274-280: to Odorheiu Secuiesc
pics #1151 - #1224
Wednesday August 3rd – White Magnetic Wind
I decided to stay one extra day to learn from Dorin some yogic techniques of which I never received personal instructions. We meet him at the market where we find tasty tomatoes and many natural products right from the gardens, if we take a good look. At the cheese shops the sellers are all preparing a sample to offer, and I would have enough for a meal to going around the store! Back at Maria’s place, I listen and practice under the expert guidance of Dorin before a great meal. Then a tour of the city. Two relaxed days…
Thursday August 4th – Blue Lunar Night
I start my daily yoga practice, paying extreme attention to follow instructions given by Dorin while doing the Kriyas. We go on talks with Maria, around fresh food. She’s a perfect host. As a consequence I leave not too early, taking a detour to the market and being paranoid about gypsies hanging around the area. Some pictures of the city center, organized between two main square, one with a catholic cathedral and the Hungarian monument, the other with its Romanian equivalent and an orthodox cathedral. Finally on the road, in the end of the afternoon, I try to be smart by turning away from the main road. I end up turning around in secondary roads. I do not make much distance, and I have little idea where I am. Very close from Cluj for sure. But I find a great place to camp where I light a fire (using fuel I recon).
Cluj: National theatre
Friday August 5th – Yellow Electric Seed
The sun shining on the tent awakes me and after my morning routine, I go down to find an asphalt road. It is going up steep to reach the village of Gheorgeni. I ride on secondary roads, between fields. For the next few villages, I can even locate myself on the map. From the crest of hills, I discover a wide panorama in the valleys on each side. The weather is clear, and hot. Going down and meeting some dogs to run after me. I stop for lunch at a train station where the officer invites me to eat in a quiet a cool room. Two other men join me, one of them eats fat and they try to convince me to eat meat for my muscles, laughing at my sprouted wheat and vegetable diet. Seriously this cultural belief that meat is necessary to become strong is ridiculous. A result of good marketing. “Meat makes stiff muscles” said Patthabi Jois. For my part, a 95% vegetarian diet as proven efficient to ride my bicycle daily for a decade.
While I leave, the people at the station advice me to follow the railway, which is a good idea: the village where I am is not located on the map, the route neither. At about 16.00 I reach Câmpia Turzii and the main road –forbidden to bicycles as usual- to Târgu Mureş, there are about 70km left. With a good determination, 2 chocolate tablets, 8 slices of bread, 1 melon and 1,5 liter of water, I ride fast to reach the city at 21.00. My hosts Alex finds me, by chance, waiting at traffic lights. Five minutes later I am sitting in terrace of a pub with his girlfriend Sue and another of their guest. Alex(andre) and Su(zanne) are a cool French couple, volunteering for a NGO in watching birds. They came from the west of France by bicycle! They are often working in the wild and give me valuable advices about bears, and how to avoid meeting them.
from the hills
before the fast lane
Saturday August 6th – Red Self-Existing Serpent
I leave not too soon again, being busy on reading news and giving some. Doing groceries in the city where the language is Hungarian rather than Romanian. It is still very hot to ride under the sun, no clouds, no shadow. By the side of the road, I stop for a watermelon that the seller choose perfectly, sweet and juicy. A curious young boy comes to look at the bicycle, climbs on it, and I am surprise to see him riding the bike for some meters. Once stopped, though, the little man doesn’t have the strength to hold the heavy load. He falls and hurts his leg. I give him some pomade before going on. Turning east toward the mountains, I find a beautiful panorama on a village. Turning south and taking secondary roads, the landscape looks like what Alex and Sue described for being a place that bears like. I am following the foothills of the Carpatians. In a pub where I ask for a refill of water, the men of the village kindly indicate me the route, hamlet by hamlet, mentioning bears as well. I camp in a field, close to houses. In the distance, watching cows, a dog is barking. I guess it will be safe from bears. But as a simple safety measure, I put my food at a distance from the tent.
traditional housing and well
Sunday August 7th – White Overtone Worldbridger
I still ride on a road of rocks, going up, and down, it goes slow, but the scenery is breathtaking. Little villages in the valleys, fields around the hills, mountains in the distance. I arrive on the asphalt road to reach Sovata and its salty lake, with curative virtues. It is not the best day: on a Sunday, in the high season, it is packed with Hungarian speaking tourists. After half a water melon, I meet a German cyclist going the other way, who left from Vienna and tours Romania. In the city of Praid I visit a salt mine, exploited since old times. Hungarian scouts, told about it at the time they were not established yet in Transilvania. Currently a part of it is used as a cure center where it accommodates people and offers various facilities: chapel, library, games. The rooms are immense, very high. Back on earth surface, I settle camp on a hill dominating the city.
Praid, salt mine: the chapel
Monday August 8th – Blue Rhythmic Hand
I had chosen not to mount the outside part of the tent because of the heat, but it is a bad choice: the morning moisture got inside. While the tent dries, I practice the full primary series, for the first time since I entered Romania. A small distance remains to my host in Odorheiu Secuiesc, going through a land that is definitely Hungarian. This is noticeable by the indications, and the cars' registration plate. Some villages, especially Corund, seem like touristic attractions, near traditional faience, souvenir shops sell all kind of stuff, probably made by Asian children. Besides that, all the shops offer accommodation displaying a “Zimmer Frei” panel. A ride up to 834m, other villages that look authentic once away from the main road. The region has special wooden carved gates. A last climb leads me to Odorheiu Secuiesc in Romanian, which is named Szekelyudvarely in Hungarain. It is my most Eastern point: I will turn West after this stop. I relax a the public beach, trying to avoid swallowing dying insects while swimming. My host meets me there, Robert, active, energetic guy. We end the day in a pub with cool paintings –although the waiters have no idea who the artists painted on the walls are-
detail of a Szekely gate
Tuesday August 9th – Yellow Resonant Seed
I join with Robert and his girlfriend for breakfast. Later we go to a dam lake, a very quiet place in the mountains. Robert know his region well and so I learn that the population there is not truly Hungarian. They would originate from another Hungarian speaking tribe. They are the “Seklar”, placed at the borders of Hungaria for their good warrior skills.