We had to travel about 100 km from Oradea to Pietroasa, then it was up to the Jeep to make its way to the heart of the Apuseni Mountains. Here we encounter Jgheaburile (“Gutters”), a section of gorges downstream of Poiana Florilor (Flower Meadow), where it meets Crișul Pietros in Padiș.
A natural phenomenon, Jgheabului Gorges are a continuance of the Yellow Gorges (Cheile Galbenei), found upon the valley with the same name. The gorges are surrounded by abrupt waterfalls and stepping stones, and the high walls and cliffs might give you the impression you’re actually captive within the walls of a fortress. They’re astounding! I wanted to come here to satisfy my adrenaline rush. So I was part of a group who were following the same thoughts, together with an authorized touristic guide. I had been to other gorges and mountains before, but the grandeur of this landscape was giving me chills. We had all been previously equipped with climbing gear, rubber boots, neopren suits and properly trained in rapel procedures. We had also been warned there were some sections of the gorges with abundant flows that might take us off balance, and one of us falling would mean all of us falling. The guide would accompany every tourist for each rapel, to keep him safe and make sure everything goes as planned.
Here I go!
The wild landscape and utter beauty of this place is breathtaking, but danger lurks at every step. You need to be an adrenaline junkie to go all the way. Crossing the waterfalls means having all that water on your head and sustaining yourself under that downpour. It literally coils your blood. It’s scary and fascinating, all at once. The effort is worth every scratch. Although soggy and frozen, we’re all extremely happy. It’s a one of a kind experience.
We’re free between the stony walls!
I return home after an unforgettable experience, and while gazing at nature’s beauty through the Jeep’s window, I remember Hillary’s quote… “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” (Edmund Hillary)
Activites in Apuseni Natural Park Canyoning | Caving | Trekking | Mountain-bike | Tandem paragliding | Rafting – Kayaking
Accessible from the trail: Trail: Pietroasa village – Arieşeni village
We’re left with the duty to respect these parts at our every step, keep them clean and pristine for generations to come, and for us as well, because in Nature, “the tourist comes to gladden his eyes, the thinker encounters a grand book where every rock is a letter, where every lake is a phrase, where every village is an accent and from whence a smoke of ancient memories emerges”. (Victor Hugo)