An unplanned adventure including WILD BOAR!!!
24.10.2009 - 27.10.2009 36 °F
So after visiting city after city after city, we decided we needed some country...and Slovakia was that country. We heard about snowboarding/skiing in the Tatra Mountains and said, "yes, ok, of course." Before we knew it we were in a van driving from Krakow to Zdiar, Slovakia with our good friends of 5 days Kelly and Sherwin and our new friend Sean. We arrived in the dark so we couldn't see much, but in the morning...bam! The Tatras Mountains without enough snow on which to board.
The meter of snow that had fallen a week before was now melting rapidly...so no snowboarding, but lots of hiking recommendations.
Due to bus schedules in the middle of nowhere, we got a late start but ended up doing a short 5 hour hike through the mountains on our first day. We experienced all 4 seasons and every type of terrain. We missed our bus home by minutes and on a Sunday during the offseason this was a serious predicament. We did what one does in Slovakia when one misses the bus-we hitch-hiked. We split into 2 groups, Team 1: Megan and Sherwin and Team 2: Erin, Kelly and Shane. Team 1 was quickly picked up by 2 Germans and whisked away to the Ginger Monkey Hostel. Team 2 had some trouble-they walked another 6 kilometers ( in addition to the 10 kilometers we had already hiked) to the next bus stop and were picked up by the bus. Erin, having hiked another 6 kilometers passed out quickly upon her return to the hostel, while Megan, the show off, drew a map of the United States from memory when dared by a group of Europeans and Australians. She remains quite proud of this achievement.
Megan in a car with Sherwin and some Germans
Erin, Kelly, and Shane trying to get picked up
Day 2: Another really long hike with a long commute to the trails. What we thought was going to be a nice leisurely "moderate 4 hour hike" was actually a gorgeous strenuous 6 hour hike full of steep inclines and descents, ladders, scaling rock faces, water falls, AND perhaps the most incredible of all...WILD BOAR. Yes, we saw 2-4 wild boar stampede across the path in front of us. If you have ever seen the movie Willow, (Luke, Timothy) you would understand our fear. Megan donned a wooden spear aka stick to fight off any boar attacks. By the end we were quite fatigued. But after a completely successful hitch-hike of all 5 members of our posse, we were again in good spirits. Though we had to wait for our train a good hour, we stayed positive knowing we would soon enjoy our Mikolaus that we had purchased before hand to savor at the end of our journey. And how sweet he was.
Slovakia was a quick trip but we have many memories of our times there. Each of us would like to dedicate a song to our fellow travelers, Kelly and Sherwin. Megan would like to send out Aaliyah's "I Miss You." Erin would like to send out Kelly Clarkson's, "Since You've Been Gone." Hugs buddies!!!