romania and possibly bulgaria visit

Submitted by Baxendale on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:03

Dear members,i am thinking of visiting Romania for 1 month and possibly Bulgaria if stay for 3 months, Alone. have you any ideas. is there anyone i can contact out there. i have lists of many sites i hope to see jovibarbas, sedums and sempervivums.amongst other it safe to travel there,i am worried about possibly  bears, lynxs and wolves. what precautions will i need to take. i want to go into the mountains from the nearest train or bus stop if possible my E-MAIL address is [email protected] please let me know if you have been. i am yours faithfully. John Baxendale


Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 22:19

Hi, John, 

Sounds like an enviable trip!  Wolf and lynx sightings are rare even here where the mountain areas are not so heavily and historically utilized as in Europe.  Bear sightings are more common but probably mainly because the few remaining grizzlies and the more populous black bears are forced to feed at lower elevations in the valleys where the roads also happen to be... hence they happen to get seen by tourists driving by.  We see surprisingly few in the back-country here, even in prime habitat in what is reasonably intact wilderness.  I kind of suspect you'd be extremely lucky to even see these animals on your trip.  Personally, I won't worry in the least about wolves or lynx, but maintaining a healthy respect for bears is warranted, here, anyway, when one is in bear habitat.

As far as precautions to take...  Are you camping?  If you are, always keep a clean campsite  - don't leave food or trash out and and don't ever keep food in your tent.  If you're camping in forested areas where bears are likely to occur, you could take a rope and  use it to suspend your food bag off the ground and away from the tree trunk; this should be a considerable distance from your tent.   Don't ever feed the animals, not even the birds or squirrels.  Pack out your trash and don't put garbage down any pit toilets.  Don't approach wild animals, not even to get that special close-up photo.  

If you are hiking in potential bear country, just keep a lookout around you.  Generally speaking, these animals want nothing at all to do with you and will stay out of your way (given that that they will see, hear or smell you long before you might ever catch sight of them).    If you're hiking along a rushing stream where the visibility is obscured by tall willows and where the sound of water might muffle the noise you make, just  "whoop and holler" (or sing, talk to yourself, whatever) now and then, to make your presence known.

There are tons of books available on how to conduct yourself in the wilds that one could consult.

That's about all I can think of.   By the way, the most significant risk is always the drive to the area where you plan to hike...  If you take the normal precautions (that is, the precautions that are normal in bear country here such as I described), beyond that, there's not much point in worrying about wild animals.

Have you posted your query at the SRGC site?  I'd expect there'd be forumists there who would be familiar with the area and could comment from experience and familiarity.

Anyway, hope you have a great trip!