|comfort break en route to|
Zoltan arrived just as I was checking out, so we loaded the minibus and waited for Keith, chatting about his life as a guide. He started some years ago and has a share in the Sakertour business which he explains ensures interest in the company's success. Speaks very good English and has a good sense of humour. Sadly though, he uses a Canon, but no-one's perfect.
Today was also expected to be another day of travel, which was very tiring but picturesque - 275kms, driving up and over the mountains into Hargita county. It's a long journey but the roads are better than I had been led to believe... the potholes are indeed enormous, but they are so big as to be obvious and occasionally even marked.
When we were about an hour from our hotel, we stopped for a simple chicken and potato lunch at a restaurant called Nagy Homorod (meaning "Big Homorod" which is the name of the local river).
|Birch saplings gifted for "Arminden"|
|Baclava and fruit for the bears|
There were a few surprises on our first session .... firstly, no hide rules were discussed, no safety chat was given and no disclaimer, or in fact paperwork of any kind, was signed- that has to be a first for me, secondly Brown bears are all different colours and thirdly they are scared of EVERYTHING! (especially ducks). Which is why our first session was well and truly thwarted around 7pm when a truckload of locals turned up in their 4x4, knocking on the hide door and asking to see the bears - completely trashing our chances of seeing any more. So we decided to call it a day and head off to the hotel - today simply was not going our way. Quite frustrating, but if I'm honest, a bit of a relief - I was shattered and just wanted to sleep.
Dinner was first though - which was kicked off by our hotel manager, Zoltan (another one), with a home-made blackberry Schnapps; at 48% abv it certainly woke my taste buds up! ready for more chicken and potatoes washed down with Romanian red wine. Crawled into bed at 10pm.