We went for a bit of a walk into town again today. I fluffed around geeking as usual. In the evening we met Raluca at the fountain in the square. We caught the bus with her out to a town about 20 minutes drive from Brasov named Codlea. Raluca’s good friend has an apartment here that Raluca can use. It’s in the middle of a large communist-looking block of apartments. After attaching the door handle that she was carrying in her bag to the door and fighting with the locks we entered the small apartment.
Raluca was quite the host and cooked tea for us, a traditional meal of polenta with different types of cheese. We chatted in the evening before she caught her bus back to Brasov for the night.
Above left: Sylvia, Cris, and our host Raluca about to eat a traditional meal. Above right: Sylvia and Mark relax in the apartment in Codlea and eat grapes.
Below: Raluca cooking polenta on the gas stove.
A leisurely start to the day; we started walking out around 11 am. The walk down the river was nice and we amused ourselves by discussing the ‘big’ problems in the world and possible solutions. Very deep. From the end of the tramping track we slogged along a road for a couple of hours towards Victoria. It was much warmer at the lower altitude. We tried to hitch but for some reason the traffic was only coming towards us. A few kilometres before Victoria we managed to get a lift in the back of a random guy’s pick-up truck. We weren’t sure whether we should have been eagerly jumping into the back of his closed deck behind the cab. He closed the doors on us and we clung to whatever looked solid as we zoomed along the bumpy road.
Above: Mark in the pick-up truck.
From Victoria we took a bus and then a very slow but very cheap (2 Euros) train back to Brasov. Trusty bus number 51 took us back to our hostel.
Below: View of Brasov from the hostel by night. The majority of the city is to the right outside of the frame.
It’s amazing how the weather affects your perception of things. It was sunny and a bit warmer this morning and the brown grassy hills looked quite nice. Walking was quite enjoyable. Sadly, the weather deteriorated about lunch time. It was cold again and we had patches of rain. Sylvia was not keen to continue along the ridge and Mark and I didn’t have strong feelings either way so we dropped down into a valley and camped near a river.
Above left: Mark and Sylvia sitting in the grass during a fine patch of weather. Above right: Barren hills.
It’s almost getting too cold to be using a travel sleeping bag now. I’ve been cold the last two nights despite wearing my down jacket and fleece pants to bed. Maybe it’s time to fly back to NZ?
I cooked dinner and we had cous-cous. Except, we didn’t. We had something that looked very much like cous-cous but was really quite different. In fact, that’s not quite right. It was so inedible that was scrapped the “cous-cous” entirely and I served a delicious feast of potato flakes and canned tomatoes. Surely worth the long wait. The others weren’t too worried as Mark had worked his magic and we had a nice fire to keep us warm.
It turns out that misleading packaging and our complete lack of knowledge of the Romanian language had caused us to by four big packets of what was essentially vegetable stock. And very salty stock too. It didn’t help that it was clumped in little balls like cous-cous and looked like the stuff when I decanted it into our bowls. To my surprise, after pouring boiling water over it, the little balls dissolved leaving a solution that contained enough salt to be really quite horrid.
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