This year in Macin, we returned for a new challenge and we took our cat Bro with us - camping and hiking. It was no easy deal and on hindsight, we should have taken that into account when we planned our hiking trips. We were there for 2 days and we planned a hiking trip for each day. First was Cozluk Valley, a trail that we missed in previous years.
The second one was a trip from Greci towards Culmea Pricopanului, the Suluk Mare peak (Caprariei peak to be precise). Neither was specifically difficult, but when you have a 6kg cat with you, time flies and miles don’t. It took us about twice as much time to cover both trails and with double the exhaustion. In all fairness and much to our surprise, our cat (Bro) did walk by himself, with his four paws, a quarter of each trail. The rest of the time, I carried Bro in the backpack, him studying everything around with a fun gaze on his face.
Day 2 – From Greci to Caprariei 1 Peak (312 m)
ITINERARY: Greci – Tugulea Peak (181m) – Valea Boghiu – Stanila Peak (210m) – Orta-Tepe Peak (199m) – Slatina Peak (251m) – Copcealau Peak (201m) – Caprariei I Peak (312m)
RETURN TRIP: Caprariei I Peak (312m) - Copcealau Peak (201m) - Slatina Peak (251m) - Orta-Tepe Peak (199m) – Valea Boghiu - Greci
Last year we walked the Culmea Pricopanului trail from the Izvorul Tamaduirii Monastery to the Piatra Raioasa (346m) and Suluk Mare (370m) peaks and returned through the rock quarry, not a path I would suggest, but that’s a different story. Going from peak to peak and then eventually hill to hill, you could walk the distance from the Monastery, through Culmea Pricopanului all the way to Greci village. Since we already had done the first part of the trail last year, we decided this time we would head towards the Suluk Mare peak from Greci. We packed some food, water and our cat and went on with it.
There are several ways to reach Culmea Pricopanului from the village of Greci. Two involve walking dirt roads, the other one goes over the mountain and through the forest, coming out right behind the Suluk Mare peak. In our case, we mixed them all to create a long, but so insanely beautiful trail.
We started our hike right outside the village of Greci, on a common trail with the hike towards Tutuiatu Mountain. It all starts in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The light is always perfect for gorgeous photos, the sights are so pure and natural, it’s a deeply mesmerizing experience. You’ve got the mighty, pyramid-like Tutuiatu peak on the right, the Tugulea peak on the left with its rocky areas, a stunning shade of green covering everything around (it’s spring, remember?), the trees that resemble so much with a Mediterranean forest, you’d actually expect to find olive trees. There’s always at least one beautiful horse around, and sheep and lambs and all kinds of birds, field mice that shyly show their faces from under the ground only to go back in hiding at the slightest threat. To me, this place seems out of this world. It’s how I’d imagine a fairytale realm depicted in a bedtime story.
So with Bro (our cat) in the backpack, we start hiking this trail. In 10 minutes we leave the common trail towards Tutuiatu, by taking a left, towards Culmea Pricopanului. It’s going to be a long road, but Macin mountains seem so tiny and approachable, we lose almost complete understanding of distance. In the meanwhile, our cat loves this trail. He climbed every rock he could find!
Since the common trail from Greci to Culmea Pricopanului originally goes through a forest and given our experience from the other day where we wasted a lot of time looking for the trail mark, we decide to take another road. So, we took a shortcut right off the Tugulea (181m) mountain top and go across two forests, some hills and fields, then start hiking towards Culmea Pricopanului from Slatina (251m) peak. The initial objective was to get all the way to Suluk Mare Peak but we decided to stop on Caprariei I Peak (312m) and return to Greci. We were running low on water and the weather turned bad so we decided to stay on the safe side since we had our cat with us and didn't know how he would react to a storm on the mountain.
As seems to be the case every time we hike in Macin Mountains, this time around we were also welcomed in the "neighborhood" by all kinds of insects and birds, turtles and other wildlife. Here's some of the few critters we met on our path: