A dark night in a forest

We spent two days of great hospitality in Timisoara and it was great to see my old friend and her family again. After that we continued our journey heading towards the Romanian mountains, the Carpathians. They warned us of the bears and wolfes living there and told us what we should take care about.

It was already dawning when we arrived Deva, a midsize city at the north edge of the Carpartian Mountains. We had to walk out of the city for around 30min and on the we also bought some food from a supermarket we passed.

We were confident about the search for a place to sleep. We just needed a spot a bit out of the city and away from the road so nobody would see us and we could sleep untroubled. As far as I knew it was not a special wolf or bear area. Therefore I was more worried about humes and not about wild animals.

At the edge of the town we crossed the road looking for a place to sleep. According to our map we felt like we could find there a good sleeping spot. We didn’t want to use our torches since we tried to be as invisible as possible. Once we crossed the road we discovered that there was a ditch, around one meter wide and two meters deep and behind that huge railway tracks that were blocking the way to a potential place to sleep. After a short consideration I removed the backpack of shoulders and threw it to the other side. After that I jumped after it. Then Tomek threw his backpack to me and jumped as well. In the moonlight I felere t like a thug that is just carrying out his secret mission. Now there were only the train lines left. But roaming on the railway tracks we didn’t considder a good idea. So Tomek just went with his torch, alone and without his backpack to have a look if it was possible to sleep there anywhere. He came back and indicated that it was not possible to find a place to sleep there. With this the only option left was the forest at the other side of the road…

At the other side of the road a small paths ascended into the forest. At the one side of the path the road was very close and on the one side of the paths we only saw dense undergrowth and when we lighted our lamps to the bushes we noticed that it was going up pretty steeply. Since this path was our only option we followed the path into the forest. Finally we arrived to strange area. A big dark house behind a high fence which seemed to be pretty abandonned. Sooned we notice a little bit further that there was an open gate in the fence. There the path was leading to another building. In this building was more interesting. Out of one window there was a strange white light shining in the darkness and we were not quite sure if there were someone living or not.

We were sneaking around the area and walking along the fence while I felt like a burglar just spying his area. It was exciting and creepy in the same time. But we had to find a place to sleep. That was why we were here. When we were climbing a little hill just next to the fence suddenly Tomek winced and whispered that there was someone at this strange window watching us. „Let’s get away from this place very quickly.“ I decided. After some thinking climb the hill and find a place to sleep. After a while I found a little nice plateau that seemed to me like the perfect place to sleep. I went back to Tomek and we decided to sleep at this place. While climbing up with the backpacks I was thinking: „Tanks god we can climb down here tomorrow in daylight and peace.“

Happy about the place we were sitting there, watching the lights of the city and enjoying moonlight in the forest. Before going to sleep, we were eating our dinner and talking to the camera a little bit about the day. Suddenly and out of the silcence we hear loud barking just appearing behind the trees. „It’s dogs!!“ Tomek reckoned horrified. There was no second to think and we saw three big dogs running towards us. First I was not sure if it were dogs or wolfes. Adrenaline was pumped into my blood and my heart was pounding like mad. „Don’t move! Don’t move!“ Tomek whispered terrified and we threw away the food we were eating. Three big dogs in the forest, appereantly searching for food. Tomek thought at that strange building with the man at the window when he was asking „Where did they come from?“ while the dogs were bearing down on the food. My thought were alternating between „it’s only dogs and they will not attack people“ and „they are fucking big and are able to kill two adults, who knows what will happen in this forest“. I was thinking about how I could defend myself in case of an attack. I reached for my knife. It was two strong brown dogs and one white dog that were now circling around. While we were sitting there like turned into stones the dogs were coming closer and closer smelling that there was more food. I knew there was some food under my leg which I could find and even more in my bag. „Don’t move… don’t move“ Tomek breathed fearful while the dogs didn’t seem to be afraid.

One of the brown dogs was approaching us from behind and whereas in the beginning I was thinking that maybe they will not harm us, that brown dog made me really believe that he was about to attack. It was less than a meter away, baring its teeth and growling ready to attack. „Don’t look at them, just freeze for a moment.“ I heard Tomek saying and suddenly I had the feeling that it was not good at all to be so passive towards them and show them our fear. Threating this dog came closer and closer. „Do you have your pepper spray?“ I asked Tomek. „Yes but I’m afraid to attack them.“ he answered. „Don’t attack them.“ I replied. In this moment I felt somehow confident and sure while I had the impression to see the fear of the hesitating dog. In that moment I jumped up and shouted to that dog. Also full of adrenaline Tomek fired his pepper gas and the shocked dogs backed off. „Fucking go away!“ we shouted through the forest.

That was the moment we could use to escape. Everything we saw in these seconds we put in our hands, backpack on our shoulders and just get out of that forest. In the dark we were running down the hill to look for a way out of the forest. Full of adrenaline we desperately search for an exit through the undergrowth but we couldn’t find it anymore. I was heavily breathing and we tried again to find a way through the bushes. But again there was no way and when I tried to force a way my backpack got tangled up in the bushes. „Like this we are inferior to them beyond hope.“ We heard them barking again although we couldn’t see them I had the feeling that they would come closer. Roughly and with force I freed my backpack and we continued to find a way out of the forest. Suddenly I noticed that I was panicing so tried to calm myself. Calm down and breathe. We tried another spot and failed. We heard the dogs coming closer and felt like to be prisoners of that forest. We just wanted to get out of there and we tried again. Tomek said: „It is impossible!“ We just have to go through here now. This undergrowth cannot be an obstacle anymore, I thought while breaking over the first bushes. „It is possible, come!“ Indeed there was like a natural path we could follow. We fought our way out of the forest to the street and I felt how exertion was falling off after we crossed the street: „Wow, that was fucking close!“

We walked back to the city to a petrol station. A staff guy offered us to sleep in the petrol station, what we did and appreciated …