20-23 april 2006

Early spring in southern Trascau with Henrik. We followed the yellow cross trail, and some unmarked trails, from Ampoita to Valea Manastirii.


Ampoita village. Eating lamb is a tradition during easter. The man's daughter spoke English and invited us to their home. We spoke, ate kolak (easter bread), drank coffee and sampled their superb, home-made red wine. We had a great time!


Virtoape village


Children in the village Vārtoape. Their mother was a ruthenian from Maramures.


Above Vārtoape.


Shepherds above Vārtoape.


Lake Iezer Ighiel with emerald-green water.


Ascent through old beech forest, rich in flowers.


The mist became more dense at high altitude.


On the carst plateu Ciumerna, there was many flowers.


Bear tracks on the path...




These women invited us to their farm. They where really funny and thought I was crazy to walk with short pants. When I was writing down their address, they told me to write on my leg, since it was whiter than the paper :)

We talked about many things, even though language was a problem... One thing I did understand was when one of them said: "we're not romanian, nor hungarian, we're from the mountains"




An ecological washing machine!






Cheile Galditei.


Īntregalde was an island of modern society, with a store, post office, etc. And, a bar! We had a tasty, dark beer with 7% alkohol...


Houses are built in many different styles.


Above Modolesti, with Cheile Īntregalde in the background.


Steep ascent through forest, with many huge beech trees.


On 1000 m altitude, the forest was replaced by vast pastures with picturesque cottages. It was the beginning of Popesti village.


Church in Popesti.


We pitched the tent outside Popesti, with a great view.


Motzi house in Malaesti.


Pastures and meadows around Malaesti.


View to the east.


View to the west.


A tree full of waxwing birds.


The fairytale village Harbesti.


Shepherd in Harbesti.


View towards Cheile Rāmet.


Near Tecsesti.


Henrik's boots after walking on the muddy road through Dealul Geoagiului.


In Tecsesti we met Leo & Lia, who I have emailed several times since 1999, asking about Trascau etc. We had a great time, speaking and drinking coffee.




A stray dog showed us the way to Rimet Monastery...
View towards the Rimet canyon.


Along the yellow cross between Tecsesti and Cheile Rāmet.


Reaching spring at lower altitude.


Cheile Rāmet.


Cheile Rāmet.


We spent the night in a fascinating monastery.


The nuns served very nice food and an excellent white wine that they made themselves.

Since it was easter holiday, there was no bus. We asked a young couple if they would drive us to the nearest train station for 20 lei. They agreed, but drove us all the way to Alba Iulia and refused to receive the money... nice people again!

That sums up the hike:
lot's of very nice hospitable people, a truly traditional highland culture and wild nature.