Monday, September 07, 2009

Romania: Cab. Postavarul -> Cab. Trei Brazi

After a nice omelet breakfast, we head out into the clouds and on our way. The beginning of the day is straight downhill: following the blue cross markings down, across a ski slope, down, down, down through a very dark forest (no serpentines here, it's la directissima all the way). At the bottom of the forest we're out of the clouds but the mud, our companion for the next day or so, starts. Mud, mud, mud to go with our descent. Eventually we hit red disc way markers and end up on a logging road through an area that has been recently logged. hoo boy is it muddy.

Through more dark forest, around the slope (spotting some deer along the way). At some point we start seeing suspiciously bear-like prints in the mud. We spot a very clear bear print just before a climb and occupy ourselves with trying to talk while climbing, hard. Towards the top of the hill we follow more logging road, spot an owl (it is dark under these trees!), and continue for a ways. At some point we almost lose the path, but the lack of constant signage clues us in that something is wrong pretty quickly (the trail marking is normally really, really good). Back up until we find the markers and then onwards through the mud until we reach a somewhat dry spot next to a nice, big, deep hole in the ground (vertical cave!), where we have a break.

After continuing on our way we get our first views of the trip: bits of mountain and valley just before we start down into the valley (Polana?).
At first the going is no problem, but then we enter an area where lots of downed trees (unfinished trail maintenance?) obscure the path. It starts to get tricky to find/follow the path: sometimes we have path without markings, sometimes we have markings without path, sometimes we have neither. At least our general direction (down into the valley) is clear. After some slipping and sliding we eventually find the path down to a stream where the markers vanish completely. At least there's a clear forest track along the stream, also on the map, that we can follow out to the road on the valley floor.

During our walk past the houses on the road we have our first encounter with Romanian dogs (8 or so, associated with one of the houses we walked by)... not at all nice. Continue along the road beside the gurgling stream, past a smaller group of dogs (also not nice), past a group of cows being herded along by their shepherd, to a nice spot beside the stream, where we have our lunch break. During lunch we actually see some signs of blue sky (at last!).

Onwards, past more dogs, cows, sheep, through the Rasnov gorge (very cool!),
further along the road then a turn off to follow the blue and yellow triangle route up the hill. After a bit in the mud we pass a group of guys with a horse-drawn wagon splitting logs. Then it's up, up, up through the woods (where we see another owl, it's not so dark at the moment so maybe he's confused!) to the Cab. Poiana Secuilor. Past the cabana we continue along the road and past a group of cows being herded along to end up at the Cabana (hotel really) Trei Brazi. Here we find hot showers... mmm, hot showers.

Dinner is good with a nice view out onto the changing clouds over the Bucegi massif. We never really see the massif clearly, but tantalizing hints abound.

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