We’ve been planning to go on a ride around Poiana Marului for a long. We kept postponing it, on account of the weather, or the “competition” – from Brasov you can easily get to much more popular areas such as Postavaru, Piatra Craiului, Bucegi. The Persani Mountains (to which the hills of Poiana Marului belong to) are constantly left out because people find them less then glamorous, being too small and unimportant in their class. No imposing peaks, no rocky ridges; however, their mellow crests, easy slopes, and old beech woods promised all sorts of bicycle delights. And so this autumn their turn finally came.
As usual, we started by searching for trails with the help of Google Earth. This was especially required for the Persani Mountains because with the exception of Magura Codlei, there are no tourist tracks in the area and the maps were of little help. We then moved the tracks from Google Earth to the GPS and tried them on foot a couple of times to asses the terrain (last autumn we went near Holbav and this autumn around Poiana Marului). We were happy to find that our Google Earth results matched the reality on the ground: the area welcomes mountain biking / cross country tours.
Following an unusually cold October, the weather got better at the beginning of November and so, together with Christi an a couple of backpacks heavy with photo equipment (various lenses, tripod), we got down to business. It was a perfect autumn’s day, with pleasant temperature, honey drenched light, and the joy of discovering new places, yet to be spoiled by the Romanian style kitsch of rural tourism – which suffocates the Bran tourist area. Since we weren’t that familiar with the Poiana Marului, we had little expectation. We let ourselves surprised by its beauty, which you can admire for yourselves: