downhill through some remote villages and a beautiful valley. Afterwards, we had a 10km section on a main road. The scenery was spectacular, but the road was way to busy to be able to enjoy it. When we could finally turn onto a smaller road, we were happy to find a supermarket where we had our "lunch" at 4pm. As we were tired, we started looking for a place to stay for the night and found a camping sign just at the end of the village. It was actually a festival ground on the weekend, but the manager let us camp there and use the facilities.
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