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  #1  
Old 3 Oct 2006
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UK - Romania - Bulgaria/Black Sea ?

I'm hoping to set off around Easter on an XTZ750 solo as above. I guess I'll go southish via Italy but I'd like any tips re Romania and/or Bulgaria. I'm assuming that once they're in the EU from January the paperwork will be reasonably straightforward and I'm even thinking my Carol Nash insurance and roadside assistance will apply. Am I being over optimistic? I haven't found out about currency i.e. will it be euros by then?
I'm thinking I'll go open ended and see how it goes - up to 3 months ish. I'm a bit of a beginner outside the usual trips into France, Spain, Germany, Italy etc. I presume lots of you have done this trip but I can't find anything.
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  #2  
Old 3 Oct 2006
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Just a few points:
  • In my experience, road conditions can be pretty bad especially in Bulgaria (potholed and rutted)
  • Take it easy on the roads. There are a lot of slow moving vehicles including horse-drawn especially in Romania. Be extra careful going around bends and expect something to be in the road.
  • Don’t speed either, you’ll give the local police a reason to pull you over.
Have fun. Stephan
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  #3  
Old 3 Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephano
Just a few points:
  • In my experience, road conditions can be pretty bad especially in Bulgaria (potholed and rutted)
  • Take it easy on the roads. There are a lot of slow moving vehicles including horse-drawn especially in Romania. Be extra careful going around bends and expect something to be in the road.
  • Don’t speed either, you’ll give the local police a reason to pull you over.
Have fun. Stephan
These are good points!

We found the road in Bulgaria to be a lot better than in Romania (especially in the north east)
Policeman were very nice in both countries, but I think we were lucky.

LEARN how to read cyrillic, 'cos off the beaten track you WILL need it!

Enjoy, both are nice countries!
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  #4  
Old 3 Oct 2006
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UK - Romania - Bulgaria/Black Sea

HI Mickba...
Stephano is right about that. Go slow, keep you eyes open

I found a lot of info recently as I too am planning to do Romania in 2007
out of Austria...

Perhaps these couple of Links/Urls will help you.
All in English...good pictures too (for an idea of the Areas).


If I remember correctly, there are good maps in this Page too.
1.www.romaniatravel.com


This is a possible contact and overnight there...right at the Carpathian
Mountains...Rodger from England and his wife Lili from Romania have a
nice B&B there in Campulung...in the middle south area.
They love guests and have a lot of infos too...just contact them if you
like.
2.www.visionsofromania.co.uk/


This next Website is not necessarily what you might be interested in, but
info anyway...pictures are interesting tho...is an enduro page...

On the Website, in the Navigation on the left side...find 'Arrivals'.
Check that out...will give you good entrance and driving infos.
3.www.xventure.net/en/anreise.php

Currency...Romania & Bugaria 2007...there will probably be, as of
January 1, 2007, a currency transition period there. maybe a year or two.
This simply means the currencies of both countries will still be valid...as will also the Euro there, which means two valid currencies .

...In Slovenia it was so...during the transition period, everything will be adjusted into Euros. That does take time...
Collecting and gathering in the old currency and rearranging all the other stuff.

I hope this helps a little. If your german is ok, I have more infos for Romania and Bulgaria too...motorcycle tours and travel stories, perhaps accomodations.

At any rate enjoy working your trip out. That's half the fun.

...keep the wheels down. Greetings from Vienna.
Richard aka silverwolf
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  #5  
Old 3 Oct 2006
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Went through both countries at the end of May. My impressions ;

Romania : Roads between Buch.-Const. and black coast is ok. But North and North-east sections are quite bad. Do expect every thing at the corners you cannot see. There can be anything there including biig bumps or potholes. US dollar is excepted and prefered ( as to Euro)

Bulgaria : Coast line is slow pace trafic since its only one line in each direction but beatiful scenery. Roads are ok.

In believe in both countries fuel is diluted. So carrying octane booster might be a good idea.

Cheers,
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  #6  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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Wow!!

Thanks everyone for such quick and useful replies - plenty to go at already. I've already started preparing the bike. I have two XTZ750s and the one I'm planning to go on has only done 4k miles but there's still lots to do to make sure everythings OK and there's luggage system, crash bars, electrical mods etc etc to sort. I bought a third bike with fairly good plastic so i'll probably t/f that for the trip so that I don't have to worry too much if I have the odd scrape. Looks like I have plenty to do this winter planning the route etc..
Thanks.
Mick
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  #7  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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Mick,

I did a similar jaunt this summer on a TDM (with a friend also on a TDM). But ferried from Venice to Igoumenitsa in Greece and then bimbled back up through Bulgaria and Romania. Really enjoyed biking in Northern Greece. some great areas, like the Pindos mountains.

In the unlikely event that either Bulgaria or Romania don't get into the EU before you travel: Carole Nash are not always right in the advice they give about Romania and Bulgaria. They may well tell you that you are covered for Bulgaria and Romania and that you don't need a green card. "Just use the back of the insurance document". You will need Bulgaria and Romania mentioned by name somewhere on your insurance documentation, unless you intend to buy Ins. at the borders.

In Bulgaria there is a small village called Melnik (off the E79) by the Greek border. We found it by mistake after getting lost on a variety of dirt tracks. Was a really pleasant place.

I particularly enjoyed the Trojan area. The #35 road off main road #6 was a belter.

In romania. think easter is going to be too early in the year for you to go over the Tranfagarasan Highway, which is a shame.

As already mentioned, the roads are a crazy mixture of horse and cart and arcticulated lorries! With lots of potential road kill thrown in for good measure.

Hope you arent too scared of dogs....you will get chased.....ALOT. And get your waving arm in practice.....we did only back roads and spent lots of time waving and stopping to chat with people....including being stopped by workers in the middle of roadworks!

We had no problem with police. Without fail we were flashed by oncoming traffic miles before seeing police.

If you go back via Hungary, there is good camping/bunks here: www.magyarroute66.hu with a bike workshop.

Sure you will have a blast. Its also worth contacting the HU communities for these areas. I got LOADS of very useful info from Andrei about romania before travelling.

Boop
dapleb
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  #8  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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thanks some more...............

.........forgot to ask - is satnav any use out there and if so which one - garmin or which?
Thanks
Mick
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  #9  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickba
.........forgot to ask - is satnav any use out there and if so which one - garmin or which?
Thanks
Mick
I used a Quest 2 in both countries, and it was great...It's even better if you play with google earth and find the lat/longs of the place you want and transfer to the gps!

As for Romania and Bulgaria becoming part of Euro...that will take another TEN years at least...

Melnik is lovely, but TAKE bulgarian leva with you as there is NO ATM in the village (And we found that out the hard way)!
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  #10  
Old 4 Oct 2006
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satnav

Hello again...

For your Satnav:
Garmin would be fine.
The Garmin Model GPS map276c is a good one for example.
I looked into this too...seems more in the middle, upper middle price class to me. Has some good features...Motorcycle and Nautical use possible...
seems to be an allrounder...is a personal preference I guess...they have other good models too, as you surely know. .

Don't know if you know this either, but will post it anyway...
Touratec has Garmin products and other goodies too.
Their Website has a Country and Language search function...
...meaning it is in English too...
you might want to check it out...they also have an On-line shop.
www.touratec.de

Further, if you like to check out Romanian Maps, the are two relatively new ones out.

This one is from a Hungarian Company...Dimaps. Good Maps.
Transylvania/Romania...1:250,000. Euro 30.
They have an On-line shop too...
www.map.hu/

The second one is from Freytag & Berndt.
Romanian Superatlas....1:250,000...also good. Euro 22.95
They too have an On-line shop.
www.freytagberndt.at/

Seems you got a lot to check thru for your venture! Enjoy, and .

Greetings and regards from Vienna.
Richard aka silverwolf.
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  #11  
Old 5 Oct 2006
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Forget about the EU - that will take its time, esp regarding any change in currency.

For Romania, May will most certainly be too early to travel the beautiful mountain roads in higher altitudes, but the north (Maramures) has lots to offer. Monastries, chapels, beautiful villages, but as said before, take the secondary roads. Very friendly people. And don't forget your puncture repair kit. You'll need it!

ATMs are only in the towns, at petrol stations when paying with a credit card you need to know your pin.
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  #12  
Old 5 Oct 2006
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May too early?

Well the timing of the trip isn't carved in stone - if it would make a lot of difference I could maybe reorganise and go in July following on from the Stella run - might be a lot more logical actually.
As someone said, I have a lot to do to get this organised. If I don't go until July there will be less time pressure on when to get back.
Re satnav I'm waiting for the launch of the Garmin Zumo (soon I think) - it's looking expensive at present but I reckon it will tumble after xmas - looks good.
It seems an awful long time before I go but I'm hoping to be away jan-march so i want to get as much as possible done before the end of the year.
Thanks again for a brilliant response and I'll do my profile when I get back from the pub.
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  #13  
Old 25 Oct 2006
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Romania

Look, here you'll find a lot of FAQ and answers about Romania:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub.../romania-19360

Anyway if you are in RO, contact me, OK?


Szabi
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  #14  
Old 25 Oct 2006
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Mickba,
You’re planning an interesting trip. We just returned from a similar six week trip, our route was east from Dunkirk in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North western Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and France.
Great trip we never had any deadlines apart from catching the ferries. We took camping equipment but only used it a few times; we spent most of our time in Romania, Bulgaria, and NW Greece.
We used two bikes (Transalps) and the total costs including ferries but not bike consumables (tyres oil etc.) came to £47 a day. We covered 6000 miles. The Transalps were brilliant and the only thing needed apart from petrol was a chain adjustment on one. I used a Pirelli MT90 AT the rear has still got some wear in it after 7000 miles. We used a Donlop 607s on the other bike.
Get the cheapest convenient ferry crossing (I used Norfolk lines) one way outward bound and on the way back find an internet café and book a ticket with Speed ferries from Boulogne, this is the only company I could find which offers a one-way price from France (£17) without playing games with one way trip prices from France.
You can get a green card on the boarders, but I did not bother for Romania and Albania (I am not recommending this) Bulgaria was 30 Euro for 30 days; Montenegro was 10 Euro for 30 days. Albania has a tourist tax and the daily rate is 5 Euro and they have a bike tax 2 Euro a day which you may or may not have to pay.
It is a great trip, May is a little early for the southern mountains of Romania. Northwestern Greece is an adventure rider’s paradise, bigger than the Alps, more rugged than the Pyrenees more dirt roads than the Picos and it’s not busy. The coast road through Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia is one of the top coast road drives in the world, but you need the right conditions. In summer (July August) it becomes a nightmare with very heavy traffic conditions, miss these two months and is great. I have ridden it both in May and October and it has had light traffic.
In Romania, NW Greece and Croatia it is common to get accommodation with a little kitchen.
One word of warning a lot of the roads in Greece and the Balkans’ have very low levels of grip and I mean low, try to avoid riding in the wet and if you have to ride take a lot of care. YOU WILL NOT HAVE EXPERIENCED ROADS AS SLIPERY AS THESE. Police presence is high everywhere and speeding is thier priority, we only got stopped once (Bulgaria) and they where just curious and friendly.
I like Romania and Albania, Bulgaria is good, it's ex Soviet history is very much in evidence, Albania can be very dirty but the people are very friendly, accommodation can be scarce.
Petrol when we traveled cost generally around the 1 Euro a liter, and we did change some money for day to day stuff but the Euro is king if you get stuck, we usually paid for accommodation in Euro everywhere. In Dubrovnik we were given the choice of which currency we used to pay for the apartment, we used the local currency because it was cheaper because of the exchange rate.
Do your country research and take good maps and try to stay off the main roads. I used a Garmin 2610 with World Map, it's not necessary but very handy getting in and out of towns and cities as sign posts are non existent. GPS needs some investment in time to get the best from it, if you going to use a GPS get plenty of practice in before you go.
Get some Health insurance I use Direct Travel Ins. they cover motorcycle travel and you can get cover for 3 months plus. Also check you bike insurance European cover, some won't cover a 90 day per trip, some insurance companies are as low as 30 day per year. A lot of these countries are changing fast Albania never used to have duel carriageway or Armco. The Balkans, Romania and Bulgaria are just sucking up loads of used cars from Western Europe.

See you on the road.

Steve
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  #15  
Old 25 Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickba
I'm hoping to set off around Easter on an XTZ750 solo as above. I guess I'll go southish via Italy but I'd like any tips re Romania and/or Bulgaria. I'm assuming that once they're in the EU from January the paperwork will be reasonably straightforward and I'm even thinking my Carol Nash insurance and roadside assistance will apply. Am I being over optimistic? I haven't found out about currency i.e. will it be euros by then?
I'm thinking I'll go open ended and see how it goes - up to 3 months ish. I'm a bit of a beginner outside the usual trips into France, Spain, Germany, Italy etc. I presume lots of you have done this trip but I can't find anything.
Hi Mickba

These replies say all that I was going to tell you. You'll have a great trip. There is more info on this topic on the HUBB from previous years -check it out.

Good luck
good roads
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