September came very fast. And we are very close to boarding for Tanzania from Istanbul airport. We had to take care of a few logistic matters and one of them was finding the right transportation from Bucharest to Istanbul.

We tried to find plane tickets. But the famous special deals failed to show so the prices were high for this time of year. We looked for bus tickets. The prices were reasonable, it would have probably been the “proper” choice. And I was very close to buying the bus tickets.

But… on a Thursday, one week before the planned trip, while I was buried over my head in excels, an idea came to me, one that sounded very good at that time. What do you do when you have a great idea, share it with a friend right, with… your wife maybe, to put some sense into your head.

So I just text this to Andreea: “Let’s go with the motorcycle.” Now I must be honest with you, I was cheating a bit. Writing to a girl who traveled with you for 9 months on a motorcycle “Let’s go riding” expecting her to convince you not to… is not very realistic. Her answer came as expected: “Let’s go!”.

And then everything was starting to get better. Truth be told, I was more relaxed that way apart from additional costs involved if we were to travel otherwise. Something wasn’t right. All these years the motorcycle was present on our vacations. And now, nothing? Even 4 days round trip on two wheels would be better than nothing.

Although we won’t be taking our motorcycle with us to Africa, we would be more relaxed knowing that Gunnar will take us few steps closer to our destination and then back home. Let’s get back in the saddle!

Our plane to Tanzania is on Monday but we decide to leave on Friday and get a glimpse of Istanbul for a day or two. Oh, but where are we gonna leave the motorcycle? Where are we gonna sleep in Istanbul? We ask around friends and relatives to see what we can find.

Eventually, on Wednesday, 2 days before departure, we find a host on Couchsurfing, Bașar. He has a motorcycle too. He knows what traveling is all about. He sends us the GPS coordinates and a very detailed way to get to his place and lets us know that he is waiting for us on Saturday.

Ok then, so know that we have a host in Istanbul, we feel more relaxed. In a way. On the other hand… packing up has to be revised, we will be traveling on two wheels now. Technical details (I wonder if Gunnar will start), moto equipment, rain gear, boots… you know, all the riding stuff. But we are ok, we are used to all this.

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It’s Friday and we are “ready” to hit the road. I spend half a day at work, trying to leave everything in order for the next 2 weeks and then 2-3 short hours at home to prepare the “luggage”. And here we are… on the road. First kilometers are pretty tiresome. We are not sure if we took everything we need. We are not sure if the bags are safe on the motorcycle. We are not sure… but what are we sure of? You know, the regular feelings before a trip.

We get to Giurgiu without realizing much and once the sun sets we are crossing the South border of Romania.

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We get to Veliko Tarnovo late in the evening and we share optimistic thoughts over 2 cold beers.

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One day before, Bașar, our host in Istanbul, ended his invitation to stay at his place with the following phrase: “There are two types of people in this world: people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could”.

Dear Bașar, we don’t know if that’s true or not. But we know for sure that we love riding motorcycles and we are doing it right now! We’re coming!

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