September 1 – 67 km
Today I struggled. Today I cried four different times. And not when I fell of my bike! (I’m ok –it was a slow motion standing still falling over- more embarrassing than anything else). It is hard to admit that I am not always strong and impervious to every challenge thrown my way. But I am human. And today, I felt it more than ever.
In a previous post I talked about the differences that a line on a map bring. A border between two countries can mean an incredible difference in societies, cultures, roads, everything. And so it has been with Romania. So much being thrown at my senses all at once – sensory overload for sure. I suppose I am experiencing culture shock of a sort. It’s funny, I have been to other countries with poor infra structures- countries much poorer than Romania – like Nepal. Although I had some culture shock in Nepal initially, I was able to process it and fall in love with the country (at least the parts I have been).
I want to love Romania, heck, I want to like Romania. I am liking the people and even loving some (you know who you are!) – but am really having a tough time here. Hopefully it will get better.
Our ride today was at least mostly uneventful – except my crash with the ground. We were chased by two sets (yes, sets) of dogs. We were on the back country roads south of the Mures River heading towards Deva and all of a sudden there were four or five sheep dogs – once they saw bicycles the chase was on. We have learned to actually slowdown in this situation – gently talk to the dogs and it seems to work. In both cases, the shepherd was within shouting distance and was able to call the dogs off. It’s funny, I don’t have to go all the way to Romania to have dogs chase me- just ask Jazzy and Levi (and the Gilberts) – the Rottweiler’s on our street at home make me just as nervous. Most of the dogs that put up a chase are little dogs with big attitudes. They usually put up a short chase and then run away.
I haven’t taken a lot of photos either. The roads in from Arad are not that scenic and we had to concentrate hard either because of pot holes (that you can get lost in) or because of cars and trucks zooming by inches from your bike. No room for errors and no room for wobbly front ends while you take a picture! We haven’t actually stopped a lot either. Yesterday we pretty much rode 6 hours straight through (one stop for a short lunch) and today was the same – although a bit shorter.
We were pleasantly surprised by Deva. It is a nice town. It has a pedestrian area, a castle and some wonderful people. So, we are at a small pension and enjoyed a nice night out.