Slightly hungover (at least me) we took down the tent and packed our things before we walked up towards the restaurant at Cabana Padina for a coffee and to refill our camelbacks. The goal for todays hike was to reach Peak Omu- the highest point in the Bucegi Nationalpark (2505m). In other words we were prepared that the day would be ruff – we decided to take the longest trail, along Saua Strunga, to the peak since the nature along this trail seemed to be more spectacular. The sun was shining and the trail was getting steeper and steeper. Two Romanian hikers gave us some advice about an alternative route in order to avoid the steepest hills. At Refigul Saua Strunga a herder pointed us in the right direction witch to our disappointment was the steeper of the two trails.
Beautiful views and good weather. But after Refigul Batrana we could hear thunder far away and the low clouds surrounded us as we climbed higher. We had have some incidents with shepherd dogs protecting their herds before but they had kept their distance. However suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by eight to ten seemingly aggressive dogs with no herder in sight. Since we were surrounded we just stopped- letting our eyes move from each other to the dogs white fangs. After what seemed like an hour a slightly drunk herder came running and managed to calm the dogs so we could continue towards Peak Omu.
We reached Cabana Omu- a small mountain hut without water or electricity around 17.00. We paid for a shared dorm and got something to eat in the small restaurant.
We got two places in a dorm that we to share it with a Romanian couple, a polish couple that stumbled in later that evening and two friends from Bucharest who used to go hiking every summer. The evening played out well and we stayed up for a while playing cards and talking with our new friends.
Neither of us slept well this night and when we stumbled out the door around 10am the clouds where still keeping us from getting any sense of direction. According to the map we had to follow the yellow sign posts and we only managed to get lost once before the weather cleared up a bit. We intended to take the Cable Car at Babele down to Busteni in order to save our knees from a 6 hour steep descending. However it was closed this day so we had to walk. The trail back to Busteni did from time to time more remind of climbing than hiking. Even if the views were breath taking I have to admit that it was a hard walk. Halfway down we met a Swedish couple that were climbing up. After some exchange of information about the trail we gave them our map since we were leaving Bucegi this afternoon and continued on our slow walk towards Busteni.
We arrived in perfect time to catch the train to Constanta at the coast. Our four days in the National park had been great- even though we did not see a single bear. This was out firs visit to Romania and from what we have seen and experienced it is for sure not our last!