Day 10 Update

Another sloppy email submission. This is the last one I hope.

Things have ramped up in my effort to get through this trip without having to sleep in my car. I’ve been putting in 15 hour days and the late discovery of summer-only destinations that I cannot visit now will get me back to Iasi in about two days. Whew!

Needless to say I’m exhausted. I spent last night in a very crappy countryside motel to save money. Lots of eccentric drunks and mouth-breathing yokels that seem to stay up drinking in the bar day and night. Strangely, the bed was one of the best I’ve slept in on this leg of research, though the sheets were questionable so I slept in my clothes again. Heh, the joke’s on them really, all my clothes are so filthy that I probably did more damage to the sheets than vice versa.

I’m sore all time because of the car. I don’t pilot it as much as wrestle with it. There is no power steering of course, but the wheel is so tough that it take everything I’ve got to turn the wheel at a standstill (like for parking and avoiding potholes). Also, the clutch is Porsche-heavy, so my left leg is throbbing after extended driving through a city. This unintended exercise and my limited diet is starting to show . I always lose weight (and sanity) when I travel, but this has been pretty intense. At least my ribs will be out just in time for summer.

The car is burning through oil an alarming rate. I have to add two litres a week to keep it at safe levels. I’ll get this checked back in Iasi. Or just sell the piece of $hit and let the next schmuck deal with it like I did. It’s the Romanian Way.

The second worst road in Romania is between Oredea and Satu Mare, in the northwest. Unfortunately, I had to traverse this stretch after dark, which made avoiding the potholes nearly impossible. I mostly stuck with a lead ‘rabbit car’ and swerved when they did. I still banged up the wheel rims in a big way and now the front left tire has a slow leak.

Driving at night in general is a bad idea and I have to cease doing this. Dacia windscreens are set at such an angle that oncoming headlights and street lamps create maximum blinding glare. Also, the headlights are near-useless, only giving about 10 metres of visibility, meaning I don’t see potholes until I’m bouncing through them and road signs are impossible to read. If I don’t have a lead car to follow, I can barely see the lines of the road at night. Really got to stop driving at night. I hereby promise… unless I’m in a super hurry.

When next I write, I should be back at home in Iasi, resting and hopefully drunk as hell.