Family round-the-world trip on the “Hargita”

Adventurous people can be found everywhere, among the Székelys too.  Zoltán Szabó, nicknamed Kobra – who once already cycled around the world a few years ago – is definitely one of them. Four years after he arrived back home to Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc, he is ready for another round-the-world trip again. But this one will be on water instead of on land and he also won’t do it alone, but with his family and instead of a recumbent bicycle he will use a sailboat for the travel.

Deck of Hargita
Left to right, clockwise: The deck of Hargita; Zoltán „Kobra” Szabó is ready for the adventure; The cabin

Kobra’s enthusiasm for traveling originates from the communist era, when people in Romania were not allowed to travel and the outside world only existed for him in the books. As a youngster he collected a lot of travelogues, and become a dreamer while reading them. And so when the borders opened up in 1989, he finally started to discover the world in reality as well. His biggest trip so far was a sixteen months long round-the-world cycling trip between June 2013 and October 2014, when he cycled no less than 32,411 kilometers. In May, this year he is going to start his second such a trip, but this time not alone. His partner, Jutka – together with their two small children, the four year old Zalán and the only few months old Lili – will join him too.

The couple only decided the trip less than a year ago in May 2018, but in four months from now they are already going to be ready to sail out from the harbor of Trogir, Croatia starting the adventure which they plan to last four and a half years. They will be sailing on a fourteen and half meters long Harmony 47 boat, which they bought because they found it big enough for the whole family to fit in. Originally Kobra wanted to travel under either Hungarian or Romanian flag, but because of the excessive bureaucracy in both countries they finally decided to choose the Belgian registration instead, which is way easier and can be done even through the Internet. Before the start they also had to make a decision about the name of the boat. According to the traditions, it had to be a female name, and Kobra also wanted to refer to his homeland, this is why they chose Hargita. “… it got the name of Hargita, so we can feel ourselves at home and to remind us of the fact that our harbor is the Madarasi-Hargita*/Harghita-Mădăraș“- he wrote on the trip’s Facebook page. (*Madarasi Hargita is the highest mountain in Székelyföld.)

Planned route of the Hargita
The planned route of the Hargita

The adventurous family is planning to reach first the Canary-Islands by the end of October. Here, in Tenerife they will analyze the experiences of the first months, and if they believe they are up for the task, they will continue the trip, if not, they can come back home. In case they continue, and will successfully cross the Atlantic they are planning to spend five months on the Caribbean See, from where they can still turn back if they wish. The following, third part of the trip seems to be the hardest: crossing the Pacific Ocean. If they also manage to do that, they will be heading to Australia, Indonesia, India, than back home through the Red Sea.


Title image: Zoltán “Kobra” Szabó and Jutka in the harbor of Trogir, Croatia. (source: Facebook)

Author: Attila Szoó