In today’s route all experiences of last years are combined. This year the rally takes place in May, because it’s a dryer month than June according to the statistics. It is possible there is snow on the mountaintops, but that is what makes the EER surprising and unique. The EER can never be predicted and you are the one who decides what you can or cannot handle. In 2010 we rode through a flood area and bridges and paths at times were completely washed away, but wow, did we have fun! The off road value is at the maximum and we also think about the quad riders. Of course, sometimes you’ll ride at tarmac for an hour, but in comparison with 6 hours off road you have nothing to complain about.
On Friday we welcome you after a 12 hour ride from the Netherlands in Hotel Tatry. The hotel is in Zakopane Poland. Hotel Tatry is situated high in the mountains at the end of a dead-end street. You can park your vehicle safely during the rest of the rally. Here your motorcycle will be inspected on regular things like: chain gear wheels, brake-blocks, space bearings but especially when it comes down to noise we are absolutely strict. Open exhausts we do not tolerate.
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Day 1 Saturday: The first day of driving is an all-inclusive day. This day is meant to test yourself, in case of problems you can check with the organisation which parts you can handle. The first 30km you ride at tarmac through the beautiful Tatra to TCP1, here is the start of the first ‘Special’. Now it comes down to navigating, speed does not help you! It will even work against you. If you are able to reach TCP2 you are proud of yourself. After this you meet a unique cross court, this court exists of some serious climbs and descents and you can practice until 12.00 o’clock. This is ideal for the rest of the route, when you find the court is too difficult for you, it would be better to shorten the route a little bit. Further the route shows you beautiful Slovakia, the hills with woods which you cross remind you of the Ardennes. After this a little tarmac towards Hungaria, with great gravel roads and you get to find your way through the vineyards of Tokaj. Hotel Tokaj in Tokaj welcomes us, this is a nice hotel and an even nicer town situated at the river. Riding the whole route is pretty tough, you can of course shorten it although this will mean penalty time.
Day 2 Sunday: The day starts ‘Dutch’, via nice sandy paths we leave Hungaria. At the ‘Special’ that will take place here, everybody will go crazy. Dutch people and sand is a great combination. At a small border we cross over to Romania. At the first town there is a big change that kids will welcome you while cheering. In Romania we ride through a low hill area with great gravel paths. We pass beautiful villages where time stood still. For the true die-hards the last part to the hotel is a relief, enjoying with the capital E. We spend the night at a top location in motel Gilau, dinner over here is a party. Gilau is close to Cluj Napoca, which is a town with lots of entertainment.
Day 3 Monday: the EER is a true rally and adventure and unpredictable every hour, but never boring. At one side of the mountain there’s rain and at the other side the sun is shining (not different than Francorchamps), this is what makes the challenge and satisfaction while finishing even greater. The 2009 edition went through and over the high mountains which was for many a unique experience. However, close to high ridges it can rain for days, for this reason we will now be more near lower mountains. At this third day we ride through an unknown part of Romania. The ‘Special’ goes through a rough valley and via unique mountain top villages to a lonesome ridge, only by good navigation you will be able to cross this ridge. TCP2 is in the inhabited world. One of the most beautiful roads in Romania will take you to the second part of the day. Long paths through low hills, with various crops. Truthfully a fantastic route with a fabulous ending through the woods. Before you know it you are in Tirgu Mures, a great city, where also our hotel Continental is located. It’s great to take a walk here in the evening, yep, including Mc D and KFC. The organisation in the rally: in Romania the hotels are at a 4 hour ride away from each other.
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This gives the organisation more time to let everything go smoothly and where possible, to encourage the participants. Without volunteers we are nothing, besides the crew of the CP we also have to pick up stranded participants and offer immediate medical help in case of accidents.
Day 4 Tuesday: We start this day with a ‘Special’ of 80km to challenge our condition. Once you reach TP2 you get to find the way through rough mountain scenery. The route gets greater and greater; a single climb needs to be taken. Don’t give up, follow through, tomorrow there’s more time to rest.
Day 5 Wednesday: in an absolutely abandoned 100% Romanian holiday resort we spend one extra night. This holiday resort is called Poiana Zanolor and can only be reached by one road, it’s in the neighbourhood of the village Valea Mare.
For those you love this, we build in a rest, where swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna will put your physical and mental strength back to normal level. Who ever wants to, but surely for the class riders on this day we also have a fabulous route. I fell in love with this route, 100% peace and countryside. You pass by the border with the Ukraine and you should not be surprised when a lonely soldier asks for your passport. As finishing point there’s a gigantic slope, for sure your arms will grow longer. The Discovery class needs to get a stamp on top of the slope. For the Adventure class it’s only beginning, on your way into the wood, challenging tree roots higher and higher, darn, how do I get at the stamp checkpoint? No problem, you can always walk!!
Day 6 Thursday: Already the last day in Romania, a day of nice and relaxed riding. You will be especially surprised about the Romanian hospitable population. This day will be full of experiences that outsiders won’t understand. The route is full of variation, the ‘Special’ is at the end of the day. It’s a special with emotions, only a few participants have managed to ride this ‘special’ right in one try. ‘Gerjan, the road book is incorrect’, said Peter vd Sanden. When I explain him where he went wrong, and that he just missed a way point, his only conclusion was: ‘Darn, now I have to participate again next year!’ Nope, last year’s track will not be of any help, our contest leader checks this and just throws the track away. Following Tripy participants could be an option, but we also built in a little trick to prevent this. Besides, I am never to be trusted with routes, another turn is made in no time, haha.
We spend the night at hotel Coral which is situated in Petea, the border crossing with Hungaria, nearby Satu Mare in Romania.
Day 7 Friday: Endlessly riding on the sandy trails in Hungaria, this is and remains for many a unique experience.
Day 8 Saturday: Well, the EER is almost at its end, those who had enough can choose to ride to the meeting point on tarmac. But if you have some energy left in you, you can take the off road route which is beautiful. Here, while having your meal, the award ceremony will take place. The finish hotel is not booked, because everybody is ready to ride towards home. In other words, next edition will be fantastic. Have you not participated yet? Think seriously about Europe’s last adventure!
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