Happy and satisfied, we rejoin the group and continue with this electrifying day, our next destination is a mountain refuge over 2000 meters above sea level where we will meet a monk …. if the guide says so! We start climbing again, here the ground changes from underwood and roots to only loose rocks of various dimensions, from the size of tennis balls to basket balls and this for more than 5 kilometers relentlessly. Per se this connecting stretch of trail of the Romaniacs is not extremely difficult, the important thing is to keep the full gear and keep doing it, it would be a torture to have to restart from here! We get to the top, the refuge gets nearer when, out of nowhere,comes a motorbike rode by a man with a full beard who nods a greeting. He is “The” famous monkwho lives on the mountain top like a hermit, riding his 2016 KTM Six Days …. the power of prayers!
The whole merry group finally heads towards the refuge where lunch is waiting: here we find two ladies, their life is all about prayers, a few chickens and the production of goat cheese; it’s a life style no longer found nowadays that surprises and fascinates me in this world totally dependent on technological contraptions.
After we eat we get back on our motorcycles and ride along the Carpathians’ ridges where the clouds surround us in a fresh mist; then we start going downhill along precipitous paths in the middle of the woods heading towards our base camp.
I recognize a few landmarks and realize that we are only a few kilometers from the hotel and from the end of this fantastic day. Claudiu decides to take me on a last climb: the "Vodka RedBull"! Relaying on my last energies, we start climbing a 1.5 km long uphill trail so sheer as to risk overturning, full of tight countersloping hairpin turns one after the other, where it is important to maintain traction and your weight forward, off the rear wheel; to stop would mean to inexorably roll down the mountain, which is certainly not my intention! So the dance hairpin turn-stair-hairpin turn-root leads us to the end of the trail; satisfied of the venture, we descend from the same routeand, low on gas and energies, we finally reach the hotel where a cool beer and laughter help us to recover from the day’s exertions!
So this is how an unforgettable day ends in an equally unforgettable place, a milestone of Enduro, enriched by the hospitality of the natives. I hope to see you again soon my Ducth friends Bram, Max, Sjors and Rick, a big and special thank you to Vali and Claudiu for their friendliness and excellent organization; it is an experience I highly recommend to those who love this wonderful sport. If you wish to live the same experience, go to:
Facebook: Vali Enduro
Text by: Marco Dugato