Monkey Run Romania: The Official Guide
The Monkey Run is an adventure that takes the impractical brilliance of a Monkey Bike; a vehicle so delightfully ludicrous for even the shortest of jaunts; and tosses it head first into some of the most demanding and challenging stretches of road that have been laid out on planet Earth, and we’ve recently tested the very latest incarnation:
Romania is home to the Transfăgărășan and Transalpina highways, epic slithers of road strewn across the Romanian landscape like a plate of dropped spaghetti. Jeremy Clarkson once proclaimed the Transfăgărășan as "The best road in the world", not that we care, it's just that he did...
And sure, you could grab yourself a multi-million pound supercar and shred up the highways like that curly haired twat, but that wouldn't give you access to the miles and miles of demanding off-road terrain the Monkey Bike just hates to love.
You may have noticed that there is a little bit more tarmac than we're used to here at The Adventurists, but don't be fooled. The roads in Romania not only offer some of the most incredible asphalt roads in the world but also thousands of miles of forest trails that will challenge every ounce of you and your trusty steed.
2. On your own
We give you a start line, a finish line, some training and more or less enough time to reach said finish line. The rest is up to you.
JUNE 2021Sighetu Marmatiei to Dark Ravens Clubhouse
25th June - Friday
Get yourself to the start line
Warm up Unofficial welcoming to the bosom of The Adventurists to meet your fellow idiots. Bring your plans, bring your maps, drink too much and tear them both to shreds.
26th June - Saturday
Test driving & party
27th June - Sunday
3rd July - Saturday
The finish, prize-giving and party
4. The Bikes
"These bikes are completely impractical. That’s why you don’t see thousands of them driving up and down the country. It’s because they’re useless"
Here's some quick stats to prove just how spectacularly unsuitable they really are.
Engine: 48cc of 4 stroke genius
Power: 2.6 BHP
Brakes: Disc front, drum rear
5. The unroute
We've chosen this route to throw the most spectacular scenery in your path in the hope you'll get utterly lost fighting your way through the foresty mountains and ripping down the Transfăgărășan highway.
6. Money stuff
The Mighty 50cc Monkey Bike
One week just won't be enough with this marvel of two-wheeled engineering between your thighs.
Accommodation at the start and finish line
Two nights' accommodation in shared rooms at the start line and one night in a communal big top style tent at the finish line.
Test Driving Day
A day of test driving and instruction to help you master the raw power of the monkey. Optional monkey bike synchronised driving display.
Bike papers & vehicle insurance
The bits of paper you need to show the police when you get stopped to prove you haven't nicked it and 3rd party vehicle insurance ready to go.
You’re going to need to know where not to pour oil or green tea. So we have an experienced Monkey Runner on hand to take you through the mechanical jiggery-pokery you will need to help keep your steed rolling to the Finish Line.
A warm up the night before test driving with a few drinks on us and a chance to meet your fellow monkeys.
Launch Dinner & Party
No adventure should begin without a feast of local cuisine and too much polinka (don't worry, you'll find out what that is when your time comes).
Finish Line Dinner, Prizegiving Ceremony & Party
There's no prize for coming first but plenty of others up for grabs including best photography and the coveted spirit of adventure award. Dinner on us, much back slapping and more polinka to grease the wheels of a good old fashioned knees up to mark the end of the adventure.
The most ridiculous week of adventuring chaos imaginable with likeminded reprobates. Guaranteed to deliver stories from the road to last for years.
And a sore bottom, but you'll be grateful for it we promise.
Paying by instalments?
If you have chosen to pay by instalments then you would have been charged for the first bit immediately. The next payment will come out of your bank automatically around 28 days later. Following payments will come out on the same day each month until the full amount is paid.
IDP - While International driving permits aren't compulsory in Romania, they act as a useful translation of your driving licence. You want one with a Category "A" stamp.
Bike insurance - The bikes come with 3rd party motor insurance.
Personal insurance - You'll need travel insurance to cover you for the whole of the Run. You should make sure it specifically covers you for what you are doing and where.
Visas - Many nationalities don't need a visa for Romania for up to 90 days. Head over to our pals at The Visa Machine to find out what you need.
Vehicle deposit - We charge a £300 returnable vehicle deposit to make sure we get our bikes back at the end of the adventure, this is fully returnable and we won't charge you for general wear and tear.
8. Fuel, Food and Lodgings
FuelFinding fuel and mechanics shouldn't be a problem. Though the mechanics might not have suitable spares for your bike, so you might want to take some basic spares.
FoodFood in Romania is cheap and utterly delicious. Make sure you ask for Sarmale (cabbage rolls) and for you meat eaters out there, try Ciorba de Burta (beef tripe soup). To wash it all down grab some Romanian Moonshine, or to using proper lingo "Țuică".
LodgingYou get two nights accommodation in shared rooms at the launch and one night on the finish line included in your entry fee. In between most places you stop for food and fuel will have somewhere you can stay, even if it's on someone's floor. There are also lots of guest houses and if you want to carry the stuff lots of campsites too.
9. Going solo?
10. Saving the world
If you raise £1000 or more for Cool Earth you’ll be entered into the raffle with all the teams on The Adventurists adventures for a chance to win a money can’t buy trip to the Peruvian rainforest to see the work they do first hand.
Where would we get lost if we didn't have jungles?
Once you’ve signed up to the Monkey Run we will give you more information about Cool Earth, as well as a stash of tips on how to extract donations from friends, family and strangers.
The Plan - how to actually save the worldWe’ve been banging on about saving the world for ages and we’ve raised stupendous amounts of money for a load of amazing charities. So we sat down at HQ and pondered on what we could do that will actually save the world and continue the fight to make it less boring.
Then it hit us like a well-polished brogue to the nuts: “we must save every rainforest in the world so future generations have somewhere to get stuck”. It’s not just about the carbon, the point is rainforests are indescribably excellent.
You can find a stack of resources for Cool Earth and a fundraising pack Here here or give them a shout with any questions or say hello. They're keen to hear from you.
Who are they?Cool Earth is an environmental charity that works in partnership with indigenous communities.
The charity only protects rainforest that without intervention will be destroyed within the next 18 months.
Cool Earth works strategically, protecting the forest that acts as a barrier to a wider landscape.
The charity spends just 10% of your donation on admin and governance making sure as much as possible goes to project areas.
Through working with local people Cool Earth makes sure conservation goes hand in hand with better livelihoods.
What's in one acre of rainforest?The same amount of CO2 as driving around the world 32 times
The same amount of water as 950 baths
11,000 species of insect and worm
6 endangered animals
Possibly a family living in a settlement and working with Cool Earth to keep this acre standing
13. The warning
Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.
This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.