Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Short Cut through the mountains

Tuesday November 8th
A welcome change in the Carpathians has been the abundant presence of clean running water and we have hardly had to use the containers of water in the lorry at all.

Just to prove we are in the mountains - 1013metres above sea level! A pass on the road from Verkhovina to Vorokhta, which is a Ukrainian skiing resort.
On the road into the Carpathian National Park.

I had expected the Carpathians to be deep in snow at the beginning of November, as they were last year. As a result I had decided to play safe and stick to the main roads rather than look for more scenic tracks over the mountains. However the weather has been cold but excellent, and I have rather regretted not researching some more adventurous routes.
But in my notorious map book I had seen a track marked which not only looked fairly straightforward, but was a considerable short cut from Vorokhta to the small town of Lazeshina.

Locals in Vorokhta expressed doubt, but I have sometimes found that such advice needs to taken with a pinch of salt. As an example, a couple of guys at Kosiv had warned us strenuously against taking the road from Verkhovina to Vorokhta as they indicated it was almost impassable, whereas it turned out to be one of the better roads we have been on in Ukraine. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed as I was all set to get out my horse packing equipment, strike out on my own for a couple of days, and meet Hua at the other end.

Although it was getting late in the day, off I set up a good gravel road which soon turned into an earth one - below is the view looking back before I reached the top of the hill ...........
.........where a highly dubious local boy eventually reluctantly pointed me down a grassy track into the forest. His hesitation was soon explained when the track petered out into a frozen and almost impassable gully filled with fallen logs.

Below is a distinctly pissed off Bolashak as I have just made him scramble down the gully and over all the logs in the background.............

.....and more was to come - a tunnel under a railway line .......
........but eventually after scrambling along a stony river bed we reached a logging track as dusk began to fall .......

....although it was still a couple of hours ride to the town of Lazeshina where Hua was waiting in a bit of a panic as by now it was pitch dark, and locals had been regaling him with tales of the wolves that roam the forests here.


  1. That is a beautiful horse you have there. Is that an English trail saddle? Do you prefer English to Western. What kind of horse packing equipment did you take with you?

  2. The saddle is a Free and Easy saddle which has proved absolutely perfect for the job - see logo in sidebar for link to website. The horse packing equipment is from Custompackrigging which was highly recommended - I used it for a few days and was very pleased. Megan