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Published: August 29th 2007
al a carte camping, ians favourite!
Ian here again...seems i get the job of typing and jenny helps pick the pretty pictures!!
currently in Budapest in Hungary but i believe we left you in Krakow in southern poland.
Krakow was Kracking....met our first embarrasing brits..you know the type, loud obnoxious and on the pi%%....i say met..they were a few tables away but couldnt really miss them..obviously didnt associate with them!!
From our rest day in Krakow we started our journey south heading for the high tatra mountains that lie on the border of Slovakia and Poland....Started to get a little lumpy whcih i think actually did us good...think you get out of the habit of doing decent sized hills and forget how hard they are with all the weight on.
Zakopane is the main mountain town on the polish side of the tatras..and what a hell hole...i couldnt believe it...soooo many tourists all on the main pedestrian street about a mile long selling Tat Tat and more Tat...a marmot puppet or a I love Zakopane T-Shirt anyone!!..obviously jenny loved it here...only joking dear...i think ...im still not 1öö% sure she doesnt like all the hell holes...haha..
amazing setting though. The Tatras are incredible..the highest mountains of all
another country tick
the huge long chain of the Carpathians whcih sweep downwards and on into Romania and the Transylvanian alps. The tatras just stick up like a mile as the are far far higher than anywhere else around here. There is a cable car from the polosh side up to the highest mountain in poland Mnt Ryza at 2500m...but when we went to go to it apparently it had been shut all year..this didnt bother me much as ...ermm cable cars are probably higher than planes on my scare list.
Crossed over into Slovakia later in the day where we read there are still wolves and bears in the national parks...haha...get me in a cable car quick...
Slovakia was great actually, i loved it...wonderful scenery with just enough to keep you occupied whilst travelling and not too much to force too many detours from the tour.
First campsite in Slovakia was soooo chilled out...woman was sunbathing in the grounds when we arrived and was pretty much horizontal the whole time we were there..not a huge place and no-one else appeared to be there, although a few people turned up later on. No one was in tents...most people use these wooded shack things
pizza and beers
you can tell we just got our first polish money...spend spend spend!!
with a veranda and beds inside, we priced them up off the woman when she was momentarilly out of a coma and they were only a little bit more that camping with our tent...had a shocking electrical storm that night...the sky was like daylight it was lightning so much..not much fun in a tent...( this was the first night i couldnt be arsed in putting the guyropes up as well so had to mess around with them in the rain!!)
Next day we decided to do a day ride to see some massive castle thing a few miles away, and stay at camp chillov...we did a really quiet mountain road that was marked not for traffic on the map and had barriers on....it was really in the middle of nowhere and we only saw one sheppard type dude in about 15 miles...near the top when the small road had turned to a track ...right next to me there was a really loud gunshot...I had no idea what it was or who did it...no one appeared and there was no more noise, jenny caught up and we hot footed it over the summit and got the heel out of there...at the
...czech full of em..Ian wants one..in fetching brown, or tan
time it was pretty frighteneing as your mind plays tricks on you ...but after i think it was one of these scarecrow type things that bang loudly everyso often..i think...it was in trees though..hmmm...
we got caught in the middle of a torrential downpour and thunderstorm on the descent that appeared amazingly suddenly with a huge gust of wind and great dark angry skys over the hill to our left...it really was quite eerie and made me wonder if someone didnt want us going over that road!!.....we failed on our mission to get to the castle as it was late by the time a cafe or two had dried us out...on the way back we came into campio chillout along a different road and a quarter of a mile from our site was a huge village not on the map...when we went through it it was a Roma village with hundreds of kids and wrecked carss, wrecked houses and shanty shacks....it was like the village in hills have eyes....this and the likely hood of another storm prompted us to the luxury of a chalet!!...i say chalet..it was as basic as you can have but quite a luxury when you have
ermm stork on a post...says it all really
had nothing to sit on for 4 weeks but the floor..plus this gave us somewhere to keep our stuff whilst we attempted another cable car from the slovakian side of the Tatras...up to Lomnicky Split at 2635m.. the cable car went up in 3 stages and as it happens the final stage wasnt open because of the wind but i papped myself enough on the steep second section (give me the wolves and bears!! haha)
Met a real dude at the other side of the Tatras in a bar. He was a sheep sheppard and milked 64ö sheep every morning and tended them during the day...his name was Norbert ..he didnt speak any english (and obv like his beers and wodkas) and explained everything by drawing...i dont know what he thought i was going on about as my drawings were awful...i drew a wolf and bear and it looked more like sheep and a carrot!!...i had to do the actions for them...he said he sees the wolves and scares them off his sheep but the bears he wouldnt mess with but has never seen them...although there is a big male, 2 females and a few cubs in the Tatras somewhere.
..haha a bit of off roading...to get caroline jealous
There are quite a few national parks in Slovakia and it really is a beautiful and quiet country....and in Zlaty Bazant (golden pheasant) has a beer so crisp and tasty that it would make me a sheep farmer and rant to tourists if i was slovakian!!
The Mala Fatra are another range of hills west of theHigh Tatras. No where near as high as the Tatras but still impressive.. The Slovaks have afolk hero called Jano Janosovic who was like our robin hood in the 1700s..robbing the richa dn giving to the the poor...although it depends on which source or tourist guide as i think the reality is it was a little more robbing from the rich and robbing from the poor to be honest!!....
Had 5 or so scorching days on the trot as we crossed the slimy green danube (was that composer colour blind??) and into Hungary....catch you later...
Hi jen here
Also met another aussie couple bike touring round europe, they were the only people ive seen with more stuff on their bikes than ian!!!
To mikey mike and any dutch peolpe around..........maybe i have been a bit harsh on holland. It is actually
the daily hazards of jennys life number 4..staying upright
a really nice country with lots of pretty villages, houses with their own bridges, cute animals, and the most delicious Koffie snecks! (danish pastrie) However i still maintain its the sort of place you could take your grandma cycle touring to!!!
Actually its full of grimmers on bikes doing 18mph....................
And so to offend some Hungarians.........Budapest is rip of capital of eastern Europe!!!! some bloke overcharged us for already inflated price drinks and the apartment room is costing us a bomb. And i missed out on going to the thermal baths. pah! having good time really, its just the way i express myself! xxxx
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