Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Day55: CLuj Napoca to Priata Neamh(Moldavia, Romania) 350km, 9 hours

It is a national holiday today - in honour of St Mary.
Lots of people are walking to church as we ride through the many wins along our route.

We head north east to Bristita and into the Carpathian mountains  where housing has adistinctly alpine style.  

The Transylvanian farms are very small, often less than 3/4 acre and two cows. The mowing and stacking of dried grasses is a traditional practice. The cows eat the meadow grass in the summer and hay in the winter. We saw lots of freshly-made and partly-made Haystacks. Men were out with their scythes cutting grass. In some places there were piles of grass drying. The cutting of the grasses is important to restrict the invasion if shrubs from the forest.
Farm incomes are low but some young folk who go away to other EU countries work bring back money to build themselves houses.
Some of these houses are mansions compared with the humble houses of farmers many of which don't have a bathroom.

We are farewelled by Claudia and her sisters law. It was lovely to have a chance to chat to Claudia about what life was like before the revolution. She was 18 and about to go to university. 
I was curious about why there were there so many babies I asked... She said that contraception was difficult to obtain..  I did a little research...Under Ceausescu the pregnancy became virtually state policy. His aim was for the Romanian population to increase to 30million by the year 2000. Contraception and abortion were banned from 1966 until the end of his regime in1989.  Women were expected to work and were unable to care for their babies. The state set up orphanages to care for the babies.



Bikers are always interested in each other's tales.

Off reading for the adventurous.
Haystacks in Transylvania.
New and old houses in the alpine region of the Carpathian Mountains


Lush forest as we ride to Bicaz.


These runner mean plants are the biggest I have ever seen - good for Jack and the beanstalk. 


Bicaz had no accommodation so we ode another 20km to Priata Neamh where gondolas ross the busy Main Street.

Horses and carts are valuable for small farmers.

Lavinia with a yeast roll she has baked for guests at the hotel.

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