Saturday, September 24, 2011

pictures de la munte (bucegi mountains)

Spent the last ten days at a student leadership conference called Formacion. Halfway through we took a day to go on a hike through the amazing Bugeci mountains. To be clear, by hike I mean something like thirty kilometers and thirteen hours, lots of really sweaty-stinky people and some of those beautiful things you can see in Romania. Don't believe me? Keep reading, captions below each picture. :)

About an hour into the hike!

The bear-dog who someone baptized Balu, like from the Jungle Book. That dog followed us all the way to the top and back.

Somewhere around hour four, I think. Starting to get tired.

It was really clear nearly half the hike (although once we got to the top lots of fog rolled in and it got really cold).

Such an incredible place. And hard (at least for me) to climb but completely completely worth it. If you look closely, you'll see that I'm already getting help up the mountain at this point. But I did make it to the top and all the way back down!

In the valley. If you look at the top middle, you'll see a narrow slash in the mountain that goes up to the top--we climbed up that (see below). Also, for more scale, zoom in and you'll see somebody wearing red and you'll also see that most of the boulders are bigger than the people around them.

I don't think it's in this picture, but to give you an idea of how enormous everything was, there were rock faces hundreds of meters tall and there were people climbing them that you could barely make out because of how small they looked against it.

In the valley sometime after Cabana Malaiesti.

I wish you could really get an idea of the size of this place. Just massive.

Hardest part, for sure.

Hardest part is done!

Me with some awesome OSCPi leaders. Note the altitude written behind us--that's 8,225 feet. Also, just for added fun, nothing that you can see that I'm wearing belongs to me and underneath it is another two layers (three shirts and two pairs of pants) because it was crazy cold at the peak.

Unfortunately there aren't any pictures from the hike down (for which my knees did not later thank me), but it was just as crazy looking. And we also saw a capra neagra--six of them actually, but as I do not know the plural--which are wild black mountain goats that are really more brown-colored and leap down the mountain like it's nothing at all.

Anyway, one more reason to love this place.


  1. :D I once got to experience a hike similar in length . . . the Romanians called it a hike, but our American team dubbed it a "death march". We never knew how long it was going to be, and each time we asked, the answer was, "we're almost there." However, we did get to see some AMAZING things we would have never seen had we not gone! Glad you all had a great time!

  2. haha, yes yes, i totally understand :) except for two of us we were all romanians so i suspect the pace was a little quicker than it would have been if it'd been a mixed group. aidan being the only other strain of course had no problem, he climbed up like a goat. and despite the fact that i had a lot of help to the top i will say that i represented our people! no giving up! haha :)

  3. Sara, love the pictures and your update! Matt and I'll be praying for you during your transition!

    .....I also love how you're using meters and kilometers! You're such a Romanian now! (They use the metric system here in Canada too and it's taking me a while to get the hang of it)

  4. thank you! :)

    and liz, it helps a lot to think of it in terms of cross country (i hope i'm remembering correctly that you used to run?). meaning, 5k is easy because not only do i know it means 3.1 miles but i also know how far it feels to run/walk/travel 5k so you get a better idea of what the actual distance is as opposed to the measurement of it. that said, i'm helpless when it comes to weight--i known mine in kilos and pretty much just have to guess the rest. same with temperature, haha. 0 is freezing and the rest is guesswork. anyway you'll get it! :)