KTM Adventure Motorcycle Touring in Europe | Short Film "In Search of Bears"
Hi, there! Thanks for watching my film! My name is Edzus and I am a motocycle adventurist. This film is a close story to my heart about motocycle travel. And I would like to tell you this story because I would like to encourage people to travel more and not be afraid.
I am driving motorcycles since I was 16. However, my story doesn't start the way maybe other people's has. My story starts with my father.
My father used to be a motocycle entusiast and he loved motocycles since he remembered himself. However, with me it was a bit diferent. I didn't show any interest in motorcycles or cars much apart from driving them. He thought me how to drive a car when I was 12. But after that he tried to show me how to drive a motorcycle on his old and big Honda XR600.
That bike was too big for me at that time. I didn't learn it and I was scared. And my father thought that I didn't like motorcycles. However, it changed when I turned 16, and my father gave me my first bike, which was 80cc two stroke Honda motocross bike. And since then, I actually loved it! I fell in love with driving it.
I spent most of my time driving offroad with my father in Latvia around forests. And that's how I learned how to drive a motorcycle in winter, summer, in snow, in mud, in hills... You know... All the way offroad! My father always talked about traveling Europe and world around on motorcycle. But due to different life circumstances, he never came down doing it.
And he passed away in 2018. So, there was nothing else better for me to do than take his motorcycle, and take it for a ride on one of the most beautiful roads in Romania, in Europe And ths film is about this trip which I did together with my companion Evija. On this trip we are riding from Latvia to Romania through Europe on a motorcycle to see one of the most spectacular bike roads - Transalpina, also known as Devil's Path. After a small trip around Romania we will have to head back to Latvia.
Which language should I speak? We are basically on Latvia border right now, already... So there is not much to drive to cross the country. Today we are aiming to drive around 600 km. And we are on our way to Poland! We spent the first night in Poland at a free campsite at Lake Siemianówka near the Belarus border. „Siemianówka” is one of the biggest artificial lakes in Poland. Because of the lake, more than 200 country homes from 8 villages were affected. Five villages were completely flooded and liquidated. Today the reservoir is a home for a lot of rare bird species.
What a view! Beautiful, isn't it? Today we are planning to drive around 750 km. Yesterday we drove 530, so it's gonna be 200 more. So we are camping at the lake Siemianowka. It's very close to Belarus border. What's really interesting about this location - there is a National park Białowieża Forest.
It's one of those rare forests that human hasn't done anything to it. So it is very rural and there are loads of animals and rare species living there. We're going to go there and see the National park to, maybe, see one or two animals.
Białowieża Forest is a reminder of how nature in Europe looked centuries ago. There are around 60 types of mammal living in forests - 33 of them are protected, as well as many rare birds and other species. The most popular of them all is European Bison which is the continent’s heaviest land animal and a national symbol of Poland. Wow, look at this beautiful road! Drive through Poland was quite long - more than 740 km and it took us almost 2 days to cross the country. We spent the second night camping near the Slovakia border.
It was a nice place in a rural area, surrounded by small villages and on the coast of the San River. Good morning! So we have arrived - alive. Yesterday night it was a bit dangerous ride because, the roads were very narrow, without any marks, left and right... Basically mountain hill roads. Pretty dangerous ride. So we were driving about 40 km/h, very slowly and it took us an hour to get 40 km done.
But we finally got here and it's alright. I didn't know Poland has such a beautiful roads. We spent the third day driving through Poland and Slovakia. The weather was nice and once we crossed the Slovakia border, we noticed beautiful sunflower fields. In the evening we reached Hungary and decided to stay at Pension in small Hungarian village Kisvarda. We woke up quite early and a local showed us a bakery where, as he said, we can get the best pastry in the village.
After breakfast we headed to Romania. There were only around 80 km left till the Romanian border. So we reached it by midday and drove through small villages to our first destination - Barsana. So we are in Romania. In some very small town between mountains in North Romania - Sapanta town.
Fourty kilometres away from our destination wich is called Barsana. Like a little town, wich is build from wooden buildings. This is also an interesting place. We came here to take out cash. And this is the central area of the town. The northwestern Romanian region of Maramures is home to many villages where century-old traditions are still part of daily life.
More than four fifths of the region is still covered in forests, so wood in construction and craft has been very important for generations. We decided to see Barsana Monastery, which is one of the most popular places of Maramures. It is located in the Barsana village. The village itself was first documented back in 1326.
It is well-known for the presence of a monastery with a wooden church since the 14th century. The Barsana Monastery church is one of the tallest wooden churches in Romania, having 57 m height. Then we drove to some campsite which unfortunately didn't have any place for our tent. so we found a local Romanian who let us build a tent in his garden under a plum tree. In the evening we decided to go out and explore the city and try some of their traditional dishes. Now we are moving on and today we are going to see beautiful villages and cliffs, and lakes! Beautiful road! We drove through the area where you can see two National parks - Maramureș and Rodna Mountains National Park.
This area was quite beautiful - it has peaks, caves, valleys, beautiful forests and much more. While driving this road we saw quite a lot of locals who stopped for lunch or to take some photos with beautiful views. So we stopped by to have a little break. And it was clear, there was nobody. Then suddently after like 2 to 3 minutes there were like 4 to 5 cars that stopped. From those cars climbed out about 20 Romanians and they all wanted to take a photo with the bike.
So I just took a photo with everybody together. Lovely photo now we have! While driving through Romania we saw quite a lot of animals. There can be horses, cows, chickens, sheep and other animals on the road so you have to drive really carefully.
So this is the moto station. Biker station. You can shower here, fix your bikes, stay overnight, have some lunch. We'll go and see, if we can get any lunch here. Lunch, lunch, lunch! We were travelling towards lake Rosu. Only little we knew what lake Bicaz is going to give us. As there were only a few hours left with the sunlight and we wanted to reach Lake Rossu, we decided to take a shortcut, which turned out to be a completely off-road mountain pass with a lot of mud and gravel. I don't like mud. Now we need to turn around.
With a tyre like this... Look at my tyre! Look! I felt it is having a hard time, it did not have grip before... There is no protector left on the tyre. We can't drive roads like these. So after we finally turned the bike around, we went to the closest village we found on the map and decided to spend the night there and come up with a better plan on how to cross this mountain. Good morning! So... Yesterday we tried to cross mountains to get to our Red Lake through very offroad roads.
However, we didn't manage, because that offroad road was too slipery for two of us to manage. So, today we drive back the way we came from and we tried to drive around the big lake from the other side. However, that road is closed because of road works. And there is only one route which drives around those road works and connects us back to the road we originally wanted to go. And it's this road. And this road is fun! It's managable, it's small, there are loads of nice, touristic pathways. And it was also closed. It also had sort of closure sign. But we ignored it.
And we are driving through it, because that's the only way we can get forward. Otherwise, we have to drive around 200 km on motorways. But this is prety good road. Except the pavement sometimes gets bumpy.
Welcome to Romania! Wow! What a beauty, Evija! Look in front of you! Maybe we need a picture here? Let's go back! Wohh-oo! Hi, sorry... aamm... Have you seen any luggage we have lost on our way down? - Black bag. - No, just a black plastic bag. ...black, black... - Yes, that's ours! - It's okay, you will find it. - We will find it... it's on the road, yeah? We stopped by after that long trip of off-roading sort of thing... ...I found my bike very dirty. And also my shoes very dirty. This is our seat! These are my shoes.
These are our sleeping bags. And this is how they are attached now. Because we didn't secure our baggage first time in the morning. This poor strap is broken because it was against the exhaust, so it melted completely. It lost it's end, and now I have just tied it. We got now a little, small bottle of water, so Evija went inside the shop to get a bit more water and some ice cream.
It is very hot. 26,5 degrees in the sun is pretty damn hot. And the bike itself is having like 100 degrees underneath. My legs are burning basically. Yeah! Otherwise it's fun! We stayed in a camping place where everything around it has electric fence for bear security, because there are loads of bears around in this area. However, we haven't seeen a single bear. This is the fence.
He ate the whole loaf of bread by himself! So we are at our place tonight that we got on Booking. The hospitality seems to be very exceptional. In the first minute, first moment we came in and we put down our luggage and left our room, they offered us to have their traditional drinks for free. That's very nice of them. (Palinca brandy and plum brandy) While driving in Romania, we realised, that sometimes on the map it is hard to distinguish which road is paved and which is a gravel one. On the map, they all look the same but in the real life, a perfectly paved road can suddenly turn into a completely off-road one.
Then we decided to see a nearby church that is quite unique. The Corbii de Piatră Monastery church was first documented in 1512, but it is believed that it is older than that. The church is quite unique - it is dug into a huge rock wall and is 30 m high and 14.5 m long. This is the oldest rupestrian church in Romania and is unique as it contains two altars. The paintings in the church dates back to the 14th century or even earlier.
We have crossed most of Romania’s midlands. We nearly saw bears near Brasov at Bear Sanctuary but it was already closed in the afternoon. Due to the lack of time, we continued our travels towards Transfagarasan and Transalpina roads - world famous roads where Top Gear stars were driving in 2009 with their supercars. We had to stop in the village Curtea de Arges to have some lunch before continue our travels on the world famous road.
So today was the day we were waiting for the most - we were finally driving to the Transfăgărășan, which is quite a popular route for motorcyclists. The Transfăgărășan is a paved mountain road crossing the southern section of the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. It has a national-road ranking and is the second-highest paved road in the country after Transalpina. While driving up the mountain we realised that we don’t have enough fuel to cross it.
Turning back also wasn’t an option anymore. So we went further and found a small village and decided to talk with locals. This is how we got stuck here. - Trust me, he said... Everything will be fine, he said. What are we doing right now? - I don't know, I am waiting for him. He drove somewhere to get something. So we just got 2 litres of petrol from locals, who drove to the nearby hotel to get some.
And thanks to them we'll be able to get to our petrol station. No. We are good. Yeah! He was offering us a place to sleep tonight but we are fine. We are going to move on because we need to move on. We can't stay in the middle of this road. We got 2 litres of petrol from locals.
We could drive around 30 km with the petrol we had. And there were still 58 km till the next petrol station. We drove to the highest point on the mountain and stopped for a while to enjoy the view. As it was already evening, we decided to make a tent here. Staying here was one of the best decisions we made on this trip. In the morning we made some breakfast and enjoyed the view. And we reached the petrol station with the last drops of petrol left in the tank.
In every trip you sometimes need to deal with some problems. We were quite suprised to meet some Latvians who were also driving this road. And helped us to get the motorcycle back on road. Today we continued driving the beautiful mountain roads and we headed to the Transalpina, which we were quite exited about before we even started this journey. The Transalpina is a 148 km long mountain pass that is one of the highest roads of the Carpathian Mountains.
The road is a real roller coaster that is also a pretty popular motorcyclist route. The road's highest point is 2145 m. Once we reached it, we realised that storm is coming. Guttler! She ate the whole loaf of bread! It is raining in mountains, and 17 degrees, but in the valley it is 27 and sun! This evening we decided to sleep in the tent, so we asked a local for some nearby place to build it. This morning is awful! We think we have got some food poisioning.
And we are dizzy, we have stomach pain. I would say even fever. And we are in the middle of nowhere. Next to the forest where we were really scared to sleep tonight, last night. But we are fine. Bear didn't eat us. So, we are alive.
So, we have booked a room, which is 110 km away from us and on our way home. And we are planning to go there now, spend the rest of the day there, heal ourselves. And from tommorow just head back home. This is our final day in Romania I would say.
We have about 4 or 5 days to get back home from now. So we are fine. We are just going to go home on our own pace. This is where we slept last night. Beautiful area. Evija, can you clean my back? I think I have some ants on my back.
This is the place, where we stayed tonight. As you can see there is a forest around us. This is what scared us yesterday to sleep here. This is a very beautiful road. Good morning! So we have rested for 2 days. We are not sick anymore. And we are ready to move on!
Unfortunately, we don't have anymore time to see anything in Romania so we are just going home to Latvia now. On our way to Latvia we are gonna to meet Humanitas charity. To see their safe homes and how they are supporting children. So this is, I think, exactly 2 weeks now from the first day we started in Latvia.
So we got about 3 days to go back to Latvia now. Which is exactly the same amount of time we had to come here. Thanks for watching! This film is connected with my fundraising initiative associated with this film. I am helping to raise money for Humanitas Safe Homes in Romania They have created homes for orphaned and abandoned children with special needs. There are many children without parents or support they need to grow up.
I met them personally at their home. However, due to privacy restictions, I am not allowed to show any footage with children themselves. Humanitas Charity needs your help to support children with needs. You can spare any amount through Just Giving link provided at the description of this video. Or support them directly to through their website! Thank you and I will see you next time!