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Old 01-11-2018, 05:00 PM   #96
glitch
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Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Finally back in Nedajno...





















Barely 500m away....the other tiny town at the other side of the canyon...same looks, same surrounds....just separated by a 700m deep crack in the landscape







Nedayno....I'm already sad for having to leave in the morning
.




Let's give mama a hand setting the table...it's getting bloody cold again, too.

In fact, temps are plunging with a real bite to 'em.

Glad, we brought the sleeping bags on this trip.....




At the Canyon's edge...Guesthouse Nedajno/ Durmitor National Park
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:37 AM   #97
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Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Nedajno (Montenegro) -> Tara Canyon-> Cacak (Serbia)


https://goo.gl/k6KyBn







Oh man....this is cold!

Rugged up in anything the deep corners of the panniers could cough up, the white sheen of frost on the bare, brown paddocks turns the
morning silvery under a blue sky.


Its essentially a transit-day, heading north-east into Serbia, then towards the Romanian border and the Carpathian Mountains after.
Retracing yesterday's steps across the tops to Zabljak...




















Into the grey muck....







No more pics for the rest of the day....while things stayed dry, the cloud turned everything into a bit of a drab cloak.
Google maps sort-of has it right, the 300km turned into 8+hours on the road with plenty of spice added later in the day when getting caught up in the "Serbian Grand Prix".

The last 80km to Cacak seemed to be the "Deathwish-Highway" , much of the road being fairly good quality, but with long sections of "Black Spur" twisties along the mountain slopes of a narrow valley.
The locals were dead-keen to find a winner for the "how-fast-and-deep-can-I-run-into-the-next-blind-bend-during-the-overtaking-manoeuver " that afternoon....and things went from beyond hairy to seriously scary.

It all turned into making oneself as small a target as possible, swim with the flow and hopefully not become part of the fall-out.

Cacak was made with a great sigh of relief, the Hotel Livade a convenience stopover of the roadside-plastic variety.


A stay for a night, Cacak, Serbia
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:49 AM   #98
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Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post


Oh man....this is cold!

Rugged up in anything the deep corners of the panniers could cough up, the white sheen of frost on the bare, brown paddocks turns the
morning silvery under a blue sky.

"COLD" does NOT describe how we all felt! Not only the fingers were totally numb, requiring to stop every so often to warm them on warm parts of the bike. Frozen right down to the bones!!! Don't know how anybody managed to take out the camera to take photos!!
The first stop for coffee was the most welcome stop of the whole trip!!!
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:30 AM   #99
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Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Cacak (Serbia)-> crossing the Danube River-flats into Romania -> Anina, West-Carpathians (Romania).


https://goo.gl/5HAFoQ







Another "transit-day" to make it into Romania by the end of the day and set us up for a couple of days of checking out the TransAlpina and Transfagarasan Passes.

Dreading another 150k's worth of Serbia after yesterday's experience makes me quickly re-route the quick + direct option into something more 2.-3.grade, which will take more time but we might dodge the worst of the Kamikaze-Locals.

Things turn out quite docile and it's a medium-speed cruise across the undulating North-Serbian landscape followed by the extensive riverflats of the Danube.
We skim along the river for a long stretch.... before a quick crossing into Romania at Naidas.

Things start to get more interesting in the nearby hills, the western foothills of the Carpathian Mountains.





The narrow valley climbs continuously, then spits us out in a small valley bowl at Anina, which obviously has been vacated by its communist past a while ago.
The huge, rusting mining gear, rail yards, maintenance buildings etc. falling ever deeper into decay and disrepair every year.
It's a sad, little place... with its rusting hulks of former industrial prosperity squashed between the mountain slopes.
The next-door National Park seems to harbour more packs of scruffy stray dogs + cats than native animals...


The more of a surprise to find the Pensiunea Roua Florilor such a generous, clean and well-kept affair ....if somehow weird with its ballroom-sized dining hall/ dance-hall?? and the full-marble 3-story staircase and all that.
It sure is a strange place...step out the door and look across the fence into the old mine and shunting yard, and it feels even stranger.






Checking the "theme-colours"...maybe there's something else going on here?






Breakfast or dinner-dance....it sure is a lonely affair.







Strange place... the old mining town of Anina, Western Carpathians, Romania
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:22 AM   #100
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Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Anina, West-Carpathians (Romania) -> TransAlpina -> Rt.106E delights -> Sibiel (near Sibiu/ Romania)


https://goo.gl/1X2yVk






Bikes packed outside and kitted up for another day on the road, it's a leisurely breakfast as the host-couple finally warms up to the bunch of Aussies
and there are some laughs and smiles.





Tacking east and following the valleys and main roads, things start to slow down at Petrosani.
What shows as a major road on Google maps, is a small, white line towards a tiny ski-resort on the printed map.
Transferred into reality, it's a dark, tight, barely 10m wide valley with a roaring creek and a broken-up, sealed-many decades ago single-laner curling its way alongside.

Past the turn off to some ski huts and a slow crawl across a shallow saddle, there is the sign:
The fabled TransAlpina!!

One of the 2 passes that cross the Carpathian Mountains Main Ridge.







The skies are murky and it seems like we have been pushing a weather front ahead of us all day....but it's dry and good enough for a run up the northern ramp, the best part of the TransAlpina, to Ranca at the top before backtracking and tacking north-east towards Sibiu.





















The road is ours alone, not a soul to be seen.... the clouds must keep them all down in the valleys.
No great sculpting of the landscape here (like in the EU-Alps), but a band of asphalt thrown across the contours of a long, swoopy and gradual climb up the bare and windswept slopes.











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