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On the night of the 18th May, whilst free-camping alone in near Cabana Plaui Foii in Piatra Craiului National Park, my tent was slashed, and my camera bag (with passport and bank cards) was taken. The police where quite helpful, and we found my passport and cards (abandoned by the thief, thankfully), but I still lost a lot of camera gear.
If you are going to free camp in Romania anywhere that sees many tourists (domestic or foreign), and that is easily accessible to the general public, take the utmost care with your possessions
Consider putting all your valuables inside your sleeping bag, and perhaps leave a torch switched on in your tent. Better still, stay at a cabana, though this is probably also not 100% safe.
If anyone catches wind of my camera stuff (a Nikon D70s, two lenses , memory cards and batteries in a blue Lowepro camera bag), please PM me.
I can appreciate your anger and the problems it caused you having been the victim of theft, but is it fair to tar the whole of Romania and Romanians with the brush of all being thieves? As can be read here such incidents can, and do, occur in many other countries. It may be preferable if respondents were to share practical security measures we could all employ when travelling (I am not making the distinction between developed and developing countries as western Europe is far from crime free).
Caminando, Caminando .... what is the country with the highest stolen motorcycle rate in Europe? Is not it UK? Does it mean UK is a bullshit country? Does it mean the English people are bad? Are they thief? Are they "even stole the watch off Bush's wrist"??
Mollydog .... Do you think USA isn't a "tough" country? And you are very lucky you were never "hungry" but what you write is "agressive" and of course it is very "smart". Do you think the Perfect Country really exist? Your bike, your car, your watch can't be stolen in USA or UK? Do you leave your helmet on the bike in front of Notre Dame in Paris? Dou you leave your car's window open and all your jewel in the car when you have a lunch in manhattan? Do you really do it?
Caminando and Mollydog ... don't judge a people and a country so quick!
I fully agree with santhasz. I don't consider Romania as more risky than US or UK or any other West European country. Maybe it's the other way around, that you should be much more afraid for thefts when you are in US or UK?
These things can happen anywhere if your'e unlucky, Sweden, Germany Spain or where-ever. Ain't that right ?
I've been around with my bike in Romania for several weeks and have never experienced any problems and haven't heard about it before this.
But, I have heard of people getting robbed in the US and I've been threatened there. I do not judge the whole country for that.
Please don't be so quick to judge a whole country for a single accident.
Romania is a lovely country and I recommend everyone who hasn't been there to take a visit.
Hear, hear to the last two posts. And we wonder why people from other countries take a dim view of us, espousing such narrow minded and unjustified criticisms on their homeland.
danielsprague, in your original post you said the Romanian Police were helpful. Excellent, what service do you think you would receive from a UK police force if you had suffered such a minor crime (I appreciate to you it was a major incident, but not in the eyes of the law)? You would probably only be given an incident number.
Apologise to the Romanian HUBB members and get yourself back to their country to see it with a less jaundiced view.
I'm also with the latter posts. I've just returned from Romania nd security wise felt a lot safer there than some other countries I've visited. I've also learned to ignore the people who say, "Don't go there - it's dangerous, you'll be robber; the bike will be stolen" etc. Most of them haven't been to these countries and are relaying the story of a friend of a friend etc.
No one is claiming Romania is the Garden of Eden rather the criticism of the country as a whole due to the one unfortunate incident experienced by danielsprague was grossly unfair. Every country has problems of crime at the same time the majority of that country's citizens being law abiding and a sizeable minority of those that will also go out of their way to assist and befriend motorcycle travellers.
Hi Guys, I travelled Turkey-Bulgaria-Rumainia-Moldavia-Ukrane-Russia in 2004 and it was a wonderful trip. I did get busted in Rumania for "speeding" for which the police were happy to confiscate US$20. Once was bad enough but three times between the border and Bucharest was just pushing it.
It has happened to me in Africa and Asia but I was supprised that it happened in Europe.
Anyway on with the advise.
I use canoe bags on the m/bike.
I lock the zips to stop little hands.
I then cover with waterproof rucksack covers, out of site out of mind, then use a "Pac Safe" over that with the tail threaded through the bike frame.
I also have a "Lid Safe" that I put my camera and stuff in.
This may be overkill but I don't loose to much gear.
You could cut throught the pac safe but I've found that people see the precautions and just leave it alone.
The only problem I have with the lid safe is the steel wire is between an inner and outer plastic cover. Someone slashed the cover to get at it once (Italy) but nothing was taken. Duc tape repaired it.
These things are not cheap, Lid Safe is about £40 and Pac Safes vary from £35 for small Rucksac size to £55 for 120 litre size.
I got the Pac safe's from "Blacks" camping shop and the Lid Safe from P&H motocycles in Crawley.
I hope this helps someone.
Geez, that's the exact opposite of the opinion I formed of Romania after touring through the country on my moto last summer. I thought it was a delightful country, full of very friendly people, and in general, a far, far safer place to be than (for example) downtown London, downtown Paris, or downtown Los Angeles.
I think that the original poster might have been just a little bit naive 'free camping' (sleeping rough) in a country that has just gone through tremendous social and political change, and not taking appropriate security precautions. There are a lot of people in Romania who have been 'left behind' by the rapid modernization of the country and the tremendous growth taking place in the Romanian economy. This is no different than what happened in East Germany when the wall came down, and equally no different than the fate of many poor and/or uneducated people in first world countries such as England, France, or the USA (the cities I cited above).
I mean, heck, you could probably sleep rough in rural Nebraska and never be bothered, or sleep rough in Switzerland and never be bothered, but I can think of a heck of a lot of places in some of the most affluent countries of the world where you would be considered 'fair game' if someone with an empty belly found you sleeping rough.
Lastly - I usually slept overnight at a pension or farmhouse when I toured through Romania - average cost per night was about $12 or so. That included the shower in the morning, and a secure garage or farm outbuilding to park my moto in at night.
Hi Guys, I traveled Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania-Moldavia-Ukraine-Russia in 2004 and it was a wonderful trip. I did get busted in Romania for "speeding" for which the police were happy to confiscate US$20. Once was bad enough but three times between the border and Sofia was just pushing it...
I think that the Romanian government has cleaned that problem up since 2004. I found both the police and the customs agents to be very friendly and very courteous when I was there, not the slightest hint of any request for a bribe. I was stopped once by a policeman when I was riding along a little bit above the speed limit - all the cop wanted to tell me was to slow down, because there was road construction everywhere and, as he put it, "sometimes they don't put warning signs up, and there are big drop-offs". He had no interest in even giving me a ticket, let alone asking for a bribe.
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