Massive:Șureanu Mountains, Western Carpathians
Objective:Cioclovina Village, Cioclovina Cave, Fundatura Ponorului, Jgheabului Canyon
Period: 7 - 10 august 2020
Team:13 participants + 2 mountain guides + 2 canyoning guides
On Friday, August 7, we embarked on an unforgettable journey to Șureanu Mountains. 15 people, many of us bachata & salsa dancers from Sonrisa Dance Center Cluj Napoca, with a lot of enthusiasm and without knowing what to expect. Some of us arrived on Friday after dusk, quite dusty after pushing the car up the hill (even if it looks unpleasant, it was part of the charm of the place). We were greeted with traditional drink and guitar songs around the fire and an extraordinarily beautiful and warm atmosphere that continued into the following evenings spent there (I even saw shooting stars - and yes, at least I made a wish).
The next day we started a hike that lasted six hours of walking - be careful six hours of walking means more hours in real time if we think about the breaks - that is, we started in the morning and arrived back at eight in the evening. Maybe you will consider this long hike, so it seemed to some of us, but we all agreed in the end that it was worth the effort. YES, IT WAS WORTH THE EFFORT. We climbed the waterfalls in Cioclovina until we reached the end of the Cioclovina cave, and then we hiked even on a road from Roman times, to the entrance to the Cioclovina cave, where we even had some speleology experience (considering we have no experience in the field)... I even saw a bat. Even if the cave is damp and dark… it was worth entering with a headlamp and enjoying at least a few minutes the peace and darkness that you will not discover anywhere else. We resumed our route and after a few motivational speeches that helped us to be confident that we would finish the hike we arrived at Ponorului Foundation, a place with rock walls and mountain river that brings places from another continent (I don't have much many landmarks to compare it with, but I would say it looks like a few places in Bali).
The third day was for relaxing (after the long journey on Saturday our inexperienced hiking legs felt the need) so we put ourselves in hammocks from where we got up with great difficulty when we started a water battle. It was so pleasant that in the end some of us voluntarily let ourselves be sprinkled with two water lilies. And in the evening we lay down for a goulash we've been waiting for since noon. It was a good day off between hikes, which gave us time to recharge our batteries.
The last day was also the most exciting one. Just like on the first day, we didn't know what to expect to - we knoew that it's going to take us about an hour to get ready, an hour to walk until the starting point and three / four hours in the canyon (yes, on this day we did an activity that we hadn't heard about, namely canyoning), meaning we finished at eight o'clock again. We descended eight waterfalls in rappelling and passed through a cave that had natural pools, we splashed for four hours through a canyon that we had never heard of before and which gave us images that we did not think existed. in Romania (I would say that whoever wants to become an influencer in the Jess Wandering style should definitely go there).
All four days were fairy tales, from the songs around the fire (with their shooting stars) to the people met there along with the charming stories either from the time of the Romans, or about bees, or about adventures in the Cioclovina cave and many others. This is how Cioclovina is and so it was last year, surprising and spectacular.
I highly recommend.