After Slovakia we headed into Hungary for a couple of days, mainly to re-charge and to do a little bit of research before entering Romania. Our time at the Dutch campsite had been spent frantically trying to wash 3 weeks worth of clothes with mixed weather which resulted in us blasting our heating into the bathroom - but we eventually got everything dry.

On approach to the border we realised we had no money, we hadn't bought anything in Hungary and we needed to buy a Vignette in Romania. It was at this point that Adam realised that Romania was not a Schengen country and the usual pre-border crossing anxiety began - we call it Switzerland Syndrome due to a traumatic border crossing there back in 2008. With out 5,000 HUF note withdrawn (£16) we headed for the border along 49 towards Satu Mare. The border guard was happy with a quick look round the van and we were through, stopping to purchase our Vignette using our MasterCard since Hungarian money was not accepted. Looks like we'll be changing this on the ferry for Duty Free on the way home.

While buying the vignette we were approached by some young boys begging for, we thought, money. We didn't have any to give them and as a rule we don't anyway - but it transpired they in fact wanted some food which was given to them by the Italian car in front of us. We felt a bit bad, but we weren't to know.

 We never cease to be amazed how much a country changes at the border and Romania is no exception, we can't have got more than 5 miles before we saw our first horse and cart. Romania is +2 GMT so we lost an hour and it was getting into early evening as we made our way deeper into the country. Every village we passed was full of people, out the front of each house was a seat and older people were sat gossiping - some even got up to see us and gave us a wave - something we've never experienced.

The other slightly strange thing is that every third car was Italian registered, in wedding processions there were convoys of Italian cars - I can only assume these are in fact Romanian's returning home for the summer / wedding season. You'd expect the houses to be small, but in fact many of the houses are reasonably sized and many are being renovated or modernized.

Armed with a few tips on places to stay, we headed towards Borsa where we ended up staying at a Belgian run campsite come guest house (link) where a Dutch and German caravan were essentially parked on their front garden. We were too tired and it seemed too busy to Wild Camp and this was a good way to orientate ourselves.

Today we've driven on some of the worst roads imaginable but since traffic is very light we were able to take them at our own pace about 60 miles to Voronet monastery where we are currently wild camped (GPS: 47.53990, 25.87054) along with lots of other Romanian's with tents and one in a caravan. We pulled alongside a family and exchanged a few hello's before they came over with some gifts for us and asked us if this was our first time in Romania. We then spent half an hour with maps for Bucharest and Romania marking places to do and to see and sampling home made Romanian whiskey! Hospitality like this we haven't experienced in our time away and it certainly goes a long way to making us feel welcome in this beautiful country - we can't wait to see more.

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  1. Hello Sophie and Adam, for me it is a shame that I didn't had the time to speak with you. I know what the people from the west can see here, why you see the great houses. As you write, the Italian cars are from the Romanian who in Italia works.
    Teak the time to see also my other website: I want o meet you once again, to walk to the Pietrosul, 2303 m high, to the waterfall, to make a excursion in historic Maramures. Then you know what Romania is !!!! Have a good time further on, with respect, Kris Verellen.