Plaiul Nucului – The stuff fairy-tales are made of (Part 1)
Like all fairytales begin, once upon a time in a kingdom far far away…well, not so far, about 180 km from the city I live in, Bucharest, there was Plaiul Nucului, the place where our story begins.
It was your average September day and I was surfing the internet when a Facebook event caught my eye saying “Autumn trekking to Plaiul Nucului“.
Now the idea of going trekking in this area wasn’t a particularly new one, but there was never really time for it, at least not until now.
The time slot fitted like a glove in my October schedule.
Let’s check the details, 17-18th of October, mountain trekking through my childhood memories, guitar and a campfire.
Moments later, my name was on the list, the weekend booked and a whole month to think about the great adventure ahead.
Time passed by quickly, one moment I was in bed, next one in the parking lot in front of Hotel Horoscope, waiting for people who were taking their sweet time getting there.
It didn’t take long, one after the other people started showing up, we got to chit chatting (whoever said socialising is easy, never had to do it at 6 AM, without coffee and with 4 hours of sleep), but a great weekend was ahead and sleep was the least of my worries, or so I thought.
We climb in the cars and it doesn’t take long until I’m asleep in the back of the car driven by Lore ( I know what they say, women are terrible drivers, but there are some exceptions).
About 150 KM down the road, we make a short pit-stop at what I think is the most expensive gas station in Buzau, possibly the whole world, to meet with the rest of the people, that have somehow become lost in traffic.
Several minutes later, we were still waiting there, so someone picks up the phone and gives them a call.
– Where are you ?
– At the gas station, you ?
– So are we…
Well, we were indeed at the OMV gas station, but someone had the brilliant idea to build two on the same road with a distance of 5 km between them, now why would you do that?
Driving ahead, 5 km’s and one expensive gas station later, we are on our way to Lopatari Village, the beginning of our trekking journey and the end of a restful sleep.
As we begin climbing narrow alleys, it’s impossible not to notice this land was rich in so many things, but one stood atop the pandemonium of God’s creations – MUD. (when the Germans attacked Russia, there were many obstacles laid before them, but one of them was the omnipresent, the ungodly, MUD).
The bright side to this being, I can now compete in any Olympic event that implies jumping fences, in fact, I would bet my left toenail, a new record would be set in the 100m hurdles.
Jokes aside, I no longer dream of how people in the Middle Ages lived, because the Middle Ages have travelled forward in time and landed here, in Buzau :)).
Not that it would come to anybody’s surprise this is happening when you have a Mayor who digs up the road in order to pave it, but then abandons the project for gods to finish and you don’t factor in one important aspect of autumn – RAIN.
Mud aside, nothing could ruin these amazing places, the view, sceneries, warmth and hospitality of people, and if you are just a bit lucky, you can discover what townspeople have lost when they left the countryside, or what some of us never had : man’s communion with nature.
Three quarters of an hour trekking through this wonderful land, even the skies smile and bless you with sunshine, you really need to take a break and admire the scenery and the valleys blend into a whirl.
Not far from the whirling valleys, we reach Mocearu Lake – this place is calm and undisturbed by people, not that any could.
It’s a good example of a place that could stimulate tourism in Buzau, only if you had the road infrastructure to reach it, you can easily get within a few km by car, but let’s not forget our good friend, the mud. (maybe it’s better like this, it would lose that wild charm and would become like so many mountain touristy places, where the average Joe goes by car, thinks the mountain is a big back yard where he can do and act like a savage, having access to the mountain is in fact a wonderful thing, if you don’t lack common sense and love for nature).
This little adventure is just beginning, it will continue late in the evening, through deep valleys and over steep hills, to our next destination – Ivanetu Peak.
This peak is by far the hardest step in our adventure considering the height difference, fatigue and overall laziness, but I said it before and will say it again, the mountain always gives Its rewards, ours was this wonderful sunset you see below.
The first day ended at Claudiu’s home, in the most perfect way possible, with food to fill our bellies, drinks to loosen our tongues and guitar songs to cheer us up.
To be continued…