Dry Caving in Transsilvanien - we visit Draculas Kingdom, 50 km north of Cluj Napoca/ Siebenbürgen
7 days in the Apuseni Mountains with Ovidiu Pop and Mihai Badescu
Romania has an enormous variety of caves (over 12.000!) and by exploring the caves of the Apuseni Mountains, we will only touch the top of the iceberg.Caving in Romania is not visiting nicely prepared tourist caves but visiting them as the first explorers have seen them. That means that you’ll have to climb, use ropes, to crawl and to creep to see the splendid beauty of them.(Ovidiu Pop)
There are 37km fully explored and drawn on maps, the rest of the cave is almost completely explored but not put on a map yet. It is certainly the most voluminous cave of Romania, with 12 enormous rooms, each exceeding 100m. The biggest room lies on the upper level of the subterranean river that corresponds with the Poienita Cave and is 530 m long, 111m wide and 35m high. The cave has Romania’s largest underground river, 5.6km long with 38 duck-unders. The cave further contains all possible speothems. One day won't be enough to see it all, but you will have a good idea of what the Humpleu Cave offers. (Ovidiu Pop)
Humpleu is located by Rachitele, about 1 hour by 4WD. This cave is still in exploration and we are very proud and thanksful to get the chance of visiting this exiting cave. We gaze at the huge halls, tremendous galerys, multi-faceted walls and immense piles of rock.
In 2 days we just get a little impression of this romanian cave. But at least we could bring photos and videos at home of wonderland, montmilch, tonns of memorization and sore muscles!
On this day we take time to scout for cave diving spots. At least we found two springs with diving potential. We plan to explore them another year!
We spent the rest of the day in a moorland with carnivor plants. We also visit a very interesting Karst area, raised once by a volcano. There we found almost pulverized Karst material.
Pothole Varfarashu Tal/ Cave Lepezi "Rabbit Hole":
Cold Cave, Bihor-Vladeasa Mountains, Region Padis; Ic Ponor:
Again a hole in the forest- lots of rain and tunderstorm give the right impression of what we will see soon...
After a squeezy passage we stay in a room. We slide down next meter though a slot with a breath out and suffer the next 30 minutes in a bed made from clay...
Ovi show us a new diving spot- that would mean 40m SRT down and than see how we get into the water. We decide to think about this nice option of diving later!
This cave is discoverd and explored by Ovi Pop, our guide and he show us many beautiful details of his extraordinary cave!
We stay over night in Padis.
Bihor Mountains "Water Cave"Cetatile Ponorului Cave:
This day we expect the beautifulnes of a gigant major river cave. The area is surroundet by Cliffs. We slip in our neopren suites and follow the drumming noise of the water. Some excellend photos were taken at the point we have to turn. The water level is here improperly for walking without ropes though the rock piles and boulders.
This is an incredible nice place in the Bihor mountains and recommendable to visit without diving at all.
Gletschul Virtop Glacier Cave;
a 35 Meter deep frozen "ice tongue;
It is a small cave, only 165m long but has the 3rd biggest volume of ice of the country. The Glacier cave Virtop has a 35m high iceblock.
Discoverd by shepards 20 years ago now the romanian speologist observe the glacier very well.
Protected in the forest steams out icy air during summer and winter.
Between ice lake and rock opens a small fissure to rappeling to the foot of the glacier. We enjoy the echo of the icy walls!