Danube: Balchik – Vama Veche

The E87 road from Varna (Bulgaria) to Vama Veche (Romania) has a reputation as busy and dangerous. Thanks to Bulgarian Bob we avoided much of this, by-passing via local resorts and villages.

Spent the last of our Bulgarian Lev on a delicious lunch at Tyulenovo Bar and Restaurant (“Cool drink, cool food, cool people”). The fish soup reminded me of one we tasted in Copenhagen, at ten times the price. A cool Romanian guy asked to have a close look at our bikes… seemed like a dawning realisation when he saw essentially road bikes carrying luggage.

Some long, shallow descents on the way to the Romanian border, so, in honour of our 82-year-old cyclist friend Bryce, who is hosting a freewheeling contest in Winchester today, we tucked chins to handlebars and rolled as far as we could.
Luckily heads were back up when we spotted a large object in the road. Some kind of roadkill… a European wildcat, about double the size of a typical moggy.

Even during the Ceau┼čescu regime, Vama Veche attracted Romanian free-spirits, for wild camping, skinny-dipping and respite from totalitarianism. It continues, albeit a little more commercialised, though, out-of-season on a chilly evening I declined to skinny-dip.

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