Cetatile Radesei - Day 6

Cetatile Radesei Travel Blog

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Cetatile Radesei (Radesei Stronghold); access to the cave using steel chains
After the long previous night, standing by the camp fire with the mountain rescue people, amazingly we woke pretty early. There was just one important landscape feature left to see, before our departure: "Cetatile Radesei" and "Cheile Somesului Cald".

Ionut and I prepared breakfast and after quickly setting up our backpacks we were under way. Razvan was not able to join us. His boots suffered greatly during the last walk so he decided to stay in the camp for the day. I think that this walk was the best we did that summer. It includes caving and stunning views and at the same time was very demanding.

We started on from base camp and traveled north towards "Poiana Padis". The weather started most beautifully but after half and our of walking it became overcast.
Entry Cetatile Radesei
On the way we met this sheppard and we checked the weather forecast. He replied, in a few words, saying "N-o sa ploaie ca-i frig!". This translates to something like: It's not going to rain cause it's cold. For me it's amazing how these people chose to live. They have nothing with them but their clothes they are wearing, a big stick to lean on, a huge sheep fur coat and a hat to protect themselves from the elements. They're spending most of their time with the sheep herd so they rarely meet any people or go into villages. They live like their ancestors 500 maybe 1000 years ago and have their ways of their own, to which they keep faithful. By the way, even tough that day the clouds looked really dark it didn't rain at all. Your man, the sheppard, was right.
Cristal clear stream inside Cetatile Radesei

After about and hour of walking we reached Poiana Padis. It's a huge plain and often you see lots of horses grazing. In summer, as their services are not needed in the field (ploughing season is over), the peasants bring them to the mountains, to rest. It's like a holiday resort, but for horses :). Here they roam free till the owner comes back and brings them down. The landscape is dotted groups of trees now and them and sometimes small lakes/pools.

We continued our way north, through the plain, past Cabana Varasoaia (Varasoaia Hut) into the forest towards Cetatile Radesei. The path through the woods is unbelievable. It's winding all the time and you feel like there's some surprise waiting after the corner. The entrance to "Cetatile Radesei" cave just popped in front of us.
Over the Hill and far away (Somesul Rece Canyon)
The cave is not as majestic as "Cetatile Ponorului" but the path brough us down a stream to an amazing waterfall. The clarity of the water from the cave was just amazing. I don't think I've ever seen water that clear before and the taste was amazing, soothing the body. The waterfall is very close to "Poiana Rădesei". This is like a clearance in the middle of the woods with a beautiful stream passing by.

As we came out of the cave we through "Cheile Somesului Cald" (Somesul Cald canyon). The path was climbing steeply. At every step there were signs of the destructive storm a few days ago. There were huge trees knocked on the ground that we had to either climb or walk past. Finally we've reached the summit where we got a great view across the valley. We continued and the path brought us to a gully. This was the way down to the river (Somesul Cald). When we departed the base camp I had a pint bottle of Tuborg beer and I was waiting for the right time to enjoy it. Unfortunately I took a bad fall on the way down and the bottle was smashed into pieces and the precious drink was lost. Lesson learned: never bring pint bottles with you on a descent, but rather bring cans as they don't break. It took me and Ionut a long time to reach the bottom of the canyon. The decent was dangerous due to a lot of loose rocks and gravel. As we reached the river we crossed on the other side and we had lunch for the day. At this stage we were off the map and we decided that it's tine to head back (we had been walking for about 10km, maybe more).

The return was on the other side of the river. The whole path is like a circuit. On our way back we stopped to explore a cave (Pestera Honu) but it was rather short and without any interesting features. We pushed on back towards "Poiana Rădesei". The views were just stunning while "Somesul Cald" was flowing on our left hand side. In "Poiana Radesei" we ate our last can of sausage and beans while we were enjoying the beautiful sun. Ufff ... I was still thinking about that pint of beer and well it would have been to have it with the sausages.

The way back was long and tiresome as we had traveled a lot that day. We didn't return through "Cetatile Radesei" but rather took a much easier route which was climbing above and around the cave. Close to "Cabana Varasoaia" there were a few drops of rain that made us rest for a little while, but there was nothing to worry about. As we were crossing through Poiana Padis, we noticed that the horses were gone, probably they were preparing for sleep or something. Again, the views were just amazing through the sunset light. The whole plain was lit with different colours than in the morning.

As the sun was setting down we reached the base camp. Razvan was waiting eager to have a few drinks. Ionut and I were wrecked but we had a great evening as well (check the next entry).
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Cetatile Radesei (Radesei Strongho…
Cetatile Radesei (Radesei Strongh…
Entry Cetatile Radesei
Entry Cetatile Radesei
Cristal clear stream inside Cetati…
Cristal clear stream inside Cetat…
Over the Hill and far away (Somesu…
Over the Hill and far away (Somes…
Cetatile Radesei
photo by: rtoma