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Entry 63 // Transfagarasan V.2

Update by: Nick | May 24th 2011

Brian Johnson is a friend of Luke's that has been toying with the idea of flying out to Romania and finishing the trip with us on a rented motorcycle. He ownes Longerday Productions and wants to make a documentary out of this trip. He applied for a Russian visa and is tentinivily planning to meet us in Romania for a week. This gives us a week to relax so the plan is to drive to Budapest Hungry. Once we get there I will stay a few days with the bikes and Luke will fly to Florence to visit Darya where she has a few days lay over on her trip back to the States, but first lets have some fun. Taking a quick look at a map shows we are 30 kilometers from the Transfagarasan road. It might be fun to check out the other side of it and see how far we can make it up. Maybe we can make it to the good section? So off we go, the views are amazing as usual.In no time we are at the turn off for the road and start driving up with a huge smile on our faces. This side of the mountian range has a lot more obstacles on the road besides snow. Rocks and trees are hiding around the corners, but we are still having a blast. In a way it's more fun when the road is closed because we know no cars are coming from the other direction since we drove around the barrier a few kilometers back. We start getting excited thinking we might make it close to the top, all the snow covered areas we are driving through without a problem.
Nope, we were wrong.I guess it's time to take a walk and see if it's worth trying to drive across this.We walk about 1 kilometer and realize it's no use taking the bikes any farther. The only reason it would be is to spend the night up here with tents and camp. But we don't really have time for that, we need to get to Budapest. So we snap a few pictures, soak up the view, and do some exploring.Good thing they have a "drinking fountain" up here.The drive down was equally as fun, but since we already did it once, would take 2 minutes from our excitement and take pictures.That was a great detour, absolutely worth it. Now it's time to make up some miles. It's not long before reality hits us and things are back to normal.Luke's bike is having battery issues. His battery doesn't seem to be charging. But it reads 12V when he tests it with a volt meter. Luke checks his ground wires and that doens't seem to change anything. Lucky for us we break down next to a hotel. We walk over to see if they have wifi - they do. So we do what we always do when Luke's bike breaks, call John from Rally Raid. After talking with him for a few minutes, he says something that gives Luke an idea. He thinks his ground from his relay might be loose. In the meantime we talk about staying here for the night. We didn't leave vad untill around 2:30 and then the mountain detour took awhile, now we only have about 1 hour of daylight. We might as well stay here. Looks like his idea was right.While Luke fixes his bike I decide to give my bank a call and see why my debit card isn't working. I'm not sure why, but eversince we left Greece it hasn't worked. This is my new "non temporary" card my dad brought to Istanbul. It worked in Greece, but not in Bulgaria or Romania. Maybe since the first time it was used was in Greece they canceled it? After 10 minutes on the phone with the bank I have the answer. Apparently Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and Russia are blacklisted by my bank. The lady I spoke to had no Idea why they were, but I can't use my debit card in those countries. I guess it's back to cash advance - yay!
We spend the rest of the night, eating and surfing the internet. Luke finds out that he now needs to fly out of Bucarest and not Budapest. This makes the drive shorter which is good. The next morning we take off to Bucarest, but we don't make it very far before we get the fuel injection code 9 long. We do the 15 minute ideal and hit the road again. We don't even make it a mile before 9 long slaps us in the face. Now we start to think it might be a good idea if we can drop it off at the dealer while Luke goes to florence. We drive back to the hotel and look for a dealer. At first we don't find one in bucharest, but we do find one in Sibiu. This is good since Sibiu is only 40 kilometers away. We drive there and see if they can fix it.They can't, because they don't have the computer program to diagnose 690's. But we find out there is a dealer in Bucharest and they have the computer. So off we head to Bucharest again.We can't make it to Bucharest with the time we have left in the day, and Luke's bike not running 100%, so we stop for the night (and eat McDonalds *fist pump*). By now Luke has missed his flight. It looks like we both get to hang out in Bucarest for a few days. In the morning we fill up with gas and take off for the KTM dealer.
Luke is becoming obsessed with these little coffees from the vending machine.When we get to the city we hit heavy traffic. I do not miss this.Some of the main roads are closed and we have to take a small detour. No one else followed us though.Now we made it let see what they can do.

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