Not going to make it

Today tried harder than Yesterday.

Although I didn’t leave Brasov any earlier, I set an aggressive schedule for myself, with six different sites to visit, some known, and some random icons on a map.

Before heading out by bike,  I walked to the post office. According to USPS tracking, the package is languishing in Miami, but I wanted to confirm the local post office had heard of poste restante, and generally confirm I knew how that would work. The postal worker knew English and could confirm this was the right post office for poste restante, but that my package had yet to arrive. I learned the USPS tracking number should work from the Romanian post web site, so I can confirm when the package has arrived, instead of needing to be in Brasov and checking every day.

On the way back to the hostel I stopped by a supermarket and replaced my ever-depleting calories. Good fortune  – I found sugared gingerbread. Getting a bit tired of Oroes, one of the few things available I can eat without translating all the ingredients.

Leaving at my seemingly regular 10 am, I set a vigorous pace, and stopped to visit the fortified church in Chistian. Everything was locked up, making entry difficult (fortified after all). Tourist Information found the person with the key, and I wandered about.

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Although past lunch time by then, I pushed on towards Reslav, planning to eat there. I had lunch at the foot of the huge mountain, and took the easy way out and took a tram to the top.

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Preslav was everything I hoped for. The fortress is partially reconstructed for the tourist trade, but much of the original structure remains intact. All of the old shops lively and populated with shops of a more modern era, selling the usual tourist kitsch.

After hiking all over the castle, I returned to my bike feeling exhausted. I’d pushed to get here. I’ve been up until 1 am the past few nights working on the website. The sun burned through me, and I sat there wondering how I was going to complete the busy day. I had something to eat and drink, and rested for a half hour or so. I remembered – I didn’t have to complete a busy day! The next two towns I planned to pass through were farther away, and unknowns. I rerouted myself to a smaller loop on smaller roads most of the way, and headed back to Brasov, visiting only one more fortified church in Ghimbav along the way – unimpressive, reinforcing my decision.

I used my early return for bike maintenance, cleaning the chain and tightening things up. Wandering about Brasov I found a camping store, and replaced the large  fuel canister I bought in Istanbul (the only size available) with one smaller and lighter. Smaller yet, because the new fuel canister will pack into my pots, effectively taking no room. I’ve been short on room, missing the spare space in the lost pannier, and I’ve added  Hayden’s jacket.

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Between Hayden’s jacket and the ability to check package status on line, that opens up  the option of heading out, and taking a train back when the package arrives.

I sat down this evening, and back-of-the-envelope math for my timeline shows I’m a week to 10 days behind where I’d need to be for arriving Aug. 16 to meet Andrew in Geneva. No surprise, between being sick, dealing with missing luggage, and just being slow. Not really a concern, but I think I’ll start tracking to my estimates to see if that timeframe gets shorter or longer.

I’ve always known a date right in the middle of the trip would be hard to time, and I intentionally routed myself so Geneva was more likely too far than too near. As that August date gets closer I’ll adjust as necessary, and if I find what looks like a good multi-day gap to jump over via train I might; trains are much cheaper now than in Germany and Switzerland. On the other hand, Germany and Switzerland have a much higher daily cost to tour in, and I’ve extensively cycled through both before, so don’t have the same level of interest as Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria.

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