I think this road is the most spectacular route discovered by us in the 2022 season. It is a forest road that starts near Olănești, climbs to the top of the Căpățănii Mountains and then descends to Romanii de Sus.
Part 1 – the road to Cabana Cheia
We leave from the village of Cheia, near Olănești, at an altitude of approximately 400m. The first part of the road follows the Cheia river valley. It’s a pretty good forest road that winds along the edge of the valley and we slowly climb up. At about 700 m altitude we meet a sign pointing to the path that goes up to the Cheia cabin. From here we start to climb a bit more steadily and the road surface becomes more bumpy. After a few hairpins arranged at distances of about 1 Km, you will have a surprise. You will reach a tunnel. It seems that during the communist era, from the desire to more easily exploit the wood in this area, it was decided to build this tunnel.
The tunnel is approximately 200m long and is dug into the rock. The floor is concreted and the walls were also concreted but not along the entire length of the tunnel.
At the exit from the tunnel we will have a short preview of the peaks we are going to reach. After the tunnel we continue, as before, through the forest. We descend for a short time and then we will reach a intersection.
Part 2 – the road to the top
Keep an eye on your GPS because the road we’re about to climb seems pretty unimportant and it’s possible to pass on. The first part of the climb is quite steep. On a stretch of road of about 2.5 Km we will have 16 hairpins and slopes of more than 20%. You have to climb firmly with your hand on the gas and be careful to avoid the big boulders. Once you reach the Hadarău saddle, the slope gets smaller. Next we will have a section in which we ride along the side of the mountain and climb along the level lines. From place to place, the forest opens up and we have the opportunity to admire the surrounding landscape. There are sections where we have a vertical cliff on the left and on the right we have a precipice, so be careful on the road. We will reach a clearing where the road turns sharply to the left and then to the right and we enter the forest again. Next comes a difficult section with a slope of more than 15% and lots of loose rocks. You’ll know you’ve escaped safely once you emerge into the alpine hollow. Here we go out on the road that winds between the peaks of the mountains at over 1800m altitude. A few more kilometers of smooth ascent and we will reach the highest point of the route. We are at 1961 m altitude near the Zmeuret peak.
Part 3 – the descent to Romanii de Sus
The part of the road in the alpine area is the most spectacular. We are surrounded by mountains and we have the opportunity to admire the landscape in all directions. We pass the Zmeuret peak and then the Govora peak, after which we descend into the Zmeuret saddle. After climbing a few serpentines again, we will reach an intersection just under the Văleanu peak. Here we will have to turn right on the road going down. If we continued forward, we would reach Curmătura Piatra Roșie and Vârful lui Roman. You can find this variant on our website: https://2ride.eu/segment/off51-romanii-de-sus-vaideeni/ .
We descend quickly and after passing a military unit, we will enter the forest. From here the road looks pretty much the same all the way down. There will be a few more hairpins and a slightly rougher area just before you reach the river bank in the valley.
This route is over 60km and can be combined, if you have time, with the route that passes by Vârful lui Roman. We liked it a lot because it has almost all types of landscape, it also has more difficult sections and especially for the spectacular ridge areas or for passing through the Tunnel.