Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Trans Euro Trail - Romania - Summits and Ridges

Sunday 25th June 2017

After a few days of chores including oil changes for the van & bikes, airport collection runs for a very tired Lucy, (who had spent a whole night sleeping on the floor after being grounded at Munich airport due to really bad weather and a lot of very angry and loud Egyptians) and various other time wasting ‘normal’ life things we finally got out for a ride today.

We’d gone back over the Transfaragasan Pass on Saturday to find the col had become a tourist circus, 5 Lei or £1.00 for parking, all the little stalls and shops were in full swing to sell anything they could, (although we did find a couple of sheepskins for saddles for 70 Lei  or £15 each). The southern side of the pass was much quieter and less windy, the drive down to the dam a much more pleasant journey too. We stopped in Curtao de Anges for some shopping, then drove up a dead end valley to Lac Rausor at the head of the Leresti Valley. At the road end there were loads of folk pitched up for the weekend, enjoying the sunshine and the river. The forest track continues on upto the high ridges which separate this valley from it’s neighbour.

After a visit to this part, we retraced our steps back to the TET trail which ran westerly alongside the reservoir. Once parked up we prepped kit for the next morning and a planned early start. Lucy decided it was a good time for a bit of skinny dipping, so her and Roxy went for a splash around in the warm sunshine.

Sunday morning dawned bright blue skies, we got the bikes out, packed the dog into the shade and set off for some mountains!

What a grand day, one of the best I’ve had on the Romanian TET so far. We climbed up through the trees on straight forward piste, (passing an old abandoned forestry hut which would make a good emergency stop!), then came out onto a lovely green and open ridge. With a quick detour to catch a little viewpoint, we saw the main piste wound it’s way all the way along the ridge, so we set off, taking a direct line where the piste zigged and zagged for the trucks that went along here daily.

We ticked off several summits along the way all around the 2300m mark and came to the junction where the TET veered off northwards before dropping into the next valley and it’s forest. For us the higher summits to the north east beckoned and a descent back into the valley to rejoin the trail we’d seen the previous day at the valley head.

Lucy had a bit of a mare on the descent, it started out fairly steadily and then became the steep zig zags that were familiar to me from my first week here. She has an inherent mental block on down hills so ended up walking her bike down some sections, but also rode others pretty well, plenty of playtime in these places to come up I think as a confidence booster and to gain some skills.

We got back to the van for lunch time, which was perfect as the heat of the day was just warming the inside of the van up, so we packed everything away and took the dog to the river for the afternoon, using this as a way to move to the next valley so we can link the next sections of the TET which will then go upto the highest point on the TET and what looks like Romania’s third highest summit too,  (Dara 2500m).