Day 61-62 - Days off: Lazy and stupid - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

March 18, 2015

Day 61-62 - Days off: Lazy and stupid

I took two days off because I wanted to rest and go hiking. The weather was sunny and, in the sun, quite warm.

The first day, I did nothing but walk to the supermarket to buy food (and a beer for St. Patrick's Day). That would be the lazy part.

The next day, I went to Slovensky Raj National Park to hike the famous Sucha Bela gorge. That would be the stupid part.

Not necessarily stupid because it had me walking 15+ km the day before climbing a mountain pass, but definitely stupid because of conditions in the gorge. This hike is famous because you hike along the bottom of the gorge, using logs and rocks and ladders and chains to keep your feet dry and yourself safe.

It was still cold, but not that cold. That meant snow, snow that had melted halfway and then frozen. Very slippery. There was also ice on everything within spray/mist distance of the river. Even more slippery.

I won't describe the various ways in which the snow and ice caused problems; needless to say, it was all possible ways, and suffice it to say that many of the platforms, ladders, and other aids designed to prevent my death were actually more likely to expedite it.

Most treacherous 3km I've ever hiked. And nobody else around. Like I said, stupid. But by the time it got bad enough that I wanted to turn back, it actually made more sense to keep going because I could return by a much easier trail.

I made it to the end without falling, except off many icy logs in the water, and eventually gave up and just walked in the river, being used to having wet feet after so many rainy days on the bike. I've never been so happy to finish such an interesting/pretty trail.

It was later, on the easy trail, only half an hour from my end point, that I wiped out on an icy patch. It was a good one; it caught me completely by surprise. But as I am very experienced at falling on ice, I was unhurt.

I at least got to see some nice views, and several times caught glimpses of wildlife running or flying away from me. I even saw a pair of woodpeckers inefficiently working over a tree.

It's already an entertaining, rather than harrowing, memory, but I sincerely doubt I will ever go hiking in Slovensky Raj again.

Picture this, higher, over deeper water, and covered in ice and half-melted refrozen snow.
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From the bottom
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From the top. Or not--wait, there's more like this, but with ice and snow.
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Finally, the mountains are visible
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