Are you talking to me?!
This is the story about three friends that decided one day, in the summer of 2006, to spend some time away from TV, mobile phones, Internet, computers and other modern day facilities and explore the Romanian outback, for a change.
The best road access to Padis is south of Huedin from Rachitele (it's 21km from Rachitele to Ponor, and another 10km to Padis). Another slower option is to start at Pietroasa in the west (it's 16km to Boga then 6km to Padis). These can be difficult roads to ride, but apparently people can make it in regular cars. When I'm saying regular cars I mean the well known Dacia, which represents a marvel of engineering.
After a long night
That's the one we used for our travels. We couldn't settle for anything else (of course we didn't have any other option as well). For the people who know what I'm talking about we were driving a white '89 Break model. A beauty!
So basically once we reached Padis we spent the night there, in tents, having a few pints around the camp fire. sharing stories The second day we drove all the way to Cantonul Glavoi (aka. Grajduri = The Stables). It's about an hour of a drive, from Padis, chalet since the road was (and probably still is) washed away. This is where we set up the base camp for our jorneys around Padis Plateau. It's probably the best spot since it's almost in the middle with good access to all major attractions.
The morning after. A huge cup of tea would deal with the hangover. Some sausage and beans sizzling on the fire ... mmmmm ....
So what's the story with the photos? Well the day we got to "Grajduri" we didn't do much else. Setting up the camp took us some time and then we went exploring the nearby routes doing some easy walks, just to get in the mood. We were meeting our neighbors as well exchanging a few stories and talking about the routes in the area. As we were roaming around the camp we met a nice couple from Denmark, Sigrid and Michael. As the sun was about to set we invited them to our camp fire and we had a nice traditional Romanian outdoors specialty (but not only): fried "slanina" with cheese, tomatoes and onions. Everything was washed with a mixture of tea and rum. The photos speak a thousands words about what happened as my memory is pretty vague of the night. Technically after the rum and tea were gone we decided to go for the beers which were chilling in the nearby river.
Hei buddy, you have some aspirin?
This was an excellent idea cause otherwise they would have been washed away by the rain which was about to come. Once it started to poor everybody went about its business and tucked themselves nicely in the sleeping bags. I went to sleep immediately, just to awake in the middle of the night when outside there was hailstorm. After I've concluded that there 's nothing we could do (hold the tent or anything) we peacefully went to sleep. When we woke up, next morning it was a beautiful day like nothing had happened that night. The only clue to what has happened was the stream close by, which was twice the size of the previous day. If we were to leave the beers to chill for the night they would have been gone by morning. It would have been a catastrophy! Best cure for hangover is a big cup of tea and some sausage and beans to keep you going for the day.
Somebody in for some soup?
After this very tasty and fulfilling breakfastt it was time for a bit hiking. That day we went to "Lumea pierduta" in direct translation "The Lost World" with amazing drops and surreal landscape (we were feeling like we were lost in a different world). Unfortunately there are no photos from that expedition. We left the camera home! Duh!
BY the way, when we reached home (6 days later) we found out that the storm we've slept through, that night, was the worst of that month. It also brought down the whole trees from the north side of Padis, blocking the access road for about 3 days. The local lumberjacks had to come down and cut the trunks in order to have the road operational once more.