Cheile Galbenei - Day 5

Cheile Galbenei Travel Blog

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Cheile Galbenei (Yellow Canyon)
Well, for the third day around we decided to go for something more challenging (yeah ... us a bunch of city boys after a night on the beer). For that day we chose "Focul Viu" glacier,  Cheile Galbenei (Yellow Canyon, or something like that) and "Pietrele Galbenei" (Yellow Stones :)); if it was Yellowstone it would have been USA :P).

So we started early in the morning, but not without me having a pint.  Oh yeah, a pint is a great thing to have before a hike. It provides the best hydration before the long effort and it "gives you wings". Hmmm ... tough I've heard this one before, but it wasn't about beer .... but still it was about a can. At the same time "fight fire with fire" works most of the times. When we were looking at the map we decided to go down besides "Cetatile Ponorului" and climb back up close to "Pietrele Galbenei".
Waterfall on Cheile Galbenei
It wasn't the best choice and you'll understand later why.

On our way to "Cheile Galbenei" we passed Cetatile Ponoului but we didn't stop and kept walking further. At one stage there was a diversion for "Focul Viu" (Lively Fire) glacier. This is a well known glacier, which is well hidden within a cave. The best part is that there's a chimney in the cave's ceiling. The story goes that there's a day in August (don't really know which one) when the Sun shines through the chimney, all the way to the glacier, lighting the cave up like a huge fire. When we got at the place, we sadly discovered that the glacier was almost melted. Later on we found out that the cause is not the global warming (as some might think), but the trees that were falling in, or were washed away by the rain (the chimney god reasonably larger in the past years).
Crossing a cold and fast stream using steel chains in Cheile Galbenei
While in contact with the glacier, the trees would start to rot, dissipating heat. At the same time with the rain there was mud brought in which would accelerate the melting. It was said to see once this beautiful glacier come to an end.

We continued the hike downhill.  It took us a long time to get at the bottom, considering we were going downwards. We were wondering how long it will take us to go back. All this toughs just vanished when we heard in the distance a mighty roar, of a river crushing into the cliffs. We were arriving to the entry into Cheile Galbenei. The place was just savage. It was just like in one of this adventure challenges when they were sending people in some God forgotten place. Just on our left hand side there was this beautiful waterfall and down below the stream, a way across the river. There are two ways you can go through Cheile Galbenei:

1) First method (the best way) you could traverse is if you're hanging from steel chains and push your feet against the rock walls. It's one of the best sensations ever when you're hanging of a cliff, with the water gushing below you. You have to cross like this about 100m of the river till the path (which is not very wide) brings you all along out of the canyon.

2. Second way, which is not as intense, is to just start walking through the cold water. It's probably less hustle. At that time the water was no more than half a meter deep. I guess we could have went for it but it was more exiting to try walking the chain.

First one to pass the chain test was Razvan, followed by me and last (but not least) Ionut. You have to have a bit of arm strength (you don't have to be a body builder either) to be able to do it. Honestly it looks more tough than it actually is. Just put your feet into it and it's much more easy.

Once we were on the path everything was piece of cake. Oh I forgot to mention that on the way we met this great girl, Maria. She was with the mountain rescue people based in Cantonul Glavoi. She was just on patrol in the area, making sure everything is safe and sound. She joined us (cause we were so much craic :P) and for the rest of the journey we walked together. Well I must say she was very fit. Remember when in the beginning I said we made the wrong choice as of which way to go? Well now, from Cheile Galbenei we had to climb all the way up to Pietrele Galbenei, and I'm telling you, it's not an easy way up. Maria was hiking like she had wings (maybe she has one of those cans as well, but I fairly doubt it). I'm telling you, she was waiting for us. Finally we reached "Poiana Florilor" (from here to the Pietrele Galbenei is an easier walk). It's the most beautiful "plain" I've ever seen! Amazing! Just flowers and green tall grass everywhere, typical Apuseni scenery! We had a well deserved break and finished our supplies of chocolate. As the day was comming to an end we made haste and made it for Pietrele Galbenei as the Sun was about an hour from setting down. The panoramic views of Apuseni Mountains, from Pietrele Galbenei are just unbelievable. If you'll ever be there, you'll understand why the region is called Transylvania: (From Latin: "Tran" means over and "sylva" means forest => over the forest) the mountains are covered with a green carpet spreading in all directions and seemed without an end (we were lucky to catch a good day).

From Pietrele Galbenei we continued our way to the tent. It has been an amazing day but very tough. After we had our dinner, we got the whole group (2 lads and Maria) from the mountain rescue at our fire place and we stayed on will very late. These guys are just full of great stories and they can keep you up the whole night. If you'll meet them buy them a beer, they truly deserve it!

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Cheile Galbenei (Yellow Canyon)
Cheile Galbenei (Yellow Canyon)
Waterfall on Cheile Galbenei
Waterfall on Cheile Galbenei
Crossing a cold and fast stream us…
Crossing a cold and fast stream u…
Cheile Galbenei
photo by: rtoma