Monday, December 10, 2012

Podragu - Turnuri - Victoria

The Podragu caldera is wonderful. It has Podragu lake and several other small lakes, elegant rocky walls, an old, beautiful stone chalet, chamois and marmots.

Podragu at sunset
 As I was saying, Podragu chalet is beautiful, built in 1948-49 out of stone.

Chamois in Podragu caldera

One of the best places there is the wet zone in the upper caldera, full of beautiful flowers and mosses.

Cardamine and Cerastium

A heart of moss

Tarata ridge
A whole bunch of Aconitum

A bumble bee feeding from an Aconitum flower

A big goat at the balcony

A marmot in the Podragu caldera

When the clouds come
Supplies can only be carried to the chalet by donkey or helicopter, but the first is allot cheaper.

Just give them some food and they love you, briefly...
 If you plan on descending from Podragu,you first need to go down the Arpaş valley to the Turnuri (towers) chalet, then further down to the village of Sumerna, then the town of Victoria, then Uca de Sus and finally you can take a train from Ucea de Jos.

The sheep were still sleeping when we left. Check out the bivouac the shepherd made.

An old helicopter crash site
We used the summer trail, which follows the left side of the valley as you descend. At first it seemed like a mistake, because it's longer than taking the winter trail on the right side, but it put some space between us and this lost bear.

The last chamois of the trip

Arpas valley and Turnuri Chalet

Arpas stream
 Following a short trail through the forrest, you cross the stream and arrive at Turnuri chalet.

Turnuri chalet, from above
 It's a very small, cozy, wood and stone chalet, with a very friendly keeper and a very friendly dog.

The dog from Turnuri
 The chalet is named after the two rocky towers rising obove it, across the valey.

After some tea and a lovely chat with the keeper we continue the trail down into the old forest. In the upper part the forest is still largely intact and full of dead wood, as a healthy forest should be.

From Turnuri to Sumerna

Wooden bridge over a stream

The lower part of Arpas Valley

A viper!

 After the forest trail is over an old boulder and ravel road begins. It was used for logging and access to some local mines.

An abandoned mine
The road is mostly boring after you leave the forest trail, but it still has some nice pictures to offer.

Reaching Sumerna and pavement we couldn't help but feel sorry for leaving the mountain. Till next time!

Fagaras Mountains from Sumerna

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