I have always dreamed of going on expeditions

Already during my successful carrier as a professional snowboarder I discovered my present-day three great passions: my wife Sigi, through her my "second home" Romania and the enduro-sport, which has fascinated me ever since.

After many enduro-summers and countless reconnaissance trips within the 10.000 km² of the almost uninhabited Carpathians I am now able to go back to a huge network of roads, paths and slopes for every difficulty degree.

The deep insight into Romania's nature and culture is another aspect worth discovering.

600 years ago I would have probably gone with Columbus on expedition

To explore new regions has always been my passion, no matter if on foot, by bicycle, with the enduro or on skis. In 1985 I belonged to the first snowboard pioneers, in a time when you weren't transported with the ski-lifts with such equipment. Next came my carrier with 9 state champion titles, 35 world cup wins, 3 European and 2 world champion titles. It's true that I haven't won a medal at the Olympics, but this is again another story in itself. But let's stick to the expeditions. When I was 18 I went with a rattly Fiat to Spain, when 19 with a 350 XT to Turkey, when 20 with the same car to Morocco, when 21 with a XT 600 from Seattle through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize and then again towards the north to New York, at the age of 22 alone to Algeria.

Long-haul journeys are fascinating but also time-consuming. As I no longer had much time left for trips to last several months because of the pretty tight schedule, but at the same time not even thinking of giving up enduro-driving not only because of training reasons, we knocked about several mountain paths in the south of the Brenner. From the frontier crest up to Sestriere, from Slovenia up to Bergamo. In the meantime I also turned to an Austrian enduro. A 250 for the hard part and a 620 for the street and gravel. On these tours my wife Sigi discovered in her turn the passion for off-road sports and in 1993 she stood for the first time beside her 350 DR on Mt. Chaberton.

Sigi was born in Romania and she lived there for 14 years

One day she thought her country would be perfectly suited for enduro-driving. After the first drive into the Romanian woods it became clear that this would be the next challenge. At the same time I became aware of the difficulties related to navigation without the usual map material. Nevertheless, the urge to get an overview of this vast area helped me along. During this navigation training in the Carpathians I wanted to put into practice my newly acquired knowledge, so I participated in the Atlas Rally. On my first rally I managed to get on place 14. The Romanian training helped me be in a great shape during the Enduro State Championship too.

After a few summers and several trips I got an overview of the approximately 10.000 km2 wide uninhabited area starting in front of our doorstep in Romania. Now I know about 5.000 km of gravel roads, mountain paths and cart tracks. The experiences connected to these expeditions are surely not everyone's cup of tea. Motorcycle roping-down operations and recoveries out of chest-deep waters are part of it as much as a freezing cold night in the open, because one was once again taken by surprise by the dark in unknown areas.

The ones who are interested in getting to know this magnificent landscape with its exhausting passages, without ending upon a dead-end track, are welcome to participate in one of our tours. To all the others who want to conquer this overwhelming country on their own I wish a wonderful time and good luck.

Martin Freinademetz