Cornish coastline, UK
Cornish coastline, UK
  • And now Slovakia!
    • 18/08/2019
Nice big down hill to start as you would expect having just climbed to the top of the ski lifts

Crossed the border in the least eventful fashion yet, on a polish-slovakian friendship cycle path.

Immediately every village has a pretty wooden church
Eventually arrive at Orava castle just as the souvenir shops are closing up, try to buy a postcard but the lady vendor doesn't have change for a crisp new 20 euro note so she says I can have it for free, and tells me she enjoyed cycling along the Danube from bratislava to Budapest. I still felt bad so I gave her my now useless polish zloty as some compensation, and onwards to camp on a beautiful quiet col with no light pollution... Except for the moon, the biggest light polluter of all. Its so bright its casting shadows everywhere.

Interesting climb on a forest track this morning to reach the highest mediaeval castle in Europe at 999m altitude (ruin). Where the trail meets thr road on the descent is marked on the map as a spring, which turns out to be a pool of murky water with half the local village floating in it drinking beers! Then the annoying search for somewhere to buy water as on a sunday everything is closed except big supermarkets, eventually finding a Billa which is deserted save for one grumpy check out woman. Culture keeps coming as next stop is a whole UNESCO listed village, qualifying by dint of its wooden folk architecture and preserved (until recently when UNESCO came along) way of life.
Then more km aiming for a campsite in the mountains - first I have to negotiate roadworks for the massive motorway construction project of bridges and tunnels scything through the valley, and the last few km on a main road, fortunately with a big hard shoulder - due to the steep valleyed nature of the terrain, there's generally only one road going anywhere, a bit like Norway but busier. I guess at least when they finish the monstrous motorway the silver lining will be the old road will be quieter.


Day "off" to do another hike with 1000m+ elevation climb, slowed by the constant assault of bilberry bushes from either side, and a hut selling beer towards the top, to reach a lovely ridge walk in the Mala Fatra range. Annoyingly there is a cable car up to the peak in the middle, but the fat flip flop and pushchair brigade don't stray far so the rest of it is reasonably tranquil.
Have to run the last couple of km to catch a train back from the other end, which there seemed to be no way to pay for so I didn't. I'm sure there was a conductor somewhere and a ticket probably would have cost 50p so whatever.


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