This wonderful adventure is a trip to Romania, Transylvania Alps - area known to many thanks to Count Dracula :)
More info http://www.adventureclinic.com/#/trip/32
This wonderful adventure is a trip to Romania, Transylvania Alps - area known to many thanks to Count Dracula :)
More info http://www.adventureclinic.com/#/trip/32
Confirmed: The next year’s adventures
28.12.2010 - 03.01.2011
discussions | gallery
Philippines (new destination)
25.02.2011 - 15.03.2011
Alaska (new destination)
23.03.2011 - 14.04.2011
10.08.2011 - 29.08.2011
gallery | blog
Myanmar’s adventure photos are now online in Flicker: Flicker Myanmar (Burma) SET
Video: It took time, but tastes excellent.
1/07 After arriving to Yerevan at 6am, we slept until 10am. After that breakfast and a quick language course with Sergej, our host in Yerevan. He showed us the local market from where we got some food for the trip and then off to the center in 34C heat! On the main city square we had a beer and then headed back home, on the way I bought some sprit for the camping-stove and Krista bought some drink for the mountaintops. At home we ate some apricots (it was season) and took a beauty-nap until 5-6pm, afterward ate some lamb-grill at a local cafe, went back home and played some Tower.
2/07 Wake-up and breakfast at 9am, we rolled omelette in lavash, burum:). At 10am Sergej drove us to Amberd where we took a look at the local castle and then headed to the mountains, course to the north-west. We passed some shepherd huts, luckily there were no nasty dogs:). At first it seemed that we were going to have some trouble finding water but then Sulev found a spring. Half a way was taken from a day-journey. At first we found a small track which we were able to take but as it seemed to go to a different direction we decided to use a map and compass. We reached the hill comb and our first camping base started to show. We walked to a small lake and around 4.30pm it started to rain a little so we put up our tents and cooked a fabulous dinner- macaroni with baltic herring in tomato sauce- yummy. Above us the sky cleared up though around us it was raining and thundering. Spent the evening playing cards and drinking rum, about 10pm everybody were in the tents.
3/07 Start at 9:15. Although the alarm was set to 7am we woke at 7:30am. We hiked towards the southern peak of Aragats mountain. There was lots of snow so we had to cross several glaciers. For lunch we had muesli sticks. About 2pm the peak was concurred.:) Over there we got convinced (also confirmed by locals) that the northern peak was quite complicated and dangerous to reach. We drank some strawberry liqueur. One local guy, Sasha gave me his telephone number in case we needed some help with maps etc. Then we started climbing downwards and Heigo used his mattress as a sledge on the glacier. We decided to set up our tents at 3600m and strike the western peak the next day without the bags so we would be able to move forward faster. In the evening we were hoping for some sun but got hail instead. Ate some buckwheat with canned meat and everybody loved it, drank some tea and liqueur and went to sleep at 9pm.
4/07 Planned wake-up at 6am was a complete failure- we woke around 10am. There was a great thunderstorm at night, hope there won’t be another one like that. Had some breakfast and started hiking arround 11am. At 1pm we reached the passage between the south-west peak. But as the western part was covered with fog and clouds we had no other choice but to go back to the camp. Over there 2 small pools and an “Estonian” of stones got built. Again, waited for the sun which never showed up. Cooked something for dinner and the camping stove got fucked up. Tried to fix it for an hour and guess what.. It worked! Again, evening thunder in the valley.
5/07 Wake up at 5:30am, quickly some cup noodles and on the way to the western peak again. It was good that we had left some footprints on the glaciers as these were slippery. At 8:17am the same passage was reached. Visibility was close to zero so we had nothing else to do but to keep us warm by sitting close to each other and to wait for the clearance. Luckily it happened for a second and we got the chance to continue the journey on the south side of western peak, by the stone and wreck slope. We marked the way with some stone waypoints so on the way back we wouldn’t get lost. Around 9:36am the western peak was concurred!! Some pictures were taken, some Vana Tallin was drunken and got back down. The weather was still crap! Visibility about 5m so we actually passed the turning point on the way back. Had to climb back up about 20 m until we saw some footprints on the snow. At the camping place we made some coffee, ate some cookies and froze. So we packed our bags and took the direction to Karilitsh. On the way we met some kind meteorologist who offered us some tea and some iranian people who had their tents up over there. They gave us their contact informations in case we happened to visit Iran. The locals offered us to spend the night at their place but we refused and continued the journey a bit, then set our tents up on a nice meadow. Sun was shining but not for long. Of course the thunderstorm was on the way. We slept an hour and about 7pm made some mashed potatoes with canned meat and spring onion we had found on the way. At 8pm we got into the tents and hoped for a thunder-free night. The next day we wanted to get to Aragats village. According to the locals it is an 8 hour way via the mountains, but again 50km if we were to take the road.
6/07 After breakfast we climbed over the hill comb and headed to the east. Having Aragats mountain on the left side. For lunch we found an amazing waterfall. Right after lunch we met a kurdish shepherd who offered us lunch and accommodation to which my knees got weak, I stumbled and twisted my foot. Luckily I didn’t break it although that thought passed my mind after I tried to get up and walk but fell again. I tied the foot and we continued. This time we refused the offer which the kind shepherd had made. On the way there were 2 rivers to cross before we reached a small road, which was very boring to walk so we climbed up a mountain again:). As it started to thunder..AGAIN.. we set up our tents on a pasture. Over there we got attacked by a herd of cows. Hanna and Krista hid themselves in the tent until we, guys fought bravely.. and won!
7/07 Started the day with descending to the Aragats village through mud and carbage. We were welcomed on the streets as war heroes: cars stopped and people wanted to know where we were from and what did we do, they offered us water, coffee, apricots and vodka. Finally we stopped to have a coffee-break at the house of a very honorable 75-yo Benjamin, who had already forgotten the russian he knew but we managed. For appetizer we were offered some local coffee “Surdzh” and for main course a table filled with all the best local dishes was served. There was mashed potatoes, eggs, sausages, grilled vegetables, bread, lavash, etc. And 7-yo cognac. At supper table we talked about politics, brotherhood and leaving Hanna there for our hosts grandson. We left the house for a 2-3km trip to the highway where we got a ride on an old and rusty RAF van which was used for apricot transportation. In Yerevan we bought some food for the next 5 days and enjoyed the attention we received from the locals. As this was done, we hopped on a “marsrutka” number 267. Due to our huge bags, we filled the van very quickly. Everybody exept the driver on the bus found it amusing. One girl on the bus helped us with getting off in the right place and finding ride to Sevaberd. It was an old Volga which accepted all 5 of us incl the rucksacks the size of ourselves:). Sevaberd is the last inhabited place before Gegham mountain chain. In the village one Zighuli with 6 local guys inside drove over to us and the guys offered us help. After having a small chat we thanked them and continued up the road trying to find some water and place to set up the tents. We passed a place were cows drank water so the tents were set up little bit higher on a field. The girls went down to wash themselves. But shortly after they had shampoo in the hair another cow attack started. 130 cows appeared out of the blue so the girls run for their lives up the hill through nettles, thistle bushes and cow shit. Hanna left some shampoo in the hair, Krista went back to finish up what was started. This got the attention of the local shepherds who later on came up to talk to us, they let us take some pictures of their horses etc. One of them, Edik, had spent 5 years in Russia and was little bit cleverer than the other 2 guys. One of them, Armen, had very creepy shrill eyes and had a bit insincere nature. This feeling got confirmed later in the night. Around 12am Sulev woke up hearing some strange sounds from outside. He made a sudden move which was followed by struggle and stumbling on the tent strings outside. After that we heard talking little bit further away from where we slept. We waited patiently for them to go away but this didn’t happened. So I quietly opened the tent, put my boots on and took the mattock in my hand. Soon enough they started moving again. Right after they stood behind our tent I hopped out, said good morning in armenian and asked whether we can go back to sleep. They got scared a little and stuttered something about a lost horse.. if we have seen it. They talked a little bit more and then left making sounds of a howling wolf. We couldn’t sleep until 2am.
8/07 We started early as there was a 800m raise ahead of us and we wanted to leave until the freaky guys got back. The raise took about 3 hours, we had our laundry day by Aknolitsh and had a long lunch break. After that we to the course to Garni, which is located south from Sevaberd. The pastures swiched to quarries, back to pastures, we saw hawks, a fox crossed the road, many shepherds, it rained twice. It was a long day as the tents got set up around 7:30pm but it was all worth it. The camp was beautiful place just above Garni.
9/07 We slept long, started getting down to Garni 10am and the town was reached by 1pm. On the road we asked directions to Khosrov nature reserve. We noticed that everybody gives information they think they know so everything has to be double checked 100 times. Some think we are not allowed to enter the reserve, some say there is nothing to see and some actually consider the option of hiking over there. Finally by 3pm we got to the reserve and stunning views opened to the reserve. There were some discussions with the park guard but in the end we got the permission to camp there.. There was actually an official camping side! Let the resting and washing begin. Fantastic and long lasting evening with extra food, playing cards and Tower.. and guess what: No rain or thunder!
10/07 According to the guard day before the information counter at the park opens between 9 and 10am. Then we would be able to register ourselves and get permission to access the park. The hours passed by so finally around 12-1pm the big boss with panda bear t-shit showed up. For him our plan to hike through the park was completely insane and absurd so there was a lot of discussion. Finally we agreed to stay another night as the road through the reserve was accessible maybe in 12 hours so we had to start very early. It was not allowed to camp in the park so it had to be passed in one day. That day we hiked the local 2km (haha :)) long road which passed some old templed and churches. We tried to continue but it seemed that these roads hadn’t been in use for ages and were very painful to take with shorts. We visited Garni temple and ate our first Hababs nearby. Also got some beer. On the way back to the camp we met some polish girls who were looking for a place to camp. Clearly, they joined us. We stopped one passing truck which gave us a lift to the park. Trying to cook something for dinner the camping stove broke down again. This time for good. So we borrowed the one from the polish girls. They gave us some cherries and a lot of lavash. Sulev rolled world’s biggest burum out of macaroni with fish and lavash.
11/07 At 8am we got on the way, the day seemed to start up just fine, long and hot. By 9:10am 4km was covered. We saw some bear and wolf footprints which did not quite give us the security feeling for the road. We were looking for the right place to turn to the mountains when the same truck which had helped us the day before showed up. They knew the way right away and and agreed to give us a lift. They dropped us off by the meadow where they worked and showed us the direction to go which we did. As we had heard the road to Sevaberd through the park hasn’t been used for a while so the grass was quite high. This is also the reason why we passed the right crossroad and climbed the wrong mountain until we started doubting whether this was the right way. Luckily with the help of our atlas and compass we got convinced that the road on the opposite hill was the right one. We lost ca 30 min. The midday got closer and the heat got worse and worse. Additionally the water we had brought along, lessened. The landscape around us was hilly and dry, all the rivers and brooks were dried out. On the way we also saw one crave and that didn’t give us any good feeling. Finally we reached the last mountaintop over which civilization started to show. We drank out last water supplies hoping for new water from the very first house down in the village. As we arrived down to the big road we scared some local people who had driven to the end of the road to have sex in old-school Volga. They got really frightened, quickly closed the doors and hid themselves as 5 hikers suddenly appeared out of the blue. The first houses we got to were abandoned and the hope for some water moved for about 5km. Our legs and feet didn’t want to work well anymore, somehow we just stumbled on, with heat on our backs and disgusting smell of burning garbage in our noses. The first house by the village seemed empty as well but as we heard dogs barking we knew there had to be someone and voila: a human! We asked for some water. First they offered us some water (which was warm), then somehow a bottle with frozen water was on the table, then a jug with buttermilk was brought out and finally the table got covered with all kinds of local dishes. We talked a little and we were asked to stay, set up our tents in their backyard. The head of the household was Naver, a 29-yo guy who had taken over the family farming business. He had spent 5 years on Russia so he was very easy to talk to. The others prepared our camp, meanwhile I went to get some ice-cream from the town with Naver. After that we picked some apricots from the tree. Navers neighbors were interested in meeting the girls so they arrived with some food and drinks. The table got covered again with local goods but the girls tricked us and went to bed. Surely they were tired as it had been a hard day. They didn’t want to be the objects of this belly-rubbing, watery-eyed neighbor. As it got clear that the girls are not coming to eat, the neighbors left and we got the chance to continue cozy talk with the family. We ate and drank and praised the local hospitality. On that day we had passed 30,1km in 40C heat. Huuh..
12/07 We woke early that day to get to Artashat. We packed our stuff, drank the coffee the hostess had made us, passed the field where Naver was working and said goodbye. Passing the village we were invited in to have coffee several times but we continued walking. When we were between the fields again one kind couple invited us to pick some apricots and have a break by their tree. We talked a little and they offered us lift in their van to Artashat if we agreed to wait 10min so he could finish up watering the apricot tree. We had nothing against it. We were dropped off by the train station and the search for a place to camp could begin. The plan was to find a nice cozy place to eat and then to ask around. We ate and drank at a restaurant but no useful information was given. So we decided to go on. By the highway suddenly a police car stopped. Hyper-energetic and friendly policemen happened to know a perfect spot. They took me in the car and drove about 1km, the others had to walk. The perfect spot was exactly by the highway. I thanked them and waited for the others. When they arrived we decided to take a little nap under a tree and then started going back to the town still hoping for a place to camp. Our train to Yerevan left 6:45am next morning so we didn’t want to get too far away from the town. We were stopped by a gasoline station owner who offered his backyard. Surely we accepted the invitation:). Again, some apricots and other fruit was offered additionally to candy and tea. As time passed, it started to seem as if another dinner with the family was on the way. This time we participated in cooking! Chicken, habab, grilled pepper-eggplant-tomatoes.. As we sat down to the table, the head of the house started to pour vodka shot after vodka shot down the throat, many toasts were said. Luckily there was 2,5 bottles which run out before we were forced to refuse. Around 1:30am we went to bed, 5:30am was wake-up.
13/07 6:45am train to Yerevan, ticket costed 250dram. All locals on the train were on the way to Yerevan to trade fruit. Ararat mountain accompanied us the whole way through. In Yerevan train station a big marked is held where people can sell and buy their harvest. After getting the directions, we started walking to the center. Surely we got some attention because of our big bags.
Let the vacation begin- we had 2 more days full of cafes, food, drinks and local atmosphere.
Video: Aragats West Peak 4080
Madagascar - Antananarivo