Arriving at the area around Balaton, temperatures rise even more and the air gets more humid – riding itself is more or less bearable (except in the afternoon), but going through cities with the need to stop at red lights and look for the way are a real torture. After the hassles with the Navi, we are almost fully in old-school paper map navigation mode by now.
We decide to head south quickly and finally end up in Romania, making our way upwards into the Carpatian Mountains via a spectacular little road to Lake Balea Lac where we set up camp. For a change, it’s pretty cold this night at 2500 meters so we finally have a chance to actually use our sleeping bags (as opposed to having them lying around pro forma in our sauna-like tents). Looking down from our site into the valley that evening, we agree that we have finally arrived at more of a traveling mode.
We manage to get some decent cooking done (there’s actually vegetables), have a refreshing night and get ready quickly in the morning – in fact, we noticeably get more efficient in our routines every day. However, our plans to continue to Pitesti are crossed by two police men blocking the pass for some bicycle race, so we head back to the valley and continue from there. Hurrying down south away from the Carpatians, the area quickly gets less touristic and feels much more wilder and stranger to us than the north. We’re passing an endless number of tiny wild-west styled villages between huge fields of sunflowers towards the Romanian boarder where we will try to catch the last ferry over to Bulgaria in the evening.