We enjoyed riding through the small villages of Maramures. This is one of the most untouched traditional rural regions in Romania and Europe, largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
Many of the village houses are large wood slab construction, with newer versions being clay brick constructions, but each province adds its own style and touches.
Most houses are close to the road and have fences and some have large carved wooden gates with a small roof. People sit on benches outside the fences watching their world go by and talking to neighbours. There are many old faces full of character and cheerfulness that nod to us as we pass by.
There is always the clatter of the horse and carts plodding down the road or the tinkle of the dairy cow grazing near by.
We were lucky enough to be invited to stay with a friendly family in their tiny cottage near Botitsa. They made us very welcome insisting on cooking for us and sharing their potent plum brandy or rakia.
We slept in a bungalow adjoining the barn that housed 6 pigs, several cows, chickens, turkeys and a cat.
A small stream powered a waterwheel that drove a corn grinding mill and stirred the rakia still. The rest of the Perta family lived in several houses close by, when it was time to go to church we met them as well.
After a great Sundays lunch we bid our kind hosts fairwell and continued on our way, but they managed to sneak one bottle of plum rakia into our bag.