We woke up forgetting it was Jack’s birthday – how could we! It was over toast and coffee that we remembered. As this was a moving day we decided to celebrate his birthday in the evening.
Packing took longer than usual as we kept on chatting to our Romanian friends still on the site, and it was not until midday that we finally left.
Being Easter Monday, the road out of Bram was busier than usual, but as soon as we turned onto the main road the traffic calmed down. This was the same road that we took to Viscri a few days earlier.
Amarillo is armed with a front facing radar. It used this to match the speed of the vehicle ahead, braking or accelerating without exceeding a limit I have set – often the speed limit or in this case 80 kph on a road with a 100 kph limit.
On our Viscri day we were driving along this road at a steady 80 kph, with no traffic ahead when the brakes were automatically applied, quite sharply, with a warning signal to brake on the dashboard. This was the first time this had happened. The following morning I cleaned the radar.
This emergency application of the brakes happened again on exactly the same section of road, albeit in slightly different circumstances. This time we were tracking a vehicle ahead at about 75 kph. A faster moving cat was just passing me and about to move into the space ahead when the emergency brakes came on.
The emergency braking is not the same as the adaptive cruise control. With the normal adaptive cruise control, if an overtaking car slots into the gap between me and the car I had been tacking, Amarillo would gently slow to maintain a safe distance.
This was different. On both occasions on exactly the same stretch of road the emergency brakes were applied accompanied by a warning signal. Although not a unique event, it is very rare for the radar to trigger emergency braking. It is not something that has happened before on the open road as occurred a few days earlier, and while on the second occasion it may have been triggered by the overtaking car, it is most odd that it happened on exactly the same stretch of road – very possibly the exact same place.
Today we were taking an indirect route to our destination to visit the Saxon village of Mălâncrav. This is the village with the greatest remaining Saxon population of any in Romania. Perhaps we had been spoiled by the charm of Viscri, but we did not find this village anywhere close to as interesting.
We arrived at our campsite soon after 5pm, joined a couple of hours later by a Swiss family we’d met at the previous site in Bram. This is a small site with just six pitches, and excellent bathrooms.
We went out for Jack’s birthday celebration, cycling with boys on crossbar seats. A Roma Christening was in progress – very loud, and we ate outside. Jack chose chicken soup, Ben spaghetti bolognese Clare chicken schnitzel and salad and I chateaubriand steak, chips and gratin vegetables. When the food arrived, Jack cried and wanted Ben’s pasta, Ben cried and wanted Clare’s chicken and my chips, so Clare had Jack’s soup and I had my steak (which was deep fried chunks of beef) without chips and gratin vegetables which turned out to be grilled vegetables.
This being Jack’s birthday we stretched as far as pudding. Jack wanted pancakes with chocolate sauce – we all had the same. The entire meal was washed down with a litre of red wine and a bottle of fizzy water. £35 the lot. Wow!