29th Jul 2012
Days 133 & 134
Back to sun & blue sky today. Fairly short hop to our next campsite, but as we needed more provisions, we sought out a supermarket. The first one we came to was in a good old, western-style out of town shopping complex – all glitzy signs, big box buildings and a sea of parking. Seems really incongruous to the general scenery of what are clearly very poor villages, but it was certainly very busy. There’s progress for you then.
Anyway – on to our next campsite – this time a grassed yard at the back of an old building in the centre of the village of Richis. An unsurfaced road to get to the village, which, apparently is pretty much the norm once you get off the main roads. The road went through the deeply forested Valea Draculul (I’ll leave the translation to you), but it didn’t seem that sinister in the bright sunshine. The village itself follows the same format as everywhere else – all strung out along the road, although it does have more of a core to it, with a church, community hall and school at the centre. The buildings are the same mix of scruffy and well-maintained – fortunately the campsite fell within the latter category. Nicely laid out really, with the facilities all within the old barns around the courtyard.
Unfortunately, the campsite owner was really busy, being involved in some sort of ex-villagers re-union. It seems that many villagers moved to Germany years ago, and they were all coming back to see their home village again – so there were various festivities going on, but nothing we could join in with being ‘outsiders’.
Resorted to trying the local beer – on draught in the bar next to the campsite. Very refreshing and drinkable, but not a patch on a proper ale. Mind you – I can’t remember how long ago it was that I paid around 80p for a pint & a half (well – metric equivalent) of beer and a bag of peanuts.
Had a wander around the village – there are loads of horses with carts, toothless old ladies dressed in black and even a combine harvester where the driver was shaded by an umbrella. Odd though – one of the horse/cart drivers was busily chatting on a mobile phone as he went along, and there are satellite dishes on some of the most crumbliest houses. A country of contrasts.
Another hot, sunny morning. Drove on down the valley to the next village, Biertan, where we stopped to have a look around the fortified church. They’re quite a feature of the area – this one being set on a hillock and surrounded by a high wall. But more importantly, there is a winery in the village – so we found out where it was and went to see what they could offer. We’re on a mission while we’re away to find a litre of wine at less than 75p and although we’ve come pretty close several times so far, we thought we were on a cert to do it here. But NO! Calamity – we forgot it was Sunday so the winery was closed. You’re record is still intact Ann. We’ll just have to keep looking.
So onward to Sighisoura – a bit of a medieval hilltop town. Got parked easily enough again and had a look around. Nice little place, although a lot of stalls offering various Dracula merchandise. Went up the bell tower but I can’t tell you how many steps there were – not that many, but very, very squeaky.
Having got safely down, we decided to head on to what looked to be a more rural campsite further north at Campu Cetajii. Turned out to be a very nice spot, nestling in a valley with the wooded foothills of the Gurghiului Mountains around. There are various walks from here apparently, so we will stay another night and get a good walk in tomorrow. This time, we’ll make sure we’ve got a good map!!
|29th Jul 2012 Bierton|
|29th Jul 2012 Biertan village|
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