Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Making a hard day easy

Day 36 Targu Jui to Ramnicu Valcea

To understand this day you need to know a little of the background. There a are two roads to Ramnicu Valcea. The main highway which is a brand new road, which goes to the south of the foothills to the Carpathian mountains, and the back road which goes to the north though the foothills. However as the rivers run north south and you are headed east it is climb one hill after another. The back road is also longer and much rougher. The blog Jim has from last years ride and all the tour leaders agreed that this was the toughest day of the tour. The 137 kms of bone jarring roads made my sore old bones quake just thinking about it. So when Jim, Jaco, and I arrived at the turn off on the main road to the back road it took Jaco and I about half a second to decide that we were taking the main highway. It was Sunday and there was no traffic, the road was brand new and there were no hills. Jim decided to head north.

Jaco and I cruised along looking north to the foothills happy in our decision to go by the main route. Since lunch was on the the back roads we missed lunch so we stopped and had omelets for 3lei ($1.25), bread and an extra large orange juice brought it to 7.5 Lei ($3.00).

We cruised though a bunch of really poor looking rural towns. There was a water well about every ten or so houses. The only thing that happened all day of note is that something came off an on coming car and landed about 10 feet in front and to my left. Whatever it was it never bounced but skidded between my wheels and went into the ditch. I was going about 25 kms and so I didn't stop to see what it was.

I rolled into camp second right behind Luc who had also taken the main highway. Camp was in this Pension yard. It was next to this huge water park and a zoo. The grass was thin and the ground rutted and lumpy. There were no trees so were set our tents up in the sun. It was 35 C so it was hot. Fortunately it cooled off at night.

About 2 to 3 hours later the first of the riders who took the north road started to roll in. They looked beat. Boy did we ever make the right decision. My day was only 105 kms.

Well thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for your comments



Anonymous said...

The easier option definitely paid off. You can always go the long way next time around!! Perhaps you gave up some scenery for some comfort. In any case, I expect that this trip would have been a whole lot less comfortable 15 years ago. How's the beer? We haven't heard any beer stories for some time.

Ken C.

Bruce W said...

Hi Terry
Sounds like you are having a good time and staying healthy. i think we might have crossed over by one day in Paris. Keep up the good work!

Bruce W.