Cycling in Maramures and Bucovina

Dear Costin,
We thought it might be useful if we sent you a written evaluation, which you could refer to when you might need to.
It was such a fine trip for all of us and so there are many points we wanted to highlight (bullet points) as adding to our enjoyment. We’ve put them under headings, along with ‘constructive criticism’ if we have any (arrows):

The overall organization and co-ordination

  • The route and how it balanced fantastic, beautiful scenery with visits to great buildings and places was ideal
  • All the plans and arrangements worked extremely smoothly and you had clearly worked hard to make sure that happened.
  • You were always looking out for the safety and well-being of each of us, without making a big deal of doing so – this was greatly appreciated.
  • We greatly appreciated how flexible you were – keen to find out what we
    wanted and to change plans to fit our preferences.
  • We did get quite concerned about not getting confirmation and details, even a request for a deposit, until quite late. Once we had booked our flights we would have liked some definite evidence that the trip really was going to happen.
  • Having a detailed route, set out on a map, before we left the UK would also have been interesting and helpful.

Equipment

  • The bikes were great – really helped us tackle the mountains
  • The van was great – comfortable and spacious.

The route

  • As you know, we didn’t like spending time on fast busy roads and really appreciated how willingly and successfully you re-shaped the plans.
  • Making more use of routes which followed the small by-roads would have been even better. We realize that many of those roads would be unpaved.
    The bikes were certainly capable of tackling the rough surfaces. Not all of us were confident or comfortable on unpaved roads however, so maybe establishing what the options are and preferences with customers in advance might be a good thing to do – giving them a choice if possible.

The hotels

  • We were very happy with how comfortable the hotels were, and the food was always delicious and interesting. As you know we loved Bucovina Lodge – its position, how characterful, cosy and friendly it was. But we also enjoyed watching the big celebrations in the first 2 hotels.
  • Maybe, one or two more small, characterful places, to replace some of the comparatively large, more impersonal places would be welcome. But we recognize this may reflect our personal tastes.

Your guiding

  • We thought your knowledge and enthusiasm for such a range of issues was phenomenal and really made a great difference to our appreciation of what we were experiencing. We really valued your explanations of how Romanian politics and economics have evolved over the last half century.
    But you were equally keen to help us get up all those mountains efficiently and still take an active interest in our surroundings.
    Thankyou once again, for a truly lovely holiday. We hope that you really build up a big set of clients, so more people can have the same sort of great time we had.
    Best wishes from Ali, Brigid, Sarah and Theresa.