The Northern borders of the old kingdom of Romania and of the still older Wallachia lay on ridges of the mountains. Some passes allowed the constant flow of goods people from Wallachia to Transylvania and the other way round. The busiest of these border passes use to be the one called Tabla Butii over the Mountains Tataru and Siriu. But, with the advent of modernity, this high road was abandoned for the faster metallic valley roads. It is barely visited in midsummer.
But that is good news for us, because the old road is ours only to take. So let’s bike into history and sweat along this historical path following with the wheels on the footsteps of so many travelers, long passed since.
Highlights of the mountain biking tour:
- The route goes for more than half of its length higher than the tree line so we will enjoy the magnificent North drops of Ciucas Mountain all the time.
- Diversity of the terrain: gravel road, dirt roads, narrow paths, grass paths, difficult climbs, easy nice climbs, wonderful descents.
- The old remaining Medieval Custom tower right on the Mountain.
- The beautiful isolated and sorrowful cemetery from Tabla Butii, commemorating the soldiers who fought and died in the First World War. Yes, being a border area, they fought on the mountain and for the mountain.
|Estimated duration of biking||around 7 hours|
|Individual equipment needed||
|Accommodation||It is not the case. It is a one day tour. We will be returning at the end of the day.|
|Meals||We will eat dinner at a restaurant on the return way but some sandwiches and a couple of chocolate bars and/or biscuits will help.|
|INCLUDED|| Transport from and to Bucharest by car, including the bikes
Bike maintenance kit (spare camera in case of flats, repairing kit, etc.)
Transport for bikes
|NOT INCLUDED|| Other meals
Pieces of individual equipment
Bike; If do not have it, we can rent it for you at an additional 15 Euro/day cost (including the bike helmet)
|Discount policy||For group bookings we apply a discount based on the number of the participants. Please book the tour and/or contact us to negotiate the discount.|
Other good to know issues:
- This is not a tour for beginners. It requires technical skills and a lot of effort.
- Some sections of the route may not be for everyone to bike. But the push-bike techniques are always there to get us out of the trouble.
We start early from Bucharest so as to avoid the morning traffic jam and to be as much as possible in the outdoors and not in the city. The driving takes us close to the city of Ploiesti and we will get to see the oil refineries which or bombed by the Allies during the World War Two because these were sustaining the Nazi war machinery. Passing through the small city of Valenii de Munte, we reach Maneciu, our destination.
Getting the bike prepared, as well as ourselves, we start with an easy descent through the houses of the village and then we cross a big dam which blocks the river Teleajan. After the dam we really start the mountain biking.
Very quickly, after some warming effort we will be on the ridge line following the historical border crossing road. We can see already the beautiful villages well below us as well, more distant, the Ciucas Mountain, itself a very good destination for spending a beautiful outdoor day.
Slow but sure we enter deeper into Tataru Mountain. Chances are high that we will meet lots of sheep and dogs on our way. Good for pictures! Before the hardest climb of the day, we stop for a little rest near a spring.
We continue the hard way, but as you already know, no downhill ride is worth too much unless it comes after a climb. The grassy path starts here and the grip of our bike tires is simply excellent. The historical landmarks come into view. First, the ruins of the old customs tower then unexpectedly the Tabla Butii Cemetery. In this wonderful landscape is almost unimaginable such a reminder of pointless death. But to our surprise, the cemetery fits the landscape. It is beautiful and melancholic at the same time while the north steep side of Ciucas Mountain is watching.
The historical border road continues in a Northern direction in a slow descent towards Transylvania (by the way, this name means the land of forests). We turn back at this point in a technical steep descent which takes us fast on a gravel mountain road.
Some bends on the road and we are suddenly in the middle of a very touristic area we could not have imagined for this hidden place. Some cabins and guesthouses litter the wood beside a fast flowing river.
The tour is not yet over. We still have one more climb to do. A heavily wooded hill waits in front of us, but we manage it without getting down off the bike. We reach the asphalt road and the car(s).
On our way home we will stop for a fully deserved dinner.
We estimate to arrive in Bucharest by 22.00, depending on the traffic.