Sunday, 16 February 2014

Romanian Bear Trip

During the 10 days Jak's and I spent in Romania as part of our invite to judge the Romanian      Baby & Young bird budgerigar show, we were treated to some fantastic trips which Catalin (our host) had arranged for us to enjoy, one of them was a trip of a lifetime at the very top of the mountains in an attempt to try and photograph some wild bears. We had a professional guide complete with a rifle and live ammo for our protection. 

Here is the first short video of us climbing the mounting track, the noise you will here is the water from the river that was constantly at the side of the road. You will see GHQ, our hotel, you might even here Jak's hyperventilating when she first saw our accommodation. We met the Shepherd and his family who live on the Alpine meadows where they make cheese and graze and milk their herd of sheep, talk about remote and basic living. I have never before and will probably never again be in such a wild remote place. The only thing that worried me (well apart from being eaten by a bear) was if one of us was taken ill, we would have had to cope without any emergency services, stay tuned to see if we survived.

Video 1.

The location is the Parang Mountains near the City of Petrosani. GHQ is a remote and basic huntsmen cabin without electricity or sewage system. One thing to remember this is a very remote cabin, not for tourists and when I say huntsmen, the emphasis is on men not women, so I was not surprised when I saw Jackie breathing heavily into a paper bag when she first saw our accommodation for a few days.

Jak having a warm before our meal.
 Our meal on the first night.
We were taken to see a family of Shepherds who graze their sheep at the very top of the mountain on the fantastic Alpine meadows. There are sixteen people in an extended family that take care of around 300 sheep. They mild 300 litres three times a day so around 1000 litres of milk a day from which they make cheese and send down the mountain once a week. Two members of the family live 24/7 with the sheep to protect them from predators, mainly Wolves.

Basic Living, all 16 family members lived in this hut.

 Milk waiting to be strained through a very basic strainer.
 The Shepherd wanted to show me part of his herd.

 As I said, basic living.
 See the pop bottle near the Shepherds head? Washing facility Lol.

Here is another video of our trip, I think it shows how remote we were at times (all the time) and how we got lost on top of the mountain due to a fallen tree, we were about 2000 feet above sea level. How did we find our way? Well there is bound to be someone walking a dog somewhere, isn't there? Apologies for the odd swear word during filming.

Video 2
Bear trip 2 from Mick Freakley on Vimeo.