Romania Trip Log, Day 6, June 15 - A small breakfast bar at the pension, with coffee out of a vending machine (tokens provided), quite adequate and nice.
Out to wait for Peter (delayed taking man to emergency room), walked to a nearby bank (Volksbank) to exchange money but they donít do exchanges.
Returned to the pension, Peter there; to the room so Peter could eat the sandwiches I made for him and to plug in his battery charger (cell phone
and camera). Then it was off to the Red Mountain for what was to be, for me, the culmination of my hiking experience! We drove to the base of
the mountain, parked at the Cabana Muntele Rosu, secured the car, and began our hike. First up an open field area, then into the woods,
the trail often rocky and always up.
The Red Mountain gets its name from the low bushy rhododendrons which blanket the vast upper expanses
when they are in bloom. After about an hour, another hiker caught up with us, I was already beginning to tire, but we were nowhere near the summit
(saddle) where we were headed. He hiked with us for a long ways. Now the mountainside was covered as far as the eye could see with blueberry bushes,
also not yet in bloom or ripe. We came upon a shepherd and a huge flock of sheep; a large dog stood by the shepherd; the sheep were bedded down
in the blueberry bushes as we passed on the trail; all of a sudden, from the right and hidden in the bushes, the furious barking of several dogs
which were part of the dog crew; we were glad the shepherd was there to give us safe passage as these dogs can be very protective of the flock
from any strange animal or person.
We moved on, continuing upward and onward; now coming upon two mules wandering along on their own with
no visible owner; one had a bell collar, the other none. We approached and tried to pet a nose but got the brush off, so moved on.
Far up ahead we saw our fellow hiker had reached the saddle and was following it to the left, where we too were headed. Finally we achieved the
top/saddle and the vista in all directions was fabulous. We then headed west along the saddle, eventually leading us back down, but not immediately;
the down trip was down and up, down and up, down and up, mostly thru forest with rocky trail.
We emerged onto a broad grassy upper plain,
and in the distance an abandoned mountain cabana to which we headed. It was boarded up, with trash scatted all around the area, in a storm one
could probably find a way inside for shelter but we only stopped to eat some lunch; then on our way down again. Near the bottom of the grassy
plain was a sheep cote and a very small wooden shack for the shepherd; as we continued downward, we meet up with the sheep herd coming back up
the mountain to the cote; not sure it was the same herd as before. We took pictures, had no cigarettes to exchange for the permission.
Then on down, and up, and down, and finally (about 11.5 kms later) we emerged at the cabana and the car. We had a late lunch at the cabana restaurant,
and drove back to Brasov. Entering Brasov from the southeast, we stopped at a large Carrefour supermarket (Walmart x 10) to buy groceries.
A huge parking lot, hardly found a place to park; 7pm in the evening, there were probably 40-50 checkout lanes, people everywhere,
a hustle and bustle you donít see in our stores, could hardly push a cart through the narrow aisles, elbow to elbow people. Fruits and vegetables
had to be weighed and tagged at the produce section by an attendant (not at the registers); some fruit, cheese, Fanta and bread was all I needed.
Finally back home for the night.
Back - Brasov - Next - Bucegi Mountains