Romania: Who knew it would be this amazing?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by eatpasta, Jun 12, 2018.

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  1. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    After a short break, we got moving again



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    Slowly the green started to give way to dirt and Mihai pulled over and said to me “now we see the acid lake”

    Acid lake… what acid lake…?

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    As we got closer he stopped me and showed me what looked to be a grey lake. So what’s the big deal I thought?

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    Then he showed me the pipe that was flowing into the lake – spewing dark grey crap that stank



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    Then we rode past the red creek – where everything was dead



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    And he stopped again and showed me this amazing view of the lake



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    As I was sitting there looking, I asked him what the spikey thing was sticking out of the lake. He told me to look carefully.



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    IS THAT A CHURCH?



    Geamana was the name of the town. In the 70’s the communist Romanian government decided to tap their copper mine above this little town. But what to do with the toxic runoff? Just dam the valley and fill it with toxic waste!



    Here is what the town looked life before



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    You can google it all day – there are tons of terrible pictures of the church in varying states of being suburged



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    Well that exactly what they did



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    These signs are up in an attempt to keep people from sharing their experience here….



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    The entire visit here was surreal



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    Further around the back of the lake, the water gets to be a crazy almost teal blue – the really toxic part and there are still people living down there.

    There’s also another church that is slowly being swallowed by the toxic runoff



    You can see the graveyard that is half submerged



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    From the other side.



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    I wanted to get closer to document what we saw but out of respect for the people living on that side, we wouldn’t bother them.



    After travelling through so much untouched countryside, this was a lot to take in. It was jarring and almost moved me to tears. How could anyone do that to a whole town? It just boggles the mind.



    The area immediately surrounding the town was abandoned and overgrown as lots of people had left their homes, not like they really had an option.



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    As we started to ascend the canyon wall on the other side, you can see the blue water very clearly



    [img]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1759/42707504542_7e31ff3385_b.jpg[/img]
    #21
    stuntchick, DC950, Shaggie and 6 others like this.
  2. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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  3. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Wow! Thank you for sharing the horrible story of Geamana. What a shame for such a beautiful town to be wiped out like that, and the lives of its people ruined.

    .
    #23
  4. sixspeed

    sixspeed Put on the WHOLE armor

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    Riding the Slavic countries is certainly a bucket list ride for me. I might even meet some of my distant relatives. :D At least the ones that survived the communist slaughter of innocents.

    The toxic creek bed reminds me of a "sulfur crick" of acidic coal mine runoff.
    #24
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  5. egret

    egret noob

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    All Eastern Europe countries are great places to visit, history can be easily blended with culinary trips and why not, motorcycle rides. In regards to Romania, this is the only latin country in the region, all others are mainly part of the slavic family, except Hungary and Estonia which have mongolian ancestry. Communism was a criminal methode that fiercely tried to remove the national identity of those countries but fortunately the "fabric" was tightly woven and resisted.
    -zie egret.
    #25
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    The first set of shots are stunning, the 2nd set are too, but for entirely depressing reasons. It’s hard to fathom how anyone could allow that to take place, what a tragedy.

    Excellent update @eatpasta, great job capturing both sides of riding there :thumb
    #26
  7. s@rpe

    s@rpe Hayabusa&KTM lover

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    @eatpasta if you have the time you should go for a few days trip to Transfăgarășean from north to south (oficially its closed till 30 june, but i think thats not an issue), then go to Brașov thru Pass Bran-Rucăr, (near by is Dracula Castle). There are so many places to see, also Sighișoara is a must!
    Godspeed!
    #27
  8. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I was disussing this exact thing with my old man when he told me about this place in Colorado: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Pit

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    its not quite the same, but time will tell on that one.
    #28
  9. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    Thanks for the recommendation! I unfortunately was only able to ride out there for only two days. I cant believe how much else there is so see!!
    #29
  10. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    Climbing out of that valley turned out to be harder than it looked. Im not used to riding on grass and it reminded me of riding in snow a little in that its slippery and hides the terrain beneath it.

    Either way, we made it up and out with a little extra effort from a bike I was totally unfamiliar with. This track lead to some absolutely pristine and totally untouched back country.



    Of course I don’t have any pics of the hard bits because its nearly impossible to take pics or video of that without a helmet cam….but I digress

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    Mihai knows the area well enough to know what gates/ropes can be taken down



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    On our way out, Mihai stopped to chat with a local who turned out to have worked in the mine that ruined Geamana. He also had some kind of problem with sediment in his lungs. He was very friendly and wanted to chat for a while! This is his home

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    #30
  11. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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  12. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    couple of randoms taken my Miahi

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    #32
  13. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    Will do...soon.
    Tks for the tips !
    #33
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  14. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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  15. Schmokel

    Schmokel In desperate need of a nap.

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    Woman that introduced me to my wife is from Romania and now lives in the US. I forwarded her this thread and she was so happy to read about it. She also forwarded me some crazy road that was hairpin turn after hairpin turn.

    Great scenery. Love the report.
    #35
  16. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    awesome!

    Romanian women, man....... :nah I really had to do my best to keep my eyes to myself in our office there in Cluj. They are so smart and so beautiful..... if I were single I would have had a really hard time staying away from them.

    glad you are enjoying it - best parts are still to come
    #36
  17. Schmokel

    Schmokel In desperate need of a nap.

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    She actually went to college in Cluj. Got her PhD at age 29. Crazy smart.

    Here's the road she was talking about:

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfăgărășan

    So, like, do you just grip it and rip it down the center on an ADV bike or take the turns pretending to be on an H2?
    #37
  18. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    there you go!! You just reinforced my previous statement!

    We didnt make it to the Transfagarsan but we did make it to the Transalpina which was every bit as spectactular
    #38
  19. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Some great stuff. I like that camo suit your guide was wearing and his Transalp
    #39
  20. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I commented to Mihai about wearing Camo while riding around

    :lol3

    but yes, its a cool suit for sure. He LOVES his transalp. I think he said he had ~140,000 k's on the clock
    #40