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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

18 September 2016

Splendid with a side of frustrations

Forests, fields and hills

Forests, fields and hills

11 September 2016

Villa Hermani is German run and decent lodgings (though, seriously, paying for WiFi?). The one thing we couldn’t do that they specialise in is a visit to a bear hide – just here the wrong day. Still, we hoped to see chamois on our hike today. Breakfast first, and they do put out a good spread here – lots of local cheeses, salamis, eggs, funky pickles and some good aubergine goo. Got out by 9ish and it was already super hot in the sun, especially uphill. The views of Magura and Pestara, basically endless rural idyll, were glorious though. There was even a shepherd! We finally got shade heading up through the forest into the mountains, but although the views just got more splendid there were no chamois today.

Shepherd! Rural bingo high score!

Shepherd! Rural bingo high score!

The route back was down the Zanesti Gorge, and having seen exactly two hikers in three hours by then, it was a bit of a surprise to be passing a family of six every two minutes in the gorge. We dodged them eventually by skilfully finding the shortcut back up to Magura along a stream and between fields, getting back shattered after six hours on the go.

Still, there was time in the day for the Pestara bat cave and a look at renowned Bran Castle. We couldn’t find the bat cave, directions from our host weren’t detailed enough, so we just knackered ourselves further poking around fields and farm trails for half and hour, pursued by local dogs and sheep. Bran Castle was the mega tourist trap we had been led to believe, but on top of that it wasn’t even particularly grand or impressively situated. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

So a mixed day. Lovely hike, lovely mountains, various wildlife-related frustrations.

The word you want is bucolic

The word you want is bucolic

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