Posted by: tim ellis | May 20, 2007

Romania – Tuesday, May 15 2007

Breakfast at 8, after which Florin and I must wait for Gruita, a representative from the National Parks, who is accompanying us firstly to vist two wolves raised from young cubs by the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project, then on a walk up a river valley looking at the old forest habitat. The ground is mostly to dry for tracks, though we do find a couple of deer prints, and some possible fox and stone marten scat, along with yellow bellied toads, frogs, newts, many butterflies and plants.

We stop for lunch at the mountainside chalet belonging to the guesthouse, before dropping Gruita back in town and going to vist Rasnov castle. This was originally built by, or with the aid of the Teutonic Knights, and more recently restored (at least in part) by an Italian, and offers a spectacular view of the local scenery.

Back to the guesthouse for a quick coffee and to meet back up with Gruita, Bebe, Simon and Lesley (who have been in a different part of the national park) before leaving at 5pm to drive up to the bear hide, which overlooks a feeding point, where we settle down to wait for the bears. … And wait…. And wait….

At around twenty to nine, Florin says we will give it another ten minutes to allow us some light to get back to the car. Nine and a half minutes later, a single wolf appears. This is actually much rarer than a bear. It takes what appears to be a bag, but is probably a stomach, into the clearing where it “wolfs down” some intestines then dissapears back to the edge of the wood , the reappears carrying some sort of bone along the path right under the hide. It is a pity it left it so late to arrive is the light is not good, but at least we got something for our wait.
Then back to the guesthouse for dinner, beer, then bed.

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