The border crossing to the European Union was nice and easy on both sides. Bulgaria welcomed us with open arms and we saluted them by throttling full speed ahead, almost.
We tried to speed ahead, but one of our spark plugs was failing and instead of three cylinders we had only two in use. On the first day we managed to drive only 60 km, but on the positive side we met some nice mechanics who had some sheep in their garage and they invited us for a fiesta the next day. The offer was tempting, but we decided to move on and it turned out to be a good choice because in Bulgaria and Europe, winter is coming.
We put up our hammocks under a roof type shack thing next to a graveyard and fell asleep thinking it was a good idea. The ghosts were fine, but the Mediterranean wasn’t warming us anymore. It was the first frost and we nearly froze to death.
On saturday we continued our way towards Romania and after the long cold start, the tuk tuk performed nicely. We managed to get all the way to the Romanian border in one day. This time we were wiser and pitched up a tent because the hammocks don’t keep in any of the warmth.
Our camp was next to an old soviet era factory where the atmosphere was one of a kind. We felled asleep hoping to visit Bulgaria again someday because we didn’t have a chance to really experience all the beauty we encountered.
As Sunday came, we woke up in middle of the mist. Winter may be coming, but fall is already here. It was beautiful not only with the fog, but also the chill, the colours, the fragrances, and everything that makes fall fall. After spending the last 9 months in the tropics or the desert, it really felt refreshing to experience autumn once again.
Romania went like Bulgaria, way too fast. It was beautiful, the people were joyful and stylish, and we would have wanted to stop at every market place we encountered. We’d have like to stay longer, but the first snow has already fallen in Finland.
Our aim was to get all the way to Eger on Sunday, but our Tuk Tuk chose otherwise, and once again it knew better than we did. It happened at sunset, I was pulling off the road to change driver for the final leg and the gear got stuck at 4th. We tried to check it out ourselves, but soon realised that the gearbox had to be opened, and we didn’t have tools for doing it ourselves. That night we slept on the lawn of a gas station, and in the morning we drove the Tuk Tuk to the mechanic.
The mechanic opened up the gearbox and found one of the synchronisers had cracked. Luckily a spare was found in the city from a Suzuki gearbox, and quickly showing it to the tools in the metal workshop it fit like a glove. It took 24 hours to fix, which meant we had time in Debrecen that evening.
By chance a man called Mark came into the shop and he asked if we wanted a shower. He lived close by and we hadn’t showered for days, so we accepted the offer this time. He then showed us around town, hosted us for the night, and we made really nice food and drunk ourselves silly with Hungarian Palinka, Wine, and the Blueberry liquor and Martinis that our mechanic Andrei brought with him. It was so nice of him to join the party, because like always, all our mechanics have been the coolest guys there are.
The next morning we had to wake up at 5 am because Mark left for Budapest, so we walked around in the rain and found a nice shelter where we played the Ukuleles and sang to keep ourselves warm. Once the cafe opened, we had breakfast and checked our bank balance to make sure we can get home. Fourteen Euros in the bank, and 200USD dollars and a 50€ note in our pocket. That’s fuel for about Latvia, and the mechanic hadn’t been payed yet.
So close, but yet so far…