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Sunday, October 30, 2011 | Romania

Time to say goodbye to Turkey and head towards Romania. In between them lies Bulgaria. Kay has already interviewed the major players so I can just drive through the country. After the never-ending slog from the East to the West of Turkey, this would be my second long haul. It is not helped by the awful road conditions in Bulgaria, so it was a great relief on Sunday evening to be greeted by Tiberiu Bako, General Manager of Bericap, at their offices in Ploiesti, north of Bucharest. Even more welcome was the tasty meal we enjoyed at his local, a fitting reward after an arduous journey.

The pivotal point of the conversation was, horror of horrors (!!), Count Dracula from the Transylvania region, which has belonged to Romania since 1918. Tiberiu was at pains to explain that Count Dracula was not as black as painted, and the stories about him belonged firmly in the realm of fairy tales. We were able to establish, after a few glasses of wine, that there must have been some truth in the stories otherwise why would there be so many films about him.

Today is Monday, and I am bracing myself for the third long day of driving, destination Serbia. Tiberiu gives me a few tips about the route. The road takes me over the mountains and through villages, at an average speed of just over 50 km/hr. 100kms before the border in the city of Timisoara, I notice the very first campsite I’ve seen on my tour. I make my way over to it and to my delight it is still open despite the lateness of the season. Unfortunately, the laundry is firmly closed. However, my water pump is working again. We must be grateful for small mercies.

1. Picture: Bericap Romania‘s mascot is a piglet

2. Picture: The Editourmobil in the land of Count Drakula, in front of Bericap Romania‘s plant
Just before the border I make my way to the first campsite seen on the tour
Ayhan Haspaylan, President