It is one of the things I really enjoy – planning and packing for a new adventure somewhere. This time I am off to Romania, my first ever trip there, to try out two of Whereabouts Holidays – a walking trip https://whereaboutsholidays.com/walking-holidays/walking-holidays-romania/carpathian-mountains-and-castles-walking-holidays
I will be arriving in Bucharest and travelling on to Zarnesti to traverse the fabulous gorges, and then after a day of exploring Dracula country round Bran Castle it will be off to the Fagaras mountains by bike. Since it’s my first time in Romania, I have been busy researching what I can expect and I have come across some things that I definitely want to see or do when I arrive.
1. Taste the local delicacy of mustard soup. I like hot and spicy so I am ready to plunge my spoon in.
2. Discover the history of the fortified monasteries near Carta and find out what made the monks so militant.
3. Spend some time in Bran Castle – it is meant to be the home of the infamous Count Dracula, so I will make sure to be out of there by sunset.
4. Do lots of walking and biking in the mountains – don’t think I will have any problems with that! One thing I definitely don’t want to do is have a close encounter with a bear. Apparently 50% of all Europe’s bear population lives in Romania, so maybe I should google, “What to do if you meet a bear in the woods,” just in case.
In terms of packing, I have to make sure I have the right kit with me to make my hiking and biking comfortable and also to cover me if I have any emergencies.
I always pack some very simple emergency kit: a tiny first aid bag, a whistle and a survival blanket. I also make sure that my phone is fully charged and that I either have data roaming or a local sim card.
Apart from that, I will be putting in my Rohan explorer hiking trousers, a technical t-shirt, Asos biking shorts (they are the best around and I need to keep padded if I am going up and down mountains), some all terrain shoes, a Craft fleece, and a waterproof jacket as the forecast shows a possibility of storms. The other three must-haves are sunglasses, suntan cream and a cap.
The joy of going on one of Whereabouts’ self-guided holidays is that they transfer all your luggage between hotels while you are out enjoying the countryside, so I will be able to pack something nice to wear in the evenings – a definite luxury!
OOH, and I have just found out what to do if you meet up with a bear - http://www.bearsmart.com/play/bear-encounters/ or you could read this excellent blog post by Bertie at EffortlessOutdoors.com about how to deal with a bear encounter.