ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2012, 01:30 PM   #391
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by DakarBlues View Post
Very beautiful write-up. Indeed, with such a gorgeous upbringing, you were ready to take on the world, without any prejudice whatsoever.
You are really a world citizen, I am proud of you.
Comments highly appreciated. As everybody I struggled as a teenager to deal with some of the package that comes with the family, but growing up and travelling made me more proud, and aware of the value of those lessons. My dad was born in a village, which is something few people can relate to in our confused country. His links to his homeland run deep and he has a lot of respect for every living thing, be that animal or plant. Naturally, wholesome food and respect for the produce are much valued at home. Not a lot of medicine and sickness on our side, we use to treat most of the minor issues with meditation, some outdoor exercise, herbal teas and other natural remedies. So far, so good, I can swallow the pills and take my shots if I have to, but I'd rather not, thank you very much. So it goes that I have a strong stomach and a curious mind, and John is quite the same. Ever since we've started travelling we've enjoyed eating our way up and down, and honestly some of the best meals have been enjoyed in quite peculiar surroundings. Food cooked with love, plants harvested with love, animals reared with love, that happens a lot in the countryside no matter what country that is; that's how we ended up spending a lot of time in rural areas in Africa, I guess. Simple is not necessarily simplistic, there's a lot to learn from the villagers, as much as they still have to learn from us as well. Thanks a lot :)
A.
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #392
BELSTAFF
ADV NOMAD
 
BELSTAFF's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Arizona--Land of the free and heavly armed
Oddometer: 1,089
yes

Yes, the meaning of life, the search for the here & now is so deeply rooted in the past that we tend to forget how we got here.
Only to find that the wisdom of our elders brought to this point, the elders passed on to us what they were taught,what works ,what does not, whats right & wrong. why things are the way they are.And their wishes of us that we will have an easier way than they.
It's what all parents,grand parents and great grandparents wish for their offspring, its the same you will wish for yours.

Cherish the stories of your father, pass them on to those who will come after you & know that they are the true meaning of life.
Cherish the old ways of wine making,storing foods & preparing for the next season for it is the way we exist from year to year.

Try,if you will, to imagine you present existence in a world without an I-pad, cell phone,or motorcar what would you do ?
Well that's where you are one up on the world, you have been there done that even though you had a GPS, cell phone you were forced to make life or death decisions that would effect the out come of your adventure, you were tested through adversity & came out stronger and I'm sure that was because of what you were taught by your elders. You will take what you were taught from the past & what you have learned in the present & will pass it on to the future

You see now that the whole world is a circle, all things in their place & in their time
Live & love in peace & tranquility,children of the universe, for it is you time
__________________
"WIND CALLS THE HEART,ADVENTURE BEGINS"

Arizona OHV Ambassador
BELSTAFF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #393
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by BELSTAFF View Post
Yes, the meaning of life, the search for the here & now is so deeply rooted in the past that we tend to forget how we got here.
Only to find that the wisdom of our elders brought to this point, the elders passed on to us what they were taught,what works ,what does not, whats right & wrong. why things are the way they are.And their wishes of us that we will have an easier way than they.
It's what all parents,grand parents and great grandparents wish for their offspring, its the same you will wish for yours.

Cherish the stories of your father, pass them on to those who will come after you & know that they are the true meaning of life.
Cherish the old ways of wine making,storing foods & preparing for the next season for it is the way we exist from year to year.

Try,if you will, to imagine you present existence in a world without an I-pad, cell phone,or motorcar what would you do ?
Well that's where you are one up on the world, you have been there done that even though you had a GPS, cell phone you were forced to make life or death decisions that would effect the out come of your adventure, you were tested through adversity & came out stronger and I'm sure that was because of what you were taught by your elders. You will take what you were taught from the past & what you have learned in the present & will pass it on to the future

You see now that the whole world is a circle, all things in their place & in their time
Live & love in peace & tranquility,children of the universe, for it is you time
Thank you! Heartfelt words that went straight to our soul :) We've changed in many ways we are still completely unaware of, but one thing is that while we are grateful about our - dare I say- 'privileged' life, the fact that we could afford to chose to leave it behind and search for another, we came out more willing to go back to basics. I don't know if only to search for that elusive ... essential, but also to recharge our batteries to simpler, stronger beats. We have a lot of work to do :), don't we?
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 04:17 AM   #394
naza
n00b
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Oddometer: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwwwhite View Post
. Thanks a lot for your comment, you're a;ways welcome in Romania, we have a couch and friendly garage, please email us your address and will send you the storm pic: we[at]intotheworld[dot]eu
just send to you by PM, thanks!

''Like Jacques said; "un moment de douceur dans un monde brutale" (a sweet moment in a brutal world)'' - couldnt agree more!

Loved to hear from you, and glad on your plans for the next adventure!
Your dads farm is amaizing, makes me go back to my childhood, its a hard life, but very rewarding too...

see u mate!
naza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 01:50 AM   #395
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by naza View Post
just send to you by PM, thanks!

''Like Jacques said; "un moment de douceur dans un monde brutale" (a sweet moment in a brutal world)'' - couldnt agree more!

Loved to hear from you, and glad on your plans for the next adventure!
Your dads farm is amaizing, makes me go back to my childhood, its a hard life, but very rewarding too...

see u mate!
Envelope posted! Just let us know when you receive it, thanks :)
Countryside, nature and the open road are always your best bet to recharge. Will update about our next move soon. Keep tuning in :)
J + A
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 02:41 AM   #396
naza
n00b
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Oddometer: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwwwhite View Post
Envelope posted! Just let us know when you receive it, thanks :)
Countryside, nature and the open road are always your best bet to recharge. Will update about our next move soon. Keep tuning in :)
J + A
Hi, fellows!

we' ve got the envelope last week, and it came in one piece!
now i'm thinking were to put it...it goes on the wall for shore...
soon as i get a frame, its done!
tkank you guys for the gesture!

greets from A&M
naza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 02:50 AM   #397
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by naza View Post
Hi, fellows!

we' ve got the envelope last week, and it came in one piece!
now i'm thinking were to put it...it goes on the wall for shore...
soon as i get a frame, its done!
tkank you guys for the gesture!

greets from A&M
great news, cheers for letting us know :)
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2013, 05:05 PM   #398
Witold
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Oddometer: 659
Hi there, great ride report. It reminds me of some of the places I've crossed.

I have two questions for you;
1. It looks like you stayed at a lot of religious missions in places like DRC. Are these places easy to find? Did you just come across them, or did you do tons of research before hand to know where they are?
2. How important was your French in places like DRC and West Africa?


As for development, it's a double edged sword.

Tourists are definitely hurt by it. We are 'too late' to see the X tribe doing Y traditional activity, as you mentioned earlier.

For the locals, it depends how much exposure they get to the outside world. Ignorance is usually bliss, but it is a one-way street. Once they realize what is possible and what is out there, they have very similar desires to the rest of us. They don't want to plow the fields and die at 40 once they realize that something else is possible and they have a choice in life. It's a lousy life once you realize that it is not the only life.

Once they are exposed to what is possible, they want to explore the world too. They want a nice house and a car just as we do. They want motorbikes they can ride to Europe just as we do. They want to carry a $5000 dSLR to photograph people just as we do. All of this requires money - desire is not enough. How do you think they feel when a constant stream of tourists comes by their village with $5000 cameras to take their photos? They're not stupid. They know why the tourists are there. They know they are a relic of the past, to be photographed and gawked at. aka: "the human zoo phenomena".

This is the reason why the old-world villages in E Europe, tribal villages in Africa, and nomadic areas in Asia are often left with just the old and the very young as the kids get city education and the adults earn city wages. Very few people plan to continue that sort of traditional life. People want an easier life for their kids. They don't want their kids to grow up as nomads living in harsh conditions and dying early and doing nothing all day except herding cows. There is nothing great about that, despite it's poetic beauty to our traveling eyes peeking in and experiencing it for a few days or weeks just for fun.

I highly recommend watching Summer Pasture. It profiles some of the last remaining Tibetan nomads and how they are living their life and the development that is around the corner... and it looks like even their life won't continue this way for more than a few more years and there will be almost no nomads left. Everyone is moving to the cities. Kids get an education. Adults get easier jobs. They have access to medical care, etc. Tribal and nomad life sucks. Lets not mince words here... if it was that great, there would be movement both ways but there isn't. It's great for tourists and travelers, but it sucks for the locals.
Witold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 06:45 AM   #399
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Hi there, great ride report. It reminds me of some of the places I've crossed.

I have two questions for you;
1. It looks like you stayed at a lot of religious missions in places like DRC. Are these places easy to find? Did you just come across them, or did you do tons of research before hand to know where they are?
2. How important was your French in places like DRC and West Africa?


As for development, it's a double edged sword.

Tourists are definitely hurt by it. We are 'too late' to see the X tribe doing Y traditional activity, as you mentioned earlier.

For the locals, it depends how much exposure they get to the outside world. Ignorance is usually bliss, but it is a one-way street. Once they realize what is possible and what is out there, they have very similar desires to the rest of us. They don't want to plow the fields and die at 40 once they realize that something else is possible and they have a choice in life. It's a lousy life once you realize that it is not the only life.

Once they are exposed to what is possible, they want to explore the world too. They want a nice house and a car just as we do. They want motorbikes they can ride to Europe just as we do. They want to carry a $5000 dSLR to photograph people just as we do. All of this requires money - desire is not enough. How do you think they feel when a constant stream of tourists comes by their village with $5000 cameras to take their photos? They're not stupid. They know why the tourists are there. They know they are a relic of the past, to be photographed and gawked at. aka: "the human zoo phenomena".

This is the reason why the old-world villages in E Europe, tribal villages in Africa, and nomadic areas in Asia are often left with just the old and the very young as the kids get city education and the adults earn city wages. Very few people plan to continue that sort of traditional life. People want an easier life for their kids. They don't want their kids to grow up as nomads living in harsh conditions and dying early and doing nothing all day except herding cows. There is nothing great about that, despite it's poetic beauty to our traveling eyes peeking in and experiencing it for a few days or weeks just for fun.

I highly recommend watching Summer Pasture. It profiles some of the last remaining Tibetan nomads and how they are living their life and the development that is around the corner... and it looks like even their life won't continue this way for more than a few more years and there will be almost no nomads left. Everyone is moving to the cities. Kids get an education. Adults get easier jobs. They have access to medical care, etc. Tribal and nomad life sucks. Lets not mince words here... if it was that great, there would be movement both ways but there isn't. It's great for tourists and travelers, but it sucks for the locals.
hi Witold,
let me start by saying that i'm thankful for your comment, even if I partly disagree. You see, when we left we had some experience traveling and living in third world countries; our own country is barely out of the woods, and some argue that we are simply fooling ourselves and Romania will never be more than a consumer's market and a breeding ground for emigrants. Only a few generations ago my folks were semi-nomadic herders in Transylvania, who at some point had to abandon their way of life and settle into the city (because the communists took their sheep): my grandfather kept this restlessness all his life. Don't' want to go there for now. I am not well equipped to

So when we left, I was saying, we thought we can pull the trip off, but we had no idea what we'll encounter. I still don't think that we get it, Africa that is. I still think our time there was too brief to grasp what lies under the fabric of things, so both I and Ana might be wrong to judge African way of life and what is happening there. On the other hand it's hard not to. I have the feeling that you have read our article in Overland Magazine, which revolves a bit around nomadism. In no way we are trying to glamorize poverty or nomadic life in that article, or on our blog posts and ride reports. Nor are we trying to say that we know what's better for these people because we've been there and taken their photographs with our expensive camera. Sure, even our journey, which has not been the most difficult of its kind, sounds more fun when put into perspective than what it was really like in the field. I just hope that with all the romance of our adventure the lessons haven't gotten lost.
But I just don't think that the same rules apply to all people. While it looks like we have a natural tendency as species to seek comfort and pleasure, even if that means over complicating our life and stripping the very nature that feeds us to the bare, for some, I humbly suspect, pleasure resides in other things. Some have colonized places so improbably harsh that we sob in pity, some insist to live under conditions that make us want to save them (the Tibetans in this movie, the Himbas, or the people on the North Sentinel Island for that matter...). I am sure that most, if faced with the choice, would pick the easier life. Does this mean that the other way is obsolete? With all our good and sincere intentions to help, us, who come from financially wealthier countries, usually fail to understand what life is really like for those we visit. The key is here "visit". For us this whole experience is not about activism, is about learning. We hope that it will enable us to become better people in whatever place we'll end up settling. If we will settle.
Our last months in Europe have been an adaptation process, the reverse of what we had to deal with while traveling in Africa. I don't have a car anymore and we don't have our own place anymore. We sold those to afford vagabonding. And it's fine. I haven't bought a pair a jeans since 2010 and we have almost committed social suicide. We don't have a TV since 2005. And that is fine too. Of course we have things, we surf the Internet, we read books etc ... we are urban creatures after all. We are not like our host Antonio from Mozambique who had three Tshirts, a hut of reed and a bunch of cows to his life. But I doubt that I'm better off than Antonio, it's just my 2 cents. And frankly I am still confused by the amount of stuff I own and how in Romania I feel not even middle class and in other countries I could buy entire villages of with this junk. Dude, it's a tough subject to ponder. Let me get back to you in a couple of years, perhaps I'll be wiser :)

About your questions;
1. there's a list of POIs that overlanders use to swap in Africa. We first got one in Morocco and kept updating it as we went along; some missions were on that list. Most places we just stumbled upon; like if we arrived in a place where we wanted to stay inside a compound because it was too late to find a nice spot in the bush, or because we were curious to meet some people, or because we hoped to find a bucket-shower (most times were disappointed)... Africans are naturally very warm and hospitable people, and they have embraced religion as a medium to express themselves, plus they have an amazing sense of performance and a strong desire of togetherness. These catholic missions are interesting places to observe this, some double as schools or orphanages so we got to spend some time with kids, play and dance; most times we were not looking for anything in particular, just to engage and connect with locals, I guess it just happened this way.
2. French I believe is essential if you are looking for a more nuanced experience. you can be fine without, but you can miss a lot. former colonies are extraordinary in the sense that even in remote villages people are multilingual and well educated (as empirical as this education may be). it's pure joy to be able to communicate with them, and frankly next time we'll try harder with vernacular lingos. for the east coast Swahili does the trick, but for West Africa, man, it's not easy.

J
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 04:58 PM   #400
Witold
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Oddometer: 659
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwwwhite View Post
hi Witold,
let me start by saying
Thank you for a comprehensive and nuanced response. As you can probably infer, we have somewhat similar backgrounds. I grew up in E. Europe, have lived in the US for a very long time, and have traveled a bit to various developing countries. (Some of the visits were motorcycle rides and some of them have ride reports in my signature.)

And yet, we are arriving at somewhat different conclusions. I think it comes down to 'living something' and 'visiting something'. As a visitor, camping and hanging out in tribal or nomadic cultures is a ridiculously great experience. In fact, I've often wondered if I could spend a summer with some Himalayan herders to see how it would feel. The scenery, the space, the solitude... there is something to it.

But actually living a tribal or nomadic life is completely different from visiting. Those people don't have a lifeline at the ready to escape when things become inconvenient. This is why - when given a choice - virtually no one is moving to start their tribal/nomadic lifestyle, and in fact, the overwhelming choice is the other way. The tribal and nomadic cultures are dying very fast once exposed to modern life. It is a very hard life. And it is not only about having possessions. It is not about TV, or having lots of fashionable clothes. (I also have neither.) Many of these tribes have food security issues during winters/dry season, not to mention very poor access to preventative and emergency health care. They are stuck and can't fulfill any of their individual dreams the way that we can. They can't travel to France to observe and participate in French life, the way that we are privileged to travel to them to observe them. These are the real amenities of modern life - not quantity of physical possessions. City life may not be that great, but at least you will not go hungry and you will not watch your kid suffer in pain or die because access to health care is very tough. Once these groups of people get an idea that life doesn't have to be that way, they don't just walk to modernity, they run. It is pretty clear what they prefer. So I do think this sort of life is obsolete, just as starting a fire with 2 stones is obsolete when matches are readily available to you. It is not just a case of 'different but equal.'

On a side note, this is why I try to travel to developing countries instead of going to Europe/Etc. I think the clock is ticking. In some not so far off future, the world is going to be a very boring place, where everyone mostly lives the same lives, browses the same websites, and has similar interests and hobbies.

I did not read your article but I will definitely check it out a bit later today... Thank you for the answers on the logistical questions as well.
Witold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 11:05 PM   #401
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
I think it comes down to 'living something' and 'visiting something'. As a visitor, camping and hanging out in tribal or nomadic cultures is a ridiculously great experience.
Thanks for the reply. I must admit that the last few months back in Romania have made us both more confused. I need to explain. We have left not because we just because are curious to experience the world, but because we cannot fit into the model that has been pushed onto us. Today I'm not even sure what this model is and if it's us two that is broken, not the model. This journey in Africa, more than our previous ones to other parts of the world, has stirred the angels and demons of the underbelly of our mind.
In the process of trying to digest this experience, we have been speaking to others about what we think we have learned. Inevitably we sometimes fell pray to preaching things. And there is a shadow of guilt upon our trip. We wonder if we celebrate and preach about behaviours and traditions that make the people who live with them unhappy and unable, while selfishly emphasising only the positive aspects of their life. We feel a bit guilty for riding across their village as it s about to become a safe, tarred, sanitised, better-for-worse place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
They are stuck and can't fulfill any of their individual dreams the way that we can. They can't travel to France to observe and participate in French life, the way that we are privileged to travel to them to observe them. These are the real amenities of modern life - not quantity of physical possessions. [...] Once these groups of people get an idea that life doesn't have to be that way, they don't just walk to modernity, they run.
You are so right. Experiences, freedom, opportunities, these are the things sadly missing entirely from most african destinies. it made us furious to learn and see ridiculous amounts of cash being poured into containing the immense potential and desire of people to change. africans are just as thirsty for experiences as everybody else. i am sure we'll find the same vibe with other marginalised (geographically, politically, economically) people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
I think the clock is ticking.
Things are happening fast indeed. I believe that even as we become more mixed globally and even if cultures will eventually merge into a single unified, more efficient mass culture, if we strive today to incorporate aspects of obsolete traditions into what we put out there for future generations, everybody will benefit from it. But again it may be all locked in museums and amusement parks. As an architect I am primed to tackle change as an essential trait of the city. That's what we do: tear down old stuff, decide what to keep, what to convert into what, how people will leave many generations ahead etc.
These exploratory travels into the world and into the wild are giving me a lot of stuff to work with.:)

mrwwwhite screwed with this post 05-18-2013 at 02:48 AM
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2013, 03:30 AM   #402
mrwwwhite OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
mrwwwhite's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 313
In Limbo I

Thanks all for following.
We have little to complain about: it was indeed a rough winter, we worked our butts off, we fought and won a legal battle, we gorged on memories. We don't know about others, but even if before this journey we have already traveled a bit off the beaten path (here is more info about that), the tour around Africa was far from a simple prolonged holiday... The rumours are true, now we are rolling again, and while our lust for adventure is just as unquenched as before, our set-up has changed. We are riding on 2 bikes, yup, Ana has taken the leap of faith, knowing that I got her back (she has the luxury to travel with her personal mechanic on tow, hahahahaha )
We hope that the continuation of our journey will do us good. While we allow the African experience to settle, we will summarise what went on during the last months. I don't what to have a missing link...pun intended Some have asked - probably because in Romania there is a wonderful book by a very cool rider, Mihai Barbu - if we are gonna write about Africa. In all humbleness we'll say that we have started to do so, but more out of therapeutic reasons. Writing is our mantra, it helps clear our mind, sort out the what if's, the why, the "where do we go from here". We don't know if this story will ever get on paper, of course it would be nice. For now we are giving you a teaser: the first 120 or so pages that you can download for free from our website.
We have designed the multimedia version as a hybrid between a travelogue peppered with pics, vids and sounds and a practical guide with maps, visa info, bubble boxes and details about modding the bike for such a trip, to be of use for any who plans to travel the same route. As we tried to build the concept on a freeware platform, the result can only survive for now in the Apple ecosystem. This is not an elitist choice. The multimedia book industry is just developing, and there are only a few available softs and aggregators to work with. We hope you'll like this. If you don't own an iPad you can read the Kindle or EPUB, or the PDF for any mobile or gizmo. Also please allow us the mistakes due to English not being our mother tongue.

And now back Into The World:
---------------------------------------------------------
We’re back in Romania before we know it: you know how it is, good times end soon, the adrenaline rises fast and you suddenly wake up, drenched in sweat, with your head spinning… but you’re just in your own bed. Far from the lion’s jungle, from the crocodile’s delta, from the mud huts and dirt roads. Far from Africa.
This is where we have arrived after 14 months of wilderness, not to mention the previous 15 months when we had little contact with the hip and social scene of the city. I rode past the sign that says „BUCURESTI” (BUCHAREST) feeling nervous and frankly, a little… scared.
We registered the slightly odd traffic on the national road, the flatness of the field, the familiar smell of dusty continental summer. We felt more like tourists on holiday than returning vagabonds. The feeling got stronger as we progressed to the fringes of the city, where there was a madness of cars and people rushing to fulfill whatever they must do on a busy Thursday. I turned right on the street where I have spent a good part of my childhood, where I had the accident, where my grandparents used to live. Their apartment is still available, and my mum must be waiting there for us. We have been fiddling with the idea of making a big announcement on the forum or our blog about our arrival but it seemed unnatural and before we could make up our mind we find ourselves in front of the gate.
„Open it,” I ask Ana. The gate screeches and squeaks and the metallic sound echoes to the back of the yard. It looks like little has changed here since we left. But as I open the door of the garage, my mum shows up. Hugs and a spoon of tears follow. Then the garage opens as the mouth of an ogre ready to swallow us and the entire world. A Rabbit Hole into another universe. I park, pull the stand, turn the key, switch off the light and lock the door. Hrrrum! It shuts down to a chapter of our life.
The apartment is almost unrecognisable, even though I am positive this is exactly as we left it. It’s just empty and white. We walk around and our steps and our chatter reverberate into the walls. In the living there’s a couch and a table, and in the bedroom a bunch of cardboard boxes with all our belongings.
What’s in the boxes? I don’t care, really, but it makes me feel ashamed that I have ever dared to say to Africans that I was not as rich as the other westerners. What could I have more? T-shirts with a fancier label? A fridge with electronic display and an ice making machine? Seriously?

My mum tells me that Ana's folks are on their way. They are arriving by train from my home town, 270 km east of Bucharest. We did not want to put them thru all the trouble, but soon we realise how foolish that was. After such a long time, who isn't eager to see who they've missed and hug who they love? When they arrive, I can barely see Ana's parents from behind an immense bunch of flowers. A couple of phone calls later our living room fills up with people: Andrei and Cristina arrive with a funny „cup” that says: INTO THE WORLD FIRST ROUND COMPLETED!

... beer and gossip till after midnight. And it’s not all about Africa: Romania has been going through a bit of a political shakedown during the last few months and people are tensed. When we are left alone, we struggle to fall asleep. The bed is too soft and blobby; there are little street noises that make us throb: tires gritting, laughter, some music, a door slapped by the current, a TV left on somewhere. I don’t know how, but eventually I doze off.

The following months are packed with events. A RHCP concert, seeing all our friends, learning who got married, who has a child and who broke up with who. Ana starts going to riding school. First day is quite unpleasant. Go figure, she says: pillion for so many miles, and still not ready to rock it.



After the third hour she relaxes a bit and discovers the gear lever, turning and stuff like that and also starts wondering what it took her so long to do this? By the end of fall, on a gloomy day and on a wreck of a bike that she sees for the first time in her life, Ana passes the exam. One afternoon our friend Stefan drops by to recover a bag, while on his way to a hippie seaside resort. I don’t know how, but 48 hours later I, Ana and Stefan end up sleeping in Stefan’s car on the beachfront across the port of Thassos, in Greece. The next few days are dedicated to pleasure: sun, sea, good food and off-road drills up the mountain, on a couple of springy XT 600.





A marble query in the middle of a stunning pine forest







On the summit, from where we enjoy the 360 degrees vistas of sea, with the bony fingers of the island dipped in turquoise water.



Back in Romania we take a short ride to Atra, a boutique resort in the Doftana valley. It's not that we have worked on this project when we were still dealing with clients and deadlines, but this place is quite a stunner. It's a tranquil corner to unwind and enjoy for a day.




*


The reason for our trip: we have been invited to sample the cuisine of a French chef who is jamming humble Romanian ingredients in superb French dishes. Like polenta with truffles in goat milk, homemade foie gras with homemade quince jam... It sure puts our national cooking to shame :)

While we are penning down the next instalment, feel free to drool on these pics:









mrwwwhite screwed with this post 05-19-2013 at 04:34 AM
mrwwwhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2013, 05:18 AM   #403
Bli55
-
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Казань
Oddometer: 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwwwhite View Post
Thanks all for following.
...
our set-up has changed. We are riding on 2 bikes, yup, Ana has taken the leap of faith,
OMG, OH YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
... before we could make up our mind we find ourselves in front of the gate.
„Open it,” I ask Ana. The gate screeches and squeaks and the metallic sound echoes to the back of the yard. It looks like little has changed here since we left. But as I open the door of the garage, my mum shows up. Hugs and a spoon of tears follow.
...
Again, thank you for sharing such personal feelings and your amazing conveyance of emotions....
It is as if we all also there...
Bli55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2013, 09:33 AM   #404
pfdavidz
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2009
Oddometer: 204
yes! looking forward to the read!
pfdavidz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #405
ckjj888
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ckjj888's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Oddometer: 193
ckjj888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014