MTB through meadows, woods and creeks towards Fundătura Ponorului

The first circuit we did in our Epic Bike Tour 2016 spanned over 2 days and totalled more than 100 km of mountain biking. We already told you the story of the first day in this first circuit and now we’ll tell you what happened in the second day when we returned back to our cars that we left at Boleștilor Inn 😋

Brief useful information:
Date: 14th of August 2016
Route: Costești – Târsa – Omului Meadow – Fundătura Ponorului – Ohaba Ponor – Ponor – Baru – Boleștilor Inn
Distance: 49 km 
Slope: +800 m/ – 645m
Duration: 7h (including breaks)
Difficulty: medium (7 km long asphalt climb with an average slope of + 9.5%, a non-bike friendly downhill 2.5 long just before the final downhill towards Ohaba Ponor)
Water sources: Costești, Târsa, several springs in the area of the very harsh downhill through a creek, Ohaba Ponor
After a very good night’s sleep in the huge and extra comfortable beds we had at our accommodation and a semi – fail during our attempt to enjoy ourselves in the big hot tub, we start the second day with the hardest part of this route: a 7 km long climb with an average slope of + 9.5%.

The only positive things about this climb were the shade and the fact that we were climbing on an asphalted road. Also the valley through which the road winds and climbs to the mountain top is beautiful. There’s asphalt up until the small village of Târsa.

I won’t lie. This climb was exhausting especially because we had no time to waste since we had to reach our cars and drive to Voineasa. There, the next day we scheduled the toughest route of this tour 😊

So you can imagine that as soon as we found some flat ground we hurled ourselves in the shadow on the grass and some of us (actually only one 😀) considered it would be a good idea to just lay in the middle of the road as you can see in the picture below 😊 In total, it took us about 1.5 h to climb the 7 km and we deserved this break! We managed to drink and eat enough to power our engines again.

The next section was brilliant! A succession of climbs and downhill only that the best part was that we did the climbs using the inertia given by the preceding descent. It was awesome! We gained a lot of speed and I recorded a top speed of 64.4 km/h! 😎 

In the images above you can see these variations of altitude that make this road so much fun to ride on! Not so many photos from this part since I wanted to enjoy it 😀 

Unfortunately the asphalt is not never ending and we hit the first part of off – roading of the day. Well, actually that’s what we came here for but we got used to the good life 😎 A dirt road combined with a climb on a pretty muddy surface meant one thing: push bike!

The mud was soon over and we realise that we’re in a beautiful coniferous forest. This climb actually starts at the crossroad towards Prihodiște and is about 3 km long. The first part has a stronger slope but the rest of it is good for cycling 😊

In the end, this climb was pretty cool especially after reaching a wider trail leading up the mountain which finally got us to the Omului Meadow (Man’s Meadow). Maybe this climb could have been avoided by choosing a less muddier route but this was our GPS track and we had no time for experiments.

Immediately after entering the Omului Meadow we encountered an empty sheepfold and a couple of tourists. Pretty weird since this place is totally non-touristy and very remote. We crossed this meadow, entered a small stretch of forest only to soon arrive in another smaller meadow where we met the sheep from the sheepfold we saw in the Omului Meadow…of course, surrounded by the unfriendly dogs 😛

We had some orientation problems when leaving this smaller meadow. When I created the GPS track for us to use I had to draw the track where I could see some kind of path from the satellite. There were no roads on the map for this part. So the track was approximate in this small section.

So in order for you not to get lost you should follow the road turning right in the meadow and which goes down into a small stretch of forest. You’ll reach the wooden gate that you see in the image above and soon after you’ll get to another meadow (the one in the picture below). 

Here in this open place we took a lunch break. And what a perfect and picturesque spot it is! The flowers in the meadow, the sound of birds and insects completed the typical Romanian universe which surrounded us. For a few minutes we simply stood, watched and listened 😊

We continued along the wooden fences that also made the surrounding landscape very picturesque. Not to mention the hay stacks 😊 We soon get to some scattered houses which also hosted some not very bike-friendly dogs. We quickly ask an old man if our direction is good and we carry on with a horrifying downhill section. Some colleagues fell here, so be careful. After this short downhill section we reach a creek.

Just before reaching the creek we met a man which looked really confused about seeing so many mountain bikers here. On these mountains and these valleys you won’t see tourists. That’s a shame since the landscapes are beautiful! Lush forests, mountains and water. Everything in perfect shape. The few locals here live in harmony with nature for centuries. I know the world is going in a different direction but I’m glad to see man and nature living together in harmony once in a while 😊 

We told you that in the previous day we had to cycle through a small creek. Well this day was in no way different 😁 This creek however was deeper and impossible to cycle in so we had to get off the bikes for 30 meters. After you cross this creek you’ll find a couple of springs on the left side.
We continue surrounded by relaxing and beautiful landscapes. We see big openings towards the valleys and the nearby mountains. Mowed lawns and the smell of freshly cut grass only complete the complexity of senses that get activated in the Romanian mountains.

At one point we get to the crossroad between the photo spot we wanted to reach in Fundătura Ponorului and the continuation towards Ohaba Ponor. Unfortunately we were quite late and had to abandon our main objective for today. We promise to come back here and take some photos in this special place 😊
We quickly go downhill and reach Ohaba Ponor where we leave the offroading part for this day. Only asphalt from here to our cars. Another place where we wanted to go was the Șura Mare Cave located here in Ohaba Ponor. As I said, we were kind of late and we were satisfied to see the huge entrance to the cave from somewhere far away. Next time we’ll go see it 😊

From Ohaba Ponor we headed towards the E79 highway. It’s pretty boring from here on. It was quite hot as well with no shade. Once we reached Boleștilor Inn, we get into our cars and drive towards Voineasa through the Jieț Gorges for our next adventure. The road is horror 😑

Stay tuned for the next article where we’ll tell you about our hardest and most adventurous mountain biking tour we ever did 😎

Our route on the map:

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