17 June 2013

Walks around Lacu Rosu

Our House.  Well for now!

Our House. Well for now!

These two days are pretty sad to type, but very enjoyable.  We had our nice cabin on the hill to relax in, and other hills to explore.  Basically we did two very long walks.  We found it impossible to find any information on the marked walks in town.  Apparently you have to go to the city first to get the details.  Looking them up online provided some info, and we decided to try them.
On the first day we wanted to get to the peak of the cliffs opposite us.  Using the scant information online, we went to the start point.  There are no no longer markers, but there was a path.  Along the way we picked up a friendly dog from one of the neighbouring houses, and she decided to tag along with us.

We should make it to the top of one of these at least

We should make it to the top of one of these at least

Following the path, we ended up in someone’s backyard, so this was not the right path.  There were other unmarked tracks around, and we started following one of these up the hill.  This took us too far to the left, and below the cliffs, rather than above them, but we continued on.  Through the Oak and Beech trees, past rocky outcrops, and into pine.  The going was fairly steep and difficult. At times it was almost vertical, and the track kept disappearing and reappearing.  By now we were just following animal tracks and not any specific path in our attempts to go higher.

We have to go through that?

We have to go through that?

After a couple of hours we made it to the base of the cliff, and walked around it a bit.  There was an outcrop that we could climb onto that gave us a good view of the valley, and even though we were fairly high, it showed how badly we had missed our target.  Going back, we tried to follow the cliffs above us, in the hope of finding a way up, or even an easier way down!  This was not to be, and we had to backtrack.  This was worse than the climb, as we went down in a different section of the mountain, coming up to sudden drops, the remains of fresh landslides and treacherous footing.  Still, we made it back down in one piece.  No thanks to the dog that would stop right in front of you and leave you nowhere to go.  Still, it was good fun having her along, and we dropped her off on the way home.  It had only taken us all day though.  There was a lot of signs of animals up there, but the best we got to see was the tail end of a snake.  Still, it was a good workout, and there were good views through the trees occasionally.  Just disappointed we didn’t reach the peak.

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The next town.  Only connected by Cazares

The next town. Only connected by Cazares

The next day we tried for the other peak.  This started out well, past town to a view over another valley.  All green hills and pasture.  There was a lot of construction going on, and most houses are now cazares or pensions.  The fields are being left to overgrow as there is more money in tourism than in crops or animals.  Making it to a lovely meadow in the saddle of two peaks we took a break, before taking a fire track up the hill.  It was not long before it turned into just a path.  Very steep but easy to follow.

Mountain Meadows.  You have to love them.

Mountain Meadows. You have to love them.

As we progressed further up the mountain, the track got worse.  It has been a long time since anything other than animals has used it, but we pushed on.  Trees have fallen over it and left to rot.  At one point there was a massive clump of fallen trees.  Going around this seemed to mark the end of the path, but we could still see traces of it and tried to continue.  After loosing it completely we came across a trail marker in the middle of nowhere, and another further on, so we followed these.  Eventually they too stopped.  Scrambling around, we found the cliff edge.  This time we were on top.   Not the top of the mountain, but high enough.

LL40postbutterfly1LL44postbutterfly2LL45postbutterfly3

LL50postbutterfly5Trying to make our way back down was a nightmare!  We had lost the track we followed and the markers did not seem to go anywhere either.  A lot of times we thought we were on the right track to find out it wasn’t.  Tracks disappeared, and when you turned around to backtrack were not there either.  They seemed to be one way paths to nowhere!  After exploring the plateau we were on thoroughly, we had almost decided to take a direct way down (not a good idea with all the cliffs around) when we gave one last path a try.  This turned out to be the right one!  Making our way back to the meadow, we walked around the edge.  On the trees here was painted markers for another track, but they were only around the bottom edge of the meadow, and again went nowhere!

LL46postcrossWe followed a small road over the saddle, and kept going.  This road has been used a bit for picnickers in the meadows from town, but as we passed into the trees again its usage dropped.  Still it was easy to follow.  The path wound its way lower and lower.  At some point we could now hear the stream below us.  the road scissored back and forward as it went down before stopping at a dead end.  At some time in the recent past there had been a massive landslide.  It has completely cut the road, with boulders the size of houses, and scree everywhere.  In the middle of this, a cross has been erected, and we assume the poor person named on it was killed during the slide.
By now the clouds were coming in, and it was time to move on.  Following the path, as it is the only one we have seen that seems to have continued past about 20 meters, we zig-zaged our way down the hill.  After a while, we popped out on the road.  This is the main road through the gorge.  Following it back uphill, we made our way back to where we are staying.  Two times we have tried to reach a peak, and two times we have failed.  Yet it is not in the destination, but the journey to get there.  Or so we are told!

LL47poststreamFollowing the road back through the gorge, we were beside the stream.  Beside the traffic, it was quite a pleasant walk.  The walls of the cliffs leaning up over us, and at times over the road, small canyons or caves to explore on the sides, and of course the graffiti left by people to say they have been there.  Although that was pretty bad, and mostly recent.  As we found out later when we left Laku Rosu, we should have gone in the other direction for a few hundred meters, but thats life!

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