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The most exciting day in my life for now

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06/09/2014 Romania Part 1
Pictures from the first two days in Romania, we entered Romania through Hungaria the first day and the second day we did the first part of the TransAlpina. In Romania we did the two most beautifull roads in the world, accordingly to Top Gear. After a full day offroadriding, the asphalted piece of the TransAlpina was very welcome. During the TransAlpina ride, I had a passenger, there was a -not- teenytiny wolfsspider in my helmet. And boy, he sure liked the taste of my scalp. I first thought my hair was really itchy that day, maybe I had caught flees of lice somewhere, anything is possible on a trip like this. I'm glad it was only a spider... Sepappe got it out of my helmet safe, and the Spider lives happily ever after now in the forests near the TransAlpina road. We got soaking wet that day, even our goretexlayers couldn't keep the water out. When even your underwear is soaked, these trips become an endurance-struggle.

 

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07/09/2014 Romania Part 2

What had to become one of the most beautifull onroaddays in our trip, became the most exciting day in my life, ever !
We started the day with a very small breakfast and only one cup of coffee a person. There was allready a thunderstorm busy outside, so Sepappe and I braced ourselves for another day of being completely wet. Our suits didn't dry this night, so we even started the day in wet clothing. Our spirits were high, because we were going to do the upperpiece of the TransAlpina, which promised us spectacular views and many many hairpins.

 

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As stated we started the day with a thunderstorm and the further we got in the morning the more we noticed there were really unusual things going on in this vally. We saw Romanian people in the streets crying, we saw them pointing and taking pictures from houses, playgrounds and the waterreservoir. Some areas were completely flooded but with the bikes we didn't have any problems crossing them. At some point the cilinders from the GS were liquidcooled too... you could even say the cilinders were taking a swim. And this was just riding down the streets. We were riding an hour or two untill we were faced with a traffic jam, again no problem with the bikes, untill we got to the beginning of the traffic jam and noticed that the road was completely gone !

 

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There had been a massive landslide from up in the mountains and the road was gone. Eaten alive by the monster Nature can be. The aggressiveness of Mother Nature was enormous that day. There was a crane trying to guide the mudslide away from the cars and the people, but it was very clear no one was going to cross this mudslide any time soon. Sepappe and I had found peace with our wet suits, but now we had to ride the same route over again since there were no asphalted ways other than the one that got eaten by the mudslide. Sepappe would have taked some offroad tracks through the mountains but I didn't dare. If the mountains were that unstable because of the excessive amounts of water, I wasn't going to ride offroad in them. The Garde des Montaignes or in other words, the Mountain Police kindly requested that we left since the area was very unstable.

 

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So we left, and drove the same route again, only to find the roads had been roughened up some more. Many small mudslides were terrifing cars and people along the way. We even crossed a white van stuck in one of them, the bikes made no fuss about it, they just hopped along the rocks and mud. When the rain finally began to clear a little bit (read the Gods have stopped nominating us for the Ice Bucket Challenge) there was a short cut though the mountains and Sepappe convinced me to take it. So we got along the first part just fine, we encountered a man completely packed in plastic as only shelter for the rain. He owned some donkeys and bless him, even his donkeys had received some plastic over their backs against the rain. We were pointing out which way we wanted to go and he made it very clear we could NOT go there. I don't understand Romanian, but when a dude shouts at you "ROUTO BLOCKARE !!!" and points in the direction you want to go in an unstable area, all languages are the same. So we had to turn back... again...

 

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Almost an hour later we arrive at a threeway junction, one road is where we came from yesterday, the other one is were we came from today and on the third road, the one we really need, has a police officer on it that tells us we cannot go any further. There had been a landslide there too and the complete route is blocked. SHIT. The friendly cop says we can go and have a look at it and then come back to him. We really didn't want to take a + 250km detour from where we came the day before, so we decided to go and check out the slide. Take some pictures for the guys at home. And indeed, some 5km further on, there is a huge pile of mud and pinetrees blocking the road. Sepappe is close to undercooling, so we decide to have some coffee first and then begin the detour back.

 

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Approximately five minutes later, we hear on the other side of the mudslide a group of bikes approaching. I saw a Rev'It Sand costume, a red one, and then some others waving at us. We look like children waving from different playgrounds to eachother, each rather wanting to be on the other side. They look soaked too and are Slovakian motorists. They had a rather fierce guy with them and he was determined NOT to go back. We couldn't chat with them as their English was very basic, but our goals were the same. Apparently they were in the same position as we were, or we crossed this mudslide, or take a detour. Sepappe shouted, "We help you if you help us!". The smallest Slovakian aswered "Deal". So the guys started cutting the trees, removing rocks and mud. Sepappe had a treesaw with him and the Slovakian guy had an army shovel. Together they did an amazing job. In less than an hour they had created a path. Now the more difficult task began. We had to get this bikes across, we got started with the smallest bikes, two Jawa's. Then a GSR, a GS1150, our GS1100 then a Tenere and as last my KTM. We had done it ! We had conquered Mother Nature in her own game, so to speak. This was an amazing experience, thrilling and mindblowing ! I haven't described the scenery this was in too... whilst they were making a path and then bringing the bikes back and forth, the river was eating the landscape away. Every minute you could hear another tree falling into the water, his roots snapping like thunder in the sky. The rocks that you could hear rolling over eachother in the river. It was magic, it was frightning, it was why we set out on our bikes !

 

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Whilst we were packing the bikes again with our luggage, the Garde de Montagne arrived again and they were very surprised by what we had done. There was one cop that could speak English and he wished us the very best and a safe trip up the Alpina. Sepappe and I had to get going now because time was ticking away and we still had much riding to do. The Upper-Alpina smiled at us and we even had some sun, unfortunately it did not last. While getting to the top of the Alpina fog came up and then the rain came again. It was a very humbeling experience. I could not see Sepappe or his taillight even though I was only 3m behind him. So we rode and rode and had no clue of the landscapes around us. They say the views are spectacular, but the only thing we could do was concentrate. Not to mind, the hardest part was over after the top of the Alpina. We even found some minor offroad parts and almost got down again without accidents. Sepappe is a huge fan of aviation and in a small town there was a rescue helicopter at work. Apparenly it was flying up and down the Alpina to pick up people that were stuck. The helicopter landed just in front of our noses and my goodness, a chopper makes wind! It blew me right of my KTM into the ground...

 

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After that last intermezzo we passed the last hairpins down into the vally below, and this wonderfull day ended. I thought we deserved some dry time in a hotel this night, so Sepappe picked out the most posh hotel he could find. Aaah a warm bed and tomorrow, dry clothes !

 

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