+/- 10 km (really +)

According to the USPS web site,  my package still waits in Miami. While I was prepared to wait in Brasov, my cycling trip to Ireland sounds a lot less interesting as, “I spent the trip cycling around Brasov”, and while I don’t object to occasionally enhancing my trip via other transport, Brasov to Geneva six weeks from now isn’t my ideal plan. No idea when the package will even leave the US. Time to leave Brasov. Since I can review the tracking information from the Romania Post website, I can return via other  transport when the package shows up. Moving on.

An early start this morning meant arriving at the post office just before they opened at 8 am to mail home my collection of tourist information. I normally carry two padded envelopes to ship home the things I collect along the way. This longer trip I’m carrying four. Unfortunately the envelopes are showing some wear, too much to be accepted by the post office.

Buying one-offs in another country can be quirky, because you never know which store will carry them. What type of store sells envelopes? Most places in Romania open at 10 am, so I walked back to the hostel for guidance. They suggested a book store, but the two nearby didn’t open until 10, and I didn’t want to wait. Time to enhance my search speed; I unlocked the bike and power wandered about town. The first two or three people I asked didn’t sell envelopes, but the forth person walked out of her shop and pointed me to a place down the street. I waited the few minutes for the shop to open, opening at 9 am.

Now envelope-enhanced, I shipped the package and postcards accumulated along the way, returned to the hostel, packed up (after a brief delay of one of my cycling gloves having velco’d itself to someone else’s gear), and left. At 10 am. *sigh*.

With blisteringly hot weather (heat advisory included), the ride to Fagaras was uneventful if slow, with regular stops in the shade to hydrate and cool off. 2 km outside of Fagaras I saw a sign for a campground, but headed into town to hopefully visit the fortress before it closed.

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Another great castle experience. I arrived as they were closing the gates, yet had plenty of time to look around, with fewer tourists. Purportedly the only undefeated castle in all Romania, and serving as a prison during Communist times (if they can’t get in, they can’t get out).

Next step, find a place to stay. Determining the hotels moderately pricey, I looked up the campground (since why camp if the cost is the same?), and found yet another campground on the other side of town, 2 km closer to my future destination instead of 2 km back from whence I came. While skeptical given my recent camping history, and missing the turn the first time, the campground existed, 1 km off the main road. Unfortunately, not all campgrounds are campgrounds. For 30 liu, they would provide me with a grassy area and a bathroom, but no shower or wifi. As I mentioned earlier, today was long and hot, and I can find a grassy area on my own for free. The other campground costs more, but still less than a hotel. Back we go.

I found the second campground with ease, but it took some investigation to confirm this campground as a campground; from the outside the campground looks more like a water park, the primary function. But asking around found me a small camping area, with the end cost lower than the plot of land on the other side of town. I share the bathhouse with the pool, but now showered, I’m working on dinner, and thinking about the days ahead.

Every day I decide roughly how far to cycle, and almost every day something adds to that distance. Some days wandering to follow an interesting sign. Some days the road I’m on turns untenable. Wandering about to find or select my place to stay just adds to that collection.

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