1993-12-12 44 21
Sun 12 Dec 1993 in 44,21:
On or by a farm road near Moldova Nouă, Romania.
I planned this out in Budapest, identifying a two-day period between the end of my obligations there and the beginning of my rail pass's validity. I would, of course, spend that time traveling from Budapest to some place where I could use my rail pass, i.e. a train station outside Hungary. I narrowed the field of options by searching for an opportunity to snag a Displaced Origin Geohash, finding it in a southwestern corner of Romania. This gave the itinerary of taking the train from Budapest to Timișoara on 2015-12-18, then on 2015-12-19 riding the bus from there to Moldova Veche, but , walking to the bus station in Moldova Nouă via the geohash, then catching a bus from a different company to head down the Danube to Orșova, where I could get on a train in the morning.
I reevaluated my plans during the first bus leg, armed with the knowledge, acquired over the previous day's travel, that transporting my suitcase over large exterior distances was difficult, and I had only limited time available in Moldova Nouă (which seems to include Moldova Veche as part of it, despite their antonymous names). I resolved to ride the bus all the way to the Moldova Nouă bus station, deposit my luggage there, and reach the hash by striking from there and returning. I was very anxious about the timeframe, which wasn't helped by things like the bus driver stopping the bus to have a short chat with some loggers we passed on the way.
At the bus station, I checked the schedule to see how much time I had before the eastbound bus left, and discovered to my surprise that there was no sign of any such bus. I asked some locals for verification, and they agreed with the facts on the ground (disagreeing with autogari.ro) that there was no bus to Orșova. On the one hand, this left me stranded. On the other hand, whether I stayed on track was now out of my control. I set off for the hashpoint.
Shortly before I would leave the road to head off into the fields, a border police car passed me. I must have been an interesting sight, hauling my luggage along the rural highway, because it turned around to meet me. The encounter wasn't much trouble: I explained what I was doing and on request opened up my suitcase; the police officer for his part explained that he was just exercising caution, as my beard made him think I was a Muslim and he didn't want me blowing up his family in town. Of course, I didn't have a bomb, so he sent me off with some advice that I could probably catch a ride to Orșova in Moldova Veche down by the river.
Then I walked to the retrohash, which was right next to a chicken yard, and headed to town. I didn't find the interurban shuttle I thought the officer had mentioned, but I did find a taxi, which responded amazingly easily to my hail. For reasons I don't understand, the driver even let the passengers already there out and drove me down the Danube.
I think a car ride is the best way to experience the Iron Gates of the Danube in passing. The terrain is incredibly scenic, and a car offers at least passable, at most pretty good views in any direction, with the passenger needing no concentration on actually piloting the vehicle. Scratch that--maybe a motorcycle-back ride would be cooler.
|Codae earned the Displaced origin geohash achievement|