Samurai versus Vitara

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I was having a drink on a Saturday evening in a pub in Brasov when I got to see Theodor and I stopped to chit chat a bit about off-roading and our Suzuki toys. Theo’s got a 1993 Suzuki Vitara (Sidekick) and he’s a true off-road enthusiast.

One thing let to another and Theo proposed a friendly Suzuki Samurai versus Suzuki Vitara adventure for the next day.

– But you have to wake up really early tomorrow, it’s going to be a full day trip!
– All right, I will.

And I almost did. I woke up around 10 AM and I called a few friends and invited them to join the adventure. Diana, Razvan and Andrei said yes.

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

We left Brasov shortly before noon and in Sacele we met Theo and split in the two adventure ready vehicles. Theo took Andrei as a copilot and I took Diana and Razvan in my Samurai.

The weather was perfect for a cabrio ride, so I’d say the Samurai wins the first point here. (Suzuki Samurai – Suzuki Vitara 1-0)

Theo proposed to take on a gravel road from Zizin to Vama Buzaului and there was no debating on the destination since Vama Buzaului is the home village of my grandparents and my personal childhood heaven.

This road (DJ103A) is quite an off-road forest road you wouldn’t expect to qualify for a county road, but it is an official county road connecting Zizin to Dalghiu village. I wouldn’t recommend you to use this as your daily commuting route unless your suspension is unbreakable, but I’d definitely invite you to try it, especially for the views and the incredible forest colors during autumn.

The road took us for around 25 km trip through the woods and the day was just incredibly warm and nice, so we stopped often to take photos and I can only thank my friends for dealing with my photo shooting obsession.

We rode through the woods until we fund the perfect playground spot (a deep pud of mud) where we stopped for Theo to test his new BFG MT tires. It didn’t really work as expected and we had to get the Samurai in action and drag the Vitara out of the mud. (Samurai – Vitara 2-0).

Of course I had to test the Samurai in the puddle of mud, but I rode somehow closer to the edge and managed to get it out after a bit of the classy off-road balance trick. I kind of cheated here so I’ll take that point back. (Samurai – Vitara 1-0)

While sorting out these photos I can see how back in 2009 I was more focused into shooting my Samurai than taking photos of my friends and I feel bad about it, especially since the lack of people in my images doesn’t do a great deal of storytelling, but hey, too late to worry.

Photography tip

Even if you’re shooting digital or point and shoot, better watch (think) your exposures! And if you don’t, Lightroom is there to save you, provided you always shoot RAW, like I do.

Once we got to Dalghiu we stopped for a short picnic and while Theo got to fly his kite, I got to shoot these really cool pictures with Diana enjoying a cigarette in the lovely autumn sun.

We arrived to Vama Buzaului around 16:00 and we rode to the backyard of my grandparents house where we challenged the Samurai Versus Vitara on a pretty steep hill climb. This time it was the MT prepared Vitara that shamed the Samurai and its sleek road tires. (Samurai – Vitara 1-1)

When we left towards Brasov we took the mainstream road and in Predelut (close to Teliu) we stopped one last time a to watch the sunset from a nice view on a hill next to the road.


  1. If you had the choice of the vitara or samurai what would be your top choice and why?

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