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This post is about a 23km walk from Mesteacănu to Mal. First I get rained in while I’m still in my tent, then I get caught in a thunderstorm.

I had found a camping spot on a field next to some trees. They was forest all around but the people down in the village had assured me that there were no bears in this area.

morning rain

Anyway I woke up with a sense of relief. No bears, good. As I lay in my tent looking at my phone, it started raining. This was shitty because all of my food was in the Caboose, which meant I couldn’t get to it without leaving the tent. And it didn’t stop for hours.

water shortage

I got going at about two in the afternoon. The gravel road continued for a while, then it turned into asphalt. There was no traffic. I saw some houses, and I thought about going and asking the people there for water, but for some reason I didn’t. I still had a half a bottle, and then there was always the emergency water in the Caboose. It would be fine.

It took about two hours for me to finally ask a guy in his yard for water. He smiled and filled my bottles from his garden faucet.

I arrived in the village of Cizer and asked the people there for directions to the village of Mal. I liked that name very much: Mal. It meant “wrong” or “bad” in French, and it made me wonder about its meaning in Romanian.

the storm

It was getting dark at this point. I didn’t want to camp too close to the village, so I decided to follow the road up a hill and see if I could camp there.

That’s when I saw it: a massive storm front on the horizon. It reminded me of that day in China when I outran a storm in the desert.

Only this time I didn’t outrun it. I ran right into it. First, all of the remaining light got sucked out, then winds arose around me, violent and loud, and then the rain started. Oddly, I remember there being one distinct first drop, hard and fast like a warning punch. I was drenched within seconds after that first drop.


The village of Mal wasn’t far. I started running. But when I reached the first houses they were all locked behind gates. There was no place to hide from the storm. One time I saw a person standing in their door and I ran up to the gate and yelled “tourist, tourist!” but they just looked at me, a screaming silhouette behind a curtain of rain.


the walk from Mesteacănu to Mal:

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