London - St Goer - Cluj-Napoca - Brasov (via Bucharest) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Sunday, 23 September 2007 00:00
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London - St Goer
St Goer - Prague
Prague - Vienne
Vienne - Budapest
Budapest - Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Cluj-Napoca - Brasov (via Bucharest)
Bucharest to Kazanak, Bulgaria
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Day 7: Saturday 29th September - Cluj-Napoca to Brasov (via Bucharest)

Today the journey is a week old. I awoke early feeling queasy, may have been the dish of sausages cooked in beer that I had last night. Didn't taste too good when eating them and then spent the first hour of the morning repeating on me.  Spent my first night not sleeping with Anne. It seems for some reason, probably poor communications, Leighton thought we wanted to sleep apart. I said we would be happy to sleep apart if the room equations didn't workout. I wasn't well pleased!

My new sleeping partner, Gordon, drew back the curtains to let in a beautiful hazy blue morning. At last, the weather had turned. Breakfast was good, mainly because of the presentation but I didn't feel like it. Forgot totally about my stomach as we boarded the bus, even before numbers were counted it was clear that Ben was missing. It emerged very quickly that he was about at 3.30am, in the hotel, sitting very drunk trying to play the grand piano in the lounge. It was obvious that he was sleeping off the beer alone somewhere in the hotel once all the young women in the group had been counted in. Just as we were about to leave, as Leighton threatens to leave every day if anyone is late, Ben comes staggering out of the hotel assisted by Jeff who had found him asleep in the cellar. On being awakened by loud and desperate shouts of 'Ben' he opened his eyes fearing the worse. He cried out to Jeff 'I thought I was in prison. I want England'. The bus passengers were very quiet in anticipation of forthcoming ranting from the boss. I suspect he was just relieved to see him safe and well. He was eventually hauled out to the front: his penalty coachyoki or miming with headphones on to a song from Leighton's Ipod. I think his punishment might have been swifter and more severe if our leader had not clashed with the party gang in some way most days over the last week and Sue and me in the last twenty four hours.

We spent a very enjoyable morning at Dracula's castle. It was very touristy. I bought a little chanter pipe for 35 lei about six pound. We then carried on with our route through the Carpathian Mountains. The scenery is absolutely incredible. I can see why people rave about Romania and this particular area. Valley after valley with few houses and little sign of people. T main mode of transport still the horse drawn cart and the Romanian equivalent of a Renault.

Eventually got out of the mountains and on the road to Bucharest. Had to have lunch at a service station, the local feral dogs feasted on the groups' leftovers. Our first view of the capital did not inspire me, the main road was one long testimony to concrete. One block of awful flats after another stood as the consequence of misrule and earthquake damage. After a few times round what looked like a poor man's version of the Arch de Triumph we arrived at our campsite.

As soon as I got of the bus the camp had a great feel about it with a central area with tables surrounded by brightly painted chalets some with pointed roofs like those in the Alps. Everyone relieved not to be camping. Once again the allocation of rooms lead to conflict and yet again it was between me and Leighton. The argument did not quite lead to blows but it did bring things to a head. After a 10 Euro meal consisting of coke, plain salad with no dressing, some kind of schnitzel and six chips - on everyone's plate - followed by almond ice-cream and an half hour show of traditional music, dance and song we assembled outside on the restaurant patio for a meeting to clear the air. Pleased to find it wasn't just me and the party gang that had grievances. A wide range of issues were exercised and changes promised with regards to allocation of rooms (Emmett to arrange for one week), more information about length of journeys, lunch breaks in the countryside not garages and by the road in towns and finally Leighton to improve the tone of briefings. Things could have been much worse. General consensus was that Leighton was taking on too much responsibility and needed to delegate relieved. Many felt they were being treated like school kids and I have to say some acted like they were. Meeting ended in congratulations and hugs all round. We had travelled through France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Rep, Austria, Hungary and Romania safely and on time and mainly due to the skills of a 26 year old from Naven. I do think if anyone can get us to Sydney then he can. However, we are aware that the easy bit is over and the next 9 to 10 weeks are the real test.

After the meeting we all headed back to the campsite, to sit, drink and have a good old sing song. Maz had brought a brandy flask and a bottle of Polinka to the table and Daz seemed to be taking most advantage through innocence and in an attempt to forget the bad day he'd had. He'd broken his camera and was feeling a bit homesick after speaking to his mum and girlfriend. I think he may regret his actions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 18:13