The views from the top were simply stunning and hiking along the peaks with their dramatic drops was really exciting.
As I approached the mountains to meet the group I looked at the snow capped mountains thinking I was going to be hiking in/around the base of the mountain. Little did I realize the next afternoon found me on those snow covered peaks looking down into the rocky green valleys. We hiked along the mountain peaks a good portion of each day and spent the evenings in rural mountain shacks. Along the way we passed wild mountain sheep, beautiful flowers and many crystal clear mountain lakes, which came in handy for a quick swim.
Having a professional guide like Iulian is well worth the money spent. His group took care or all housing, food and travel needs so I could concentrate on catching my breath and taking pictures. Iulian provided expert advice on what equipment to bring and what to expect during the trip. Iulian did a fabulous job of explaining the history of the area and its people. We stopped several times on the hike to talk to sheep herders who spend months at a time on the jagged peaks tending to their sheep. To hear about their hard lives was really interesting. On the way down the mountains we took a side trip to a “very rural” farm that makes cow/sheep cheese that was out of this world. To see such a thing up close and to have someone to help with the translation was great.
I would recommend Mountain Guide Iulian Cozma to anyone who is interested in a challenge and enjoys the outdoors, you will not be disappointed.
Matt from Chicago, August 2011 – photos here