Sunday, September 06, 2009

Romania: Brasov -> Cab. Postavarul

After a night of rain, we get up early to steady drizzle. We make a quick decision to stay in Brasov for another day and go back to sleep for half an hour. At breakfast the drizzle is very low grade, Greg is antsy. There is much discussion and changing of minds before we finally decide that we can't be wimps forever and have to at least try a day of walking in drizzly weather.

The hike starts at 9:50 under clouds, but without real rain. Our destination is the Cab. Cristianu Mare. We pick up our trail (blue stripe, the one recommended by the Englishman seems unnecessarily complicated) on the edge of town and start our climb. The extremely well marked trail leads us up through the woods. Up, up, up is a good way to start the walking with the heavy packs. :-)
We find our pace quickly and enjoy the very nice wooded path under the trees. There's a constant dripping in the tree canopy, but not much makes it down to the ground. Not perfect conditions, but still ok walking. Side benefit: the nice cool temperature makes it quite comfy and not too sweaty. After a good mix of ridge walking and contour following we do a lunch break in a clearing on the ridge. It's too cool and damp for an extended break, but we lunch well and continue on our way.

Throughout the afternoon the weather gets steadily thicker.

We pass the Cab. Postavarul and continue to follow the signs up to the Cab. Cristianu Mare. By now the clouds we're walking through have gotten thick, so navigation has become more difficult. Eventually we lose the path a bit, re-find it, and spend quite a while looking around for the cabana. Unsuccessfully. How can we not find the "one of the best run of Romania's cabanas" (from the Englishman)? It's raining for real now and is getting gross. Finally we head up to the top gondola station where we find out that the cabana is either closed or gone. Which isn't quite clear and our Romanian isn't good enough to probe into details.

We head back down the road to the Cab. Postavarul, which is under construction (bad moment there... are they open?), but open (yay! good moment!). We strip off the wet stuff and set it to dry next to the wood stove, have some tea, and enjoy the dry and warm.

Added while doing blog entry: It seems that the Cab. Cristianu Mare burned down in 2003. Either it was rebuilt somewhere else up on the peak and was just closed that day (we couldn't see anything in the fog/cloud) or there are plans to rebuild or something; the trail signs have certainly not been updated.

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