Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ascent of Omu; or, Follow the Yellow-Striped Road; or, Tipsy at Omu

So Wednesday, September 15, I made the ascent of Omu Peak, in the Bucegi mountains, near Sinaia. Vicki stayed home, in the camper, parked still in Sinaia, reading, internetting, researching future travels. Someone has to be responsible and work while I play.

I caught the maxitaxi to Busteni, and, from there (after a k's walk), the teleferic up to Babeme on the plateau. Rural transportation in Romania is often by maxitaxi, Sprinter-sized vehicles, apparently privately owned, that can seat 18 or 20. Hey, it works. 3 lei. (1$). The communist-era teleferic to the top and back was 58 lei, about $19. From Busteni, the Bucegi mountains are spectacular peaks and spires. None very high, but still quite sceneic. Atop them is a long plateau where hiking trails abound. I chose the one to Omu peak and Cabana Omu.
The World War Memorial Cross; the Bucegis, from Busteni,
are all craggy peaks like this

The teleferic takes you from way down in the valley up onto
the high plateau

Alas, much of what there is to look at along the trail is this
immense 1960s sort of radio tower

Follow the Yellow-Striped Road; all the trails are
conveniently color-coded; and well-marked

The whole plateau/ridge is conglomerate rock--one of the
world's major deposits, and erosion has created many
unusual forms; this, a sort of sphinx, from where I sat
eating a banana

Although the day had started clear, by mid-morning clouds
were roiling, up the canyons, to the plateau, then back
down the canyons; here's the space needle a couple miles

Finally, at the summit of Omu, looking north, with a break
in the clouds

All trails lead to Omu

This is not my idea of a cabana; I am from
the Caribbean, remember...

So there's the Cabana Omu, Bucegi Mountains, Carpathian
Alps, one of now many huts/guesthouses I have visited;
I had a vin chaud--the Romanian, I think, is vin fierte--
anyhow, it was ample and good--I was tipsy at Omu--
Romanians like their wines sweet, even reds, so it was an
extra sweet vin chaud


Occasionally, the light pierced the clouds and some glorious
mountain scenery was there

This will do for signage: traditional route, left, traseu varia,
right; I always go for the traseu varia

Cave-dwelling sheep

The Sphinx (the real one)

Other formations

Yes, bears; the Carpathian Alps in Romania are home to some
6,000 black and brown bears; I saw none; nor did I see anyone
 mounting his or her tent

I did see plenty of evidence of garbage
throwing away; it was the most trashed trail
I have ever seen

And the exciting ride back down to Bucenti; 
and another maxitaxi (I am so going native); 
and a nice Romanian poulet roti dinner, with 
frites; 25,000 steps on my pedometer; 
13 miles; I earned it

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