Thursday, September 10, 2009

Romania: Cab. Omu -> Bran

After a warm and only somewhat loud night we were up and about at 7:15. Fairly dismal breakfast of greasy omelet and stale bread and then it's packing up, bundling up, and heading out into the cold wind. Weather is decent, with high cloud cover and reasonable visibility. Good views of the Fagaras and Konigstein. We follow the advice of the local we had talked to the previous night and head off along the red cross path instead of the red stripe recommended by the Englishman. Along the ridge for a while, past a freshly dead sheep (bear victim), and then down into the impressive and beautiful Gaura valley.
Some nice rock walking and a bit of light scrambling takes us down do the next step in the valley, where we have a chocolate break to restore spirits (there's only so much hiking under a gray sky that the soul can take, no matter how impressive the surroundings). Onwards, ever downwards, past the skeleton of a mountain goat (probably another bear victim), past a good cable-secured scrambling bit and some narrow cracks to the the next step down.
Along, along, eventually reaching an abandoned shepherd's hut on the edge of the woods. From there it's around the corner and up (up? yes! have to go up before you can go down!) through the forest to the La Politie saddle.

From the saddle we head down again through the forest, past more nice bear prints, past people logging and using a horse to bring down the logs (logging in the national park... huh).
Finally reaching the valley floor and outskirts of Bran. Very long (subjective, only 3-4km in reality) walk along the road through Bran until we reach the amazingly touristy center. Luckily we only have to wait about three minutes for the bus to Brasov.

Overall a very nice hike that we couldn't completely appreciate because of the whole weather/gray sky thing. We're pretty mentally worn out by this point.

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