Extreme travel: train & mountain climbing


Whilst most of the people tend to just travel some km a day, I am a man who eats kilometers on a bread. I do so many km that sometimes I wonder if I drive more than I sleep in a week.

And no, I’ve already the calculations, I usually drive around 35 hours (actual driving) a week, less than 5 nights of normal sleep for some people (for me however, more like 5 night and a half).

But I didn’t always drove cars. I only have my licence since 2012, and until then, my favorite travel method was the train. However, here in Romania, trains won’t really cover all the routes.

However, it was a time when I walked and cycled a lot. More than I would actually like. Because of necessity.

That’s why the next story it’s interesting. Because I was young and had energy, I decided to travel around 500 km on a train. And another 10-12 km on foot, uphill, just to have fun.

How it all began ?

After a bad month of October in Timisoara, I’ve decided that I need some air. Somewhere far apart. Like on the other side of the country. It was the middle of October, and the weather was quite nice actually in Timisoara.

But far away, in Busteni, where I wanted to go, the weather didn’t look that well. But in that period, I didn’t really checked the weather on the internet. I’ve just got a ticket on the Timisoara – Bucharest train and headed to Bucharest. A 12 hour ride awaited me.

I did however got myself some good gear in my big backpack. First, for entertainment, I got my laptop backpack (with my laptop in it), for 2 hours of things to do. It would prove to be quite a weight during the mountain climb.

Also, I got some exchange clothes, which prove to be quite helpful. And some hiking boots, borrowed from my father. It was a period in which I couldn’t really afford a lot of stuff.

The train ride

I waited for the train get into the station. It was 6:30 in the morning, and it was quite chilly. Not below freezing, but somewhere around 5 Celsius. Got my ticket and boarded the train for a long ride.

I hoped that in this train I would get a plug to charge my laptop, but I wasn’t in such a luck. However, I was prepared for such an eventuality and brought along some extra gigs to do.

Some Sudoku, some crosswords, just something to do until the trip was over. I was lucky to find some great people to hang on with, and that helped me pass the time easier. But it was still a 12 hour ride, because the train had one hour delay when I reached Busteni, near the 7 PM mark.

The mountain climb in Busteni

When I arrived in Busteni, I was already tired, after this long ride. And during the day, it was quite hot. So I wasn’t quite in the best shape when I started climbing.

The darkness already felt near the mountain and it started to rain. Lightly. But it was rain. Luckily, I did had something to cover my head from the rain.

Unfortunately, the climb was quite a difficult one on the third part of it, when some of the climbs were almost vertical. We also had some chain climbing and some stone walls to go over. Quite a challenge in that weather, since it started snowing when we reached the 2000 meters mark.

But after four hours of climbing, we’ve finally reached the cabin and got some rest.

What can you do on a mountain plateau ?

I’ve woke up in the morning to find out that I can’t really talk. Cause the rain and tiredness had taken their toll. So while most of the other people left for Omu pike, I went for a short ride across the mountain towards some lakes. It wasn’t as interesting as an Omu ride would have been, but I am glad that I haven’t stayed in bad all day. Cause I put my muscles in motion and recovered quickly.

After a while, we’ve decided to go down the mountain. And so we did. And it was some of the great descents. The same route, only on the downhill, took us somewhere around 2 hours to go and it was quite fun, when we could have seen all the forest.

It was a fun trip and it’s going to be hard to forget. But in the end, we got back in the Valley and got in the train to Bucharest and from there on, back home to Timisoara.

I spent three days on the road, 24 hours on a train and 10 hours going up and down the mountain. That’s what I would call extreme for me.

What’s your upper limit with such a trip ?


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