vineri, 16 august 2013

Knowing your limits and going beyond them while biking in Romania


As a professional travel guide I always took care on my condition and good shape, it is simply necessary in that field. I really enjoy this job and I am very fond of it for sure. My country, Romania, is really nice and I like very much introducing it to foreign tourists coming in contact with it.
Tour manager Paul Launer, also a long range runner, is never sick or tired, and motivates the group daily with phrases from Goethe & Co

I also like very much the Romanians, they are mostly simply, not sophisticated, but well mannered and educated, normal and friendly. And I also like and enjoy my contacts with the foreigners, these cultural contacts are the salt and pepper in this job.
German Bikers in Oradea Park, before starting the big adventure. In black, first from left, Tour Manager Paul Launer

But when I have been instructed to be the travel guide of a bikers group coming from Germany over Launer Reisen, I was very balanced, even angry and scared. What if I am not going to succeed and resist? Paul Launer also asked all the normal questions, including my age, but I decided to take this adventure as a provocation. People talled me first that is a bust waiting all the time behind the cycles, and is only 20 km to ride everyday. It was really the thing I was needing and desperately waiting, and I took it, I said yes.
We also climbed on the Transfagarasan, the most spectacular Romanian mountain street, and discovered foggy peaks at 2000 metres

The ruthless reality was totally different! If I knew it, I could say no and destroy everything. We rode the bikes daily at least 100 km long, and it was specially difficult in the mountains. But not to ascensions and climbing, as you might think, but on the down hill! I always tried to keep my speed under control, and pushed heavily on the brake ( I am still a beginner, I must accept), totally different comparing to my mates, who reached unbelievable speeds, of 50 km/h and beyond. I was always the last by the down hill, as I know the roads and conception of car drivers in Romania, that's why I must keep my speed under control. On this point I never agreed with my mates, they seem to me being out of order.
Spectacular sunset in the Carpathians, a good reward for intensive efforts

A few words about my mates. The tour manager Paul Launer , a long runner and marathon runner himself, managed to make a perfect selection of people of the same kind. It was for me a big honor and pleasure making this trip with these people. Important mention: they were also two ladies participating to the trip, they were my secret hope ever since I met the group. But Renate and Longine, German Doctors, were damned good. Much better than me by far, and also better comparing with many males from the group!
The bikers mixed up with the locals Romanian, resulting a fantastic cultural change

A bike tour like this, as organized by Launer Reisen, is much more rewarding when compared to a bus tour, as we travelled throughout Romania, from Oradea to Constanta, and from Tulcea to Drobeta Turnu Severin. We enjoyed genuine landscapes, as we didn't ride on the busy main streets, but on the unbeaten paths, thus having the unique possibility to discover the simple Romanian, who is unsophisticated, not very rich, but always very happy and smiling. Unbelievable these Romanians, which are among the poorest Europeans, statistically speaking!

About the hotels, it was a good selection, and always the dinner very rich and generous. Unfortunately, after riding bike a few hours, you can't simply eat all, your body won't swallow. I hope that all the tourists are at least so happy as I am, as I gone much beyond my known limits. Thank you, Paul Launer, thank you dear mates riders!

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