August 19, 2005 GMT

Four Italian bikes were at the hotel last night. Identical V-Stroms - which is either great trip planning (cuts down on spares & tools) or incredibly unimaginative. One of them speaks some English - he went to Twickenham to watch the Italians get thrashed :) They are now on their way home.

I decide on a low mileage day and ride to the Turda Gorge. This sounded like an easy option at the time...... The last 4 miles to the Gorge are worse than your average farm track. Not a surprise really - it basically is a farm track ! There is no tarmac - just mud, stones and gravel. I remember that part of 'The Long Way Round' where they take the bikes up a track they can't get back down... I can't turn round either.... most of it is uphill, which is safer - but I have to come back ! If you had told me I could do this on a Pan-European two weeks ago I would have laughed at you. The photos of the gorge were great, but they would only be worth it if I don't drop the bike on the way down. Felt quite sick at the time. But I made it... couple of Germans smiling in their 4WD as they see someone standing on the pegs of a fully laden supertourer going the other way. If I ever meet another biker who has done that, they will have used a GS or XT. Unless someone has done it with a Goldwing, I'm quite proud of myself :)

More great curves back on the main road. Get to my destination about 4pm. Get attacked by another dog at very short range, but I'm able to accelerate away. Glad I wore my massive old Alpinestar MX boots - they are about dog height and are as tough as .... Tough to find a hotel as there is a music festival on. But the sun is out and its a beautiful place. Park the bike outside the B&B. When the first question from the usual crowd is not 'How fast is it ?' but 'How much is it worth ?' I feel a bit uncomfortable. I tell him its 10 yrs old, and as it now looks like I have ridden it around fields for months he loses interest.

Sighisoara one of several places laying claim to the Dracula myth and would make a good stop for any tourist. Had a chat with an Australian doing part of my trip in reverse - heading towards Hungary on an SV650. Have a few beers and a corn on the cob watching the dancing - realise that is all I ate all day.

Posted by Kevin Payne at August 19, 2005 05:27 PM GMT

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