After forcing our way to Romania for the past 2 days, finally the time has come for the first major point of our trip. We were about to ride to and through Parâng Mountains Transalpina!
Althought, as it was May, we knew there was still snow laying up there and the road was probably damaged and not yet fixed after the winter, so we wondered how far we can go?
Also we knew that the road will be probably offcially closed, so will we have any problem to enter it above Obarsia?
But no doubts no fun. We were about to check it on our own.
Riding to Transalpina north end
After very calm night at Route Roemanie camping, we woked up to the sound of chickens chattering at the neighbor house. This was a very nice change as opposed to waking up on the storm thunder sound the day before and a good forecast for our today’s ride to Transalpina :)
The weather was sunny, so we were packing our stuff lazily, drinking coffee and observing how some camper residents from France manage to get out of the not so vast camping with their big mobile homes.
To get to the very beginning of Transalpina in Sebes we took the road 7 to Sacamas. From there the E673 leads straight to Deva.
Before Deva we took some adventurous looking gravel slip road. After the couple of seconds we found ourselves at the river bank among the chilling and grilling Romanians. So we took a break there too and ate some snacks while listening to the, new to us, local Romanian music.
From Deva we had to take road 7 again.
Before Orastie we found Arsenal Park. It was too hard to resist the urge to make a photo of a real tank making for an Arsenal Park signboard.
We didn’t have time to check out the exhibition, though, as we wanted to get to Obarsia before the dusk without hurrying. Maybe next time!
Transalpina full of dams
When we arrived to Sebes we stopped to make some bigger water and snack shopping. We also fully tanked up the motorcycle as we didn’t know how far up the Transalpina we will go and how much road we will have to cover again, while returning in case the road won’t be passable. There weren’t any gas stations up there to save us too.
After feeding the Africa we started to move up the 67C road.
At the beginning it looked pretty normal. There were no sign of snow and all the trees dripping with intense, fresh green. The spring in bloom was fully visible around. Only the road signs often informed us that Transalpina is officially closed at Obarsia Lotrului, so we would have to go back or head to 7A road from there. But we carried on.
First stop was the dam at Lake Obreja de Capalna (Lacul Obreja de Capalna)
We’ve met few adventure riders there and greeted many more :)
Maybe the first part of Transalpina doesn’t look so spectacular as the second one above Obarsia, but it got its charm. Moreover, a sharp turn follows sharp turn there, so on a motorbike it’s not only feast for the eyes, but also a fun ride, although there’s no gravel ;)
But we rather not recommend to go too hard for the fun part. We came across a poor wood pulling truck crashed at the stones by the road.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
We’ve made the next stop at the next dam – the dam at the Lake Tau Bistra (Barajul si Lacul Tau Bistra).
We’ve also met some motorcycle adventure crew from Poland there. As we chatted it turned out they didn’t know that Transalpina is closed at Obarsia. More adventurous adventurers then we :)
We’ve also, as always, made friends with local animals.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t take him with us.
We rode for another dam – the most eye-catching dam at Lake Oasa (Barajul Lacului Oasa).
We again caught up the Polish crew for a quick chitchat as we were now discussing what to see here nearby if there will be no possibility to go up the Transalpina at Obarsia.
Above the dam there were also remarkable views.
We arrived to Obarsia just in time for an attack on the second part of the 67C road. The sun was still high enough.
For the third time we’ve met the same Polish crew there. Another debate was made about what to do with the closed road. But everyone get adventure spirit in the center of Carpathians, so to no surprise everyone decided to try and go as far as possible.
Heading to Ranca
After a quick brake we jumped into saddle and exited rushed onto the Transalpina part leading from Obarsia to Ranca.
But just after few turns our jaws dropped down. Not only the big sign prohibiting Transalpina entrance was standing there, but also a crowd of people and a herd of cars. In the center of this mess an really irritated police officer was nagging loudly with a pen and a heap of documents in his hands.
As we asked people arguing with the policeman, it turned out they were driving up to Ranca, when they met the officer riding down. He scooped all of them back to Obarsia and now was generously was giving tickets without making any exception.
A war council
We were quite disappointed, but we sheepishly retreated to rethink our plan. We didn’t have any clever idea on how to bypass this whole big fuss at the moment. We’ve made a short war council – to go or maybe not go at all and just move to Transfagarasan…? But being there and not even trying to go up was too much heart braking, so then again we came with a (maybe naive, but likely most tactical ;)) plan to try one more time at the dusk, when no one will be expecting mass of tourist attacking the Transalpina top. If we we would get ticket then be it – it seemed to be better then regretting not trying to see Transalpina in snow at all. And we knew we were not that stupid to try to cross the road to point where the mountain rescue service would have to take our and motorcycle butts down.
With alarm clock set to 4 AM we stayed in Obarsia for the night, not in a tent though, but in a quite scruffy room in order to not not waste time for making the campsite and to left all the stuff while we will try to ride to Ranca.