(OK, Romania doesn’t suck, but given that our last night was spent in a place called Vampire Camping I couldn’t resist.)
Tablet fixed with a reboot by the way, but my charger is completely dead and needed to be replaced. Hey ho, could have been worse.
So, Romania didn’t exactly go according to plan – we had hopes for 4 days driving across the country visiting Vlad the Impaler’s birthplace and Bran castle and Bucharest, and then as soon as we’d crossed the border and changed money we came back to the truck to see this:
Not the most hopeful sight for the beginning of the trip. We were sitting around at the border for 6 hours while Will was tinkering about with a flooded engine, but thankfully the policeman who came to check we were ok (ie check we weren’t planning to camp on the border) knew a nearby mechanic who spoke English. We ended up camping for the night on the mechanic’s forecourt, drowning our sorrows after a very late dinner with dodgy homemade spirits for those of us brave enough to accept anything from the increasingly drunk and lecherous Romanians.
The parts needed to fix the truck were going to take 2 days to deliver, so a bus was organised to take us all to a nearby town with a campsite the next day to twiddle our thumbs and wait to get moving again. It was an…interesting campsite, featuring outdoor cold showers and our first squat toilets of the trip (some of which were missing doors) On the plus side, the town had several spa hotels with thermal baths – and real showers – and a local water park! Not half bad for an accidental waiting room.
Monday evening the truck pulled into the campsite with a working engine to great cheers and we spent the next two days driving across Romania to make up for the missed time. We did have to skip out Bucharest (not a big deal judging by Lonely Planet’s write up), but we did still get time to stop at Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s castle despite having absolutely no connections to Vlad the Impaler or Bram Stoker. Very standard castley stuff on the inside, but they did go to town with the cheese in the surrounding town – it was almost tempting to visit the haunted castle attraction, the giant plastic spiders outside looked really professionally done.
Not the best weather for visiting a spooky castle, but we finally have sun in Eastern Europe! Last day in Europe today lying around a campground pool in Bulgaria nursing the sunburnt shoulders (thank you water park), then we’re off to Istanbul tomorrow for the start of our Asian adventure, and more importantly our first hostel! Ah, sweet sweet mattresses.