Lots of wheat for scenery today. Cycled to Pitesti today, about 70 km. Another four or so of those monster switchbacks. I’ll admit I stopped once halfway up, but other than that I’m climbing those switchbacks. I get slower across the day, but arrived in Pitesti by 4 pm, significantly faster compared to earlier in the trip.
I encountered four separate hostile dogs today, having ruminated the past few days how, with all the strays, I had few dog problems. No strays, all four belonged where they were, guarding their property. The first dog was barking madly, but aggressive enough for me to get off the bike. Repeated shouting, and slowly walking past his property resolved that. For the second dog I heard fast nails on asphalt. Coming off the bike fast İ torqued my knee. Silent dogs are usually on attack mode so deserve a rapid response; more shouting and using the bike as a barrier while slowly walking away resolved that as well.
The past four days I’ve cycled about 330 km, crossing a significant part of Romania. I would turn directly towards the Carpathians tomorrow, but today actualized that I shouldn’t climb the Carpathians without my inclement weather gear. I wasn’t quite expecting to get here this fast, and don’t have the replacement gear yet.
The pass doesn’t normally open until July 1, and temps can drop down to freezing; snow in August isn’t unusual. That high up the weather can change quickly. The pictures of cyclists crossing that pass are always in long-sleeve jackets, yet everything I have right now is appropriate for a warm summer day.
My knee bothering me from the dog, and some chafing I’d like a chance to recover from, I decided to stay in Pitesti, and take a train in the morning to Brasov. My replacement gear shipped to Brasov, via Poste Restante and a lot of effort on Marnie’s part for which I’m profoundly grateful. As a large city, we selected Brasov as the best candidate from a timing perspective. Castles and other historical sites also surround Brasov – plenty to do while I wait. Much hoping the gear doesn’t get tied up in Customs, or looted, as happens occasionally in Romanian Post.
About 10 km outside of Piesti I realized I had no actual desire to stay in Pitesti if I could catch a train tonight. I swung by the rail station, and through some Translation learned the train for Brasov left in about five minutes. From my map, I thought the train would be direct, but learned I’d have to change trains in Bucharest. The woman behind the counter closed her desk, and led me to the train, with an animated discussion with the conductor, and off we went, and me with no ticket yet!
The conductor could only sell a ticket from Pitesti to Bucharest. I’d have to buy the next leg at the station. All well and good, but in Bucharest learned there was no room on the train tonight for a bicycle; I have to wait until the morning.
I never planned to go to Bucharest this trip. I generally avoid capital cities without good reason, and yet here I am. I found a hostel close to the station, and will complete that journey tomorrow. Having the evening free in Bucharest, I went ahead and wandered the town. Had dinner, inadvertantly found the Bucharest Jazz Festival, took pictures of various old things. The usual.