Tag Archives: Cycling Romania

Day 9, Plescuta to Deva!

13 May

Nico, Stefan [Don Director grand son] and Yves ready for a race!

We left Plescuta on the 10th of May, heading up to Deva, 70 km away from our little village. As always when possible, we chose to not stay on the national roads but rather go through the smaller ones that cross villages. The landscapes have changed, we’re now on big hills / small mountains and we go slightly slower.

Wellcome to the Hunedoara region!

Villages are more distant from each other and the scenery is fantastic. We climb our first seriously steep roads and start sweating much more than we’ve been used to so far.

Scenery on the way

First victory

After climbing for about 2 hours to reach Valisoara, we enjoyed a 10km ride going downhill, followed by a very fast dog running behind us , the whole way down. He well deserved the piece of cheese we had left from lunch, but we still had to get rid of him as we didnt need a dog to go to China…even if he was very human friendly.

Speedy Dogzales

We reached Deva at about 7PM and went straight to the hungarian orphanage that had been recommended to us both by Agi, our host in Gyula, and Anna. We have met the kids and teachers from the school and got fed with sausages and mustard, a popular combination in this part of Romania. After the meal, we visited the city center of Deva with Csaba, the music teacher.

Deva City center

After having some beers (Ciuc, a nice romanian beer, and Grimbergen Double, to feel like home). We then came home and starting celebrating Yves’ birthday with some tuica we got offered from the school in Plescuta.

Plescuta…a lovely romanian village

9 May

Floricuta milking her cow

Today, we have visited the small village we’re currently staying in, Plescuta, accompanied by our friend el Don Director. After a breakfast with the milk and cheese from the 2 cows staying home (we declined the 10 o’clock Tuica offer), we took our bicycles and headed up towards the  primary school, where we met the teachers and the kids, who were all delighted to see some foreigners cycling towards China in their village, and use the few words they know in English and French.

Us with the school map of Romania

Don Director and his friend Cornel, the pork killer

After spending some time in the school, we went to the Tuica distillery, a small room freely used by the locals. Two people were distilling their pears and explained us how to do it. So : bring your fruits and let them ferment for approximately four weeks (faster in the summer than in the winter), distill them (heat them in an oven) and let the alcoholic vapor transit through the system ; cool the vapor with water and you get a first liquid that is around 20% alcohol. Take that liquid and repeat the process for another distillation. After those 2 steps, you should have a crystal clear Tuica, heading to 50-60% and ready to burn your remaining neurons.

Radu, our Tuica master

Fermenting fruits

Traditional distilling oven, working with good old wood

This is where the magic happens : alcoholic vapor transiting before condensing

As the weather turned nice we have continued our visit and met some locals, who are all nice people chit-chatting on benches, looking at the dogs, chickens and horses. Most of them are either below 14 and studying at the school, either above 60 years of age.  Youngers seem to be bored of that rural life and head up to the next big city, Arad, where they can find more job opportunities, entertainment options…and people their age.

Dumitru, our 94 year old friend, wearing Osiris skateshoes

The big event of the day is the final of Europa league, Bilbao VS Athletico Madrid. The game is hosted in Bucarest and is all over the news. We’ll therefore watch it with friends and locals before getting ready for our next cycling day.

Tomorrow we head up towards Deva, 110 km away. We are not sure if we will make it as it might be more uphill than downhill, but whether we make it or not doesn’t really matter anyway 🙂

We are in Romania!

9 May

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Yesterday we crossed the Romanian border with colder weather and a grey, unfriendly sky. But at least, no rain.  We could feel the landscape changing from flat lands to  small, then bigger hills.

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Nice castel, but unfortunately not maintained, that we have encountered on the way, in Ineu.

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We first planned to stop half way to Plescuta (my friend’s village), but finally felt like keeping up cycling there straight in a day, covering 127K. Our record so far!

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Almost arrived at destination 🙂

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As we expected it was open doors and after less than 5 minutes we were sharing glasses of Tuica (the strong local drink) with my friend that i’m used to call Don Director, the retired director of the primary school of the village. I have been visiting Plescuta with belgian scouts in 2004, and came back here every four years since then.

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It was so nice to be received that way. After a good dinner with eggs and homemade cheese we took a hot shower and went to sleep, as we felt pretty tired after cycling such a distance.