May 25, 2023 Ocna Sugatag RO

When we first started traveling we were always focused on the places we were going to see and the cool things we were going to do. As we travel more we have come to the realization that it is not the cool things you do that make traveling rewarding, it is the cool people you meet.

A “pot” tree at Camping Green Place.

We wanted to visit an area that is considered one of the most beautiful and remote in Romania. The region is called Maramures and it is both beautiful and remote. When I punched in the coordinates for the campground it said it was about 200 kilometers, but we had been told it was 31/2 hours from Cluj. It turns out it was closer to 4 hours for us. the first 100km’s took about an hour and a half, so we stopped at a Kaufland to stock up on food.

The town we are staying in is known for its mineral baths. This hot tub is on site.

The next 100 km’s took 2 1/2 hours as we went over several mountain passes that were full of hair pin turns. Also, the roads were well paved (no potholes) but a bit rough. It did not make for a quick drive.

One of the nice artistic touches at Camping Green Place. It sounds much more romantic in Romanian.

But we were rewarded for our efforts when we arrived at the campground. When we pulled up it looked like we were going to have the place to ourselves. We were greeted by the owner and she asked if we were part of the “group”. We said no, and she said all of the regular spots were taken by a group, but she had a place for us if we were adaptable. We loved the challenge so pretty quickly we were parked up next to a cabin, our electric cord was run thru a window and we were almost settled in. The problem was we were not getting electric in François. After some trouble shooting Maria the owner came to the conclusion that my plug was not working, and disappeared to get a screw driver. She sat down and disassembled my electric cord, found a loose wire and fixed it and we had electricity. Incredible service.

Marias home on the campsite.

We took it easy in the afternoon, and about 6pm the group showed up. It was 7 motorhomes from Spain, convoying thru the Balkans together. We had actually run into them in the campsite in Bucharest.

After an evening walk we came back and ordered a beer at the bar from Maria. Before we knew it we spent the next two hours with her as she proudly showed us around the campsite showing how they had built the place up. Her and her husband did most of the construction work themselves, and she also has an incredible sense for aesthetics, so everything is well built and beautifully decorated. You could tell the pride she felt for what they had accomplished. Without complaining she told us about the difficulties they have faced, but you could tell that the difficulties were not going to stop them from providing the best place they could deliver to their customers. Ton called her a superwoman and she certainly is.

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