We had wonderful omelettes for breakfast with Romanian ewe’s cheese as a side sampler….very tart but tasty.
Then we asked for help with finding a local auto mechanic for the drip. We got one better and were escorted to the local Dacia/Renault dealer. They were very intrigued by the BBB!
They swarmed over the van for about 2.5 hours and confirmed that it was a brake leak and that one of the hoses split. The very nice guys replaced the hose and checked everything over again. Also fixed the headlight that was loose. Total cost about $120.
We headed out about noon to Piatra Neamt. The road was mostly awful as it twisted up and down mountains and around a reservoir and over a dam. We got stuck behind a couple of trucks and caravans but managed to get around them ok. Bruce is a wizard at getting the bus into and out of spots it just shouldn’t fit into! Go Bruce and his Scottish driving upbringing!
The road to Roman was very straight… (punny… you should laugh…) and onto Iasi. Very smooth and fast roads helped to make up some of the time.
We stopped at a Carrefour (French SuperMarket) and our GPS pinged right in the parking lot. After grocery shopping, we had some trouble finding our way around Iasi…. Andrea asked a taxi driver for help and we were given directions to the road that we wanted…..However….. After 20 km of bouncing around and over the flood plains and industrial wasteland that made up this part of Iasi and the borderlands we still could find where we were going… We even asked directions from a man with one gold tooth… I mean he only had one tooth and it was gold!!!
The man with the tooth sent us down the road and we came to a border crossing… but this one was ONLY for the railroad. The Romanian border guards informed us that the Ungheni crossing is for trains only and that the nearest road crossing was 40km away……oops!! So we had to backtrack through the farms with horse carts full of hay and potholes that nearly swallowed the BBB…back into Iasi. This time luckily we found the road out pretty easily and heading north on a good road to the border of Sculeni. We were stamped out of Romania and had to buy car insurance for Moldova, as it isn’t on our green card. Unfortunately this was done on an engine size basis so it cost about $50. At least we paid part of it in Romanian lei which we needed to get rid of anyway. A very amusing transaction….
We then realized that we still had to ENTER Moldova……quite an experience…
The Moldovan guards asked for passports and then car passport…. We gave them the title and registration but they wanted more…We gave them the insurance green card but they wanted more…..Finally they accepted what we gave them but were not too happy about it. It took about 2 hours at the border to get through entirely….very soviet….
We changed some dollars into Moldovan lei for use at the hotel, however, we needed gas so we filled up….rather short sighted of us because we only exchanged enough lei for the hotel and gas stations don’t take credit cards, which used up all of our lei and they accepted dollars, Bruce did a little haggling so the exchange rate was not too bad.
After 20km of driving on bumpy roads at night with no streetlights, we got to Ungheni… again… but this time it was on the Moldovan side of the river. We stayed at the Vila Verde which seems to be very ex soviet and was rather pricey. They just renovated so they do have free wifi and aircon!