Descending the Fagaras


After a hearty Romanian breakfast at Cabana Balea Lac we fired up our lights and went through the tunnel to The Other Side. Emerging at the other end, after 800 spooky metres, the view was just as stunning as the northern aspect.

Southern descent of Transfagarasan

We passed a couple of shepherds minding sheep on a precipitous slope while tourists in 4wds stopped to take photos. The landscape is absolutely dramatic. But people were pitching tents by the road, even at this elevation, and setting up for a weekend party. We saw some bikini-clad and topless tan-up groups lying on sunbeds. It’s a quick descent to the treeline, then the road follows the valley of the Arges river most of the way.

This area is understandably popular with local people who love to come for the weekend, camp and dump their rubbish. Ian has had his say on this and I can only agree about the degrading effect of litter. It’s a real problem.

We met a couple of young Polish men, Martek and Woitek (spelling probably wrong)  riding up and stopped to talk to them. They are on a bigger trip than us and had travelled over 3000km in under 30 days. They liked big numbers where daily distance was concerned.

Traffic going up caused a minor jam at the dam. We passed the ruin of Vlad the Impaler’s castle without getting impaled. Eventually we emerged from the valley into the southern plains and followed the Arges River to Curtea de Arges, through a productive farming area with lots of orchards, gardens and haystacks. There were many roadside fruit sellers but few buyers in evidence. Our Pensiunae was found after asking several people and finally receiving directions in French from a policeman.

Cycle route:
Lake Balea – Curtea de Arges

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