Just got back from a few nights exploring a fantastic new wilderness trail with good old Duncan Hiermeier and his friends, Ladina and Simone in the Tarcu mountains, Romania (Thanks for being the best group to share this with!)

We slept out without tents and made use of the fire to warm us during
the night and keep us safe. While we each had a two hour night-shift,
keeping a comforting eye on the sleeping others, the others could
immerse themselves into the nocturnal soundscape from the warm comfort of the sleeping bags.
Sitting around the fire and keeping a small flame going, we checked on
any eyes of animals in our vicinity using our head torches, every once
in a while. The rest of the time is unbelievable as you enjoy the
solitude of a wild night around a warm bouncing fire with space and time
for some unusual reflections.
During the day, we pushed each other a
little bit and walked a lot. Up and down. Up and down. Not knowing
exactly where the next water source will be, we spent almost a day
without anything to drink as we followed the crest towards the mountain.
We came along virgin areas in the forest that were comfortably
inhabited by bears. One of them placing it’s sleeping spot and latrine
right on the trail.

Fresh sign of bear were all around us as we
entered small pockets of glades dotted with Juniper shrubs. And a heavy
cracking sound of branches during one of our midday snoozes was a
reminder, that this area is not the usual one, where animals only dare
to live out their lives at night.

Man. I cant wait for the next to come!

by Georg Messerer, wildlife guide and research station coordinator