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Offline Cracker

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High Tea in the Tatras
« on: August 17, 2021, 08:56:19 pm »
Many moons ago I heard about a range of mountains forming the border between Poland and Slovakia, called the Tatras ................. and promptly forgot about them. But some time later, after hearing from our friend Xpat, the thought of visiting them began to eat into my brain.

That thought smouldered and smouldered until I couldn't take it any more. So, last year, I sold my house, my toys, my wife and left for foreign shores. Even shipped the bike over to the UK in anticipation of the fun to come.

That was last year September and it's been a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong year waiting for summer to come.

Anyways, summer's here and so is exploring time. I bought new rubber, Vibrams (yep, I've also never heard of them), sort of a hard knobblie with good grip on rocks. Highly puncture resistant and comfortable for long hauls.

I had my son with me, so you might see him in a couple of the pics.

So, we'll start with the obligatory beer and food pics ......................... no good trip can begin without this ............... or end without it, I might add.



And another ............................ at my age you need more lubrication  :biggrin:



I forgot to mention ( musta been the beer) that I was staying in Slovakia in a little town called Transkovskwyzzy Lumchinkaduzkov or something similar as this was gonna give us the best access to the Tatras. The foothills were about an hour away from our house and this bit was all tar. Mind you, it was windy and steep, so had us huffing and puffing before we even reached the off-road bits.

Luckily, I found tins of some explosive shit to take along, in my favourite colour, nogal ...............  :thumleft: .......................... so, in the tank it went.



No pics of the tar but here's a few from the start and when we first hit the sand. And the rocks. Rocks ...................... you have no idea how many there are there. This was Lesotho on steroids.

Will let the pics do the talking ................ please forgive my crappy camera phone.















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Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2021, 09:04:50 pm »
After an hour of long trees and shade, it opened up into sunshine and more rocks. I was starting to overheat but luckily there were many streams around with cool, refreshing water, freshly melted from the last of the ice.

The views were starting to get stunning. As you're all aware, phones don't make great cameras and planks like me don't make the best photographers. But you'll get the idea ..................... you just had to be there  :o

See those peaks in pic 2? ........................... well, that's where we were headed















« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 09:10:15 pm by Cracker »
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Offline Xpat

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2021, 09:11:58 pm »
I don't log to the forum much anymore, but since you are in my backyard (well the former one, currently my backyard is Limpopo) I might need to stick around for couple of days to see where this is heading.  O0

I hope you didn't have a run in with one of the many overpopulated bears there - or at least an amicable one.

Carry on - keen to see where you went (though I have no idea where that place you were staying is - sound more like Poland since I cannot think of one word in slovak language with w in it.

 :thumleft:
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 09:12:52 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2021, 09:13:51 pm »
Oh yeah - and the pics are really good so stop faking modesty  >:D

Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2021, 09:21:58 pm »
This was starting to get tough, it was relentless ..................... always uphill, always getting steeper, the rocks getting bigger.

After a few hours, long after the Semtex had worn off, we cam across real rocks, millions of them. Big bastards, I needed all my skills to get over them.

Carl's Diner .......................



Over a small rise in the rocks we came across a mountain lake but I was too tired to go down to it, all I saw in front of me were more and more rocks. Yet, behind me were the most spectacular sights I've seen since I first climbed Venus ...............  :biggrin:














« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 09:28:30 pm by Cracker »
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Offline Wolzak

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2021, 09:23:44 pm »
 :thumleft: FwgI :thumleft:
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Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2021, 09:27:16 pm »
I don't log to the forum much anymore, but since you are in my backyard (well the former one, currently my backyard is Limpopo) I might need to stick around for couple of days to see where this is heading.  O0

I hope you didn't have a run in with one of the many overpopulated bears there - or at least an amicable one.

Carry on - keen to see where you went (though I have no idea where that place you were staying is - sound more like Poland since I cannot think of one word in slovak language with w in it.

 :thumleft:

For you ................. the place was called Tatranska Lomnica. One of the only Slovak names I could pronounce, sort of.

No bears though. I was hoping to see one at least. Especially on day 2 when I was well of the beaten track, following animal tracks ................ still to come.
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Offline Xpat

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2021, 09:38:28 pm »
I don't log to the forum much anymore, but since you are in my backyard (well the former one, currently my backyard is Limpopo) I might need to stick around for couple of days to see where this is heading.  O0

I hope you didn't have a run in with one of the many overpopulated bears there - or at least an amicable one.

Carry on - keen to see where you went (though I have no idea where that place you were staying is - sound more like Poland since I cannot think of one word in slovak language with w in it.

 :thumleft:

For you ................. the place was called Tatranska Lomnica. One of the only Slovak names I could pronounce, sort of.

No bears though. I was hoping to see one at least. Especially on day 2 when I was well of the beaten track, following animal tracks ................ still to come.

OK, that one I know quite well.

I'm guessing you are already back home, but if not and you are keen on some nice roads to ride (assuming you are on the bike) let me know and I can plot some route. Though it will be 100% of tar as they have very dim view on offroad riding in SK.

Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2021, 09:50:47 pm »
And on we went ......................... higher and higher. The air was getting thinner, my engine was rasping. The sun was blazing yet the air was cool.

Perfect.  :biggrin:

After yet another eternity we crossed the border into Poland (I think) and found a little ski hut. They served beer thankfully .....................  what a sweet taste. All their supplies have to be carried up the mountain and the rubbish has to be carried back down. If you were up to it, you could grab a bag of potatoes at the bottom and haul it up the hill for a free cup of tea at the top.

Sounds crap, doesn't it? Well, they have special tea in Slovakia and a cup full is one hell of a reward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







Saw this sign in the hut ........................ made me laugh. And it was in English, for a change.






And so, after a brief rest it was time for a run to the summit, still an hour away. This was now getting out of hand, I needed all my wits about me not to fall off the side of the mountain. Loved it that there was no Health and Safety shit to bother about. There's no way ever, that you'd be allowed to go up mountains like this in Holland or the UK. One bad step and you're dead, or at the very least, crippled.

I took this pic for the view but realised that there's ice in it. See that grey concrete/foamy looking ledge. That's ice. I was tempted to go stand on it but it was a sheer drop on the other side and I was already shaking from exertion.




And ............................ finally .................................. the summit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Highest peak in Poland, goes by the name of Rysy ...................... when you have the chance, go have a look.





I've done many things in my short life but that was an achievement.

I felt alone, I felt fear, I felt good, I felt alive......................................... :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Of course, after the 4 hour down trip, I felt dead.

 -------------------------------------------------------------

Day 2 to follow .....................  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 09:55:52 pm by Cracker »
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Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2021, 09:52:52 pm »
I don't log to the forum much anymore, but since you are in my backyard (well the former one, currently my backyard is Limpopo) I might need to stick around for couple of days to see where this is heading.  O0

I hope you didn't have a run in with one of the many overpopulated bears there - or at least an amicable one.

Carry on - keen to see where you went (though I have no idea where that place you were staying is - sound more like Poland since I cannot think of one word in slovak language with w in it.

 :thumleft:

For you ................. the place was called Tatranska Lomnica. One of the only Slovak names I could pronounce, sort of.

No bears though. I was hoping to see one at least. Especially on day 2 when I was well of the beaten track, following animal tracks ................ still to come.

OK, that one I know quite well.

I'm guessing you are already back home, but if not and you are keen on some nice roads to ride (assuming you are on the bike) let me know and I can plot some route. Though it will be 100% of tar as they have very dim view on offroad riding in SK.

Not quite home yet, in the UK now .................... another RR to come soon  8)
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Offline Ri

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2021, 11:21:31 pm »
Whoooooaaaaaaaaaaa........ We visited Slovakia long ago, and drove to Zakopane in Poland, and that was the closest I came to the Tatras.

Stunning stunning stunning...
 

Offline LouisXander

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2021, 06:01:37 am »
Cracker,no pics of your rides?

@Expat  Martin, you haven't posted a ride report on FB for a while!!!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 06:02:35 am by LouisXander »
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Offline dirtyXT

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2021, 06:50:31 am »
Thank you! Looks incredible.
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Offline Crankshaft

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2021, 07:37:21 am »
Thanks for sharing.  Looks amazing O0 :thumleft:
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Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2021, 12:17:29 pm »
Whoooooaaaaaaaaaaa........ We visited Slovakia long ago, and drove to Zakopane in Poland, and that was the closest I came to the Tatras.

Stunning stunning stunning...

I also drove to Zakopane after being in Slovakia - A nice little town but was packed full of Polish/Euro tourists. It was a bit too much for me, after the tranquility of Slovakia and an empty Europe due to covid.

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Offline stcomza

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2021, 12:20:38 pm »

Thank you for sharing  :thumleft:

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Offline OomD

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2021, 12:26:30 pm »
Beautiful! No pics of the bikes? Were you too tired to climb off? :lol8:

Thanks for sharing! :thumleft:
 

Offline Cracker

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2021, 12:48:28 pm »
And so .................... on to day 2 ................. which didn't happen.

I was shattered after the first day. I'd been in the mountains for about 8 hours and my legs were like jelly. So, day 2 was spent hobbling around the local town, looking at the crap they sell. Took in some more local food and ale, of course. For lubrication............ :biggrin:

Before I knew it, day 3 arrived and it was back into the mountains. Day 1's trip was to be the hardest but day 2 was equally as strenuous on tired muscles. It was, however, a lot less dangerous and I could look around more. Being Europe, it was drizzly weather, but no cold.

There's not much to report other than we started on a little path until we reached the foothills. This is where Cracker decided it's time to make our own way, a shortcut, if you will. And, as always, it didn't disappoint.

A derelict cable-car station at the beginning: - the graffiti looks the same as anywhere else in the world.



As before, I'll let the pics do the talking .............. hope you enjoy .............  :thumleft:







Once we entered the forest, the tracks started disappearing and we spent a lot of time criss-crossing the hills, following animal tracks. Saw lots of droppings, some from big buck, but saw no animals. They new we were there.














Once out of the forest, we were back amongst the rocks.

Entering the clouds: -





In the clouds. It was eerie, I felt like I was underwater with bad viz, half expecting a shark to swim by.





In between the clouds...................... this is the kind of pic that shows something but nothing. Standing there, looking out, was something special.





And this was the end point. An amphitheatre of gigantic proportions.






But now, I'd got clever. We walked down the hill to the ski-station and got a lift back down .................... saved another 4 -hour walk.................  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 12:55:04 pm by Cracker »
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Offline dirtyXT

Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2021, 12:59:19 pm »
I can smell that forest!
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Offline OomD

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Re: High Tea in the Tatras
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2021, 01:17:05 pm »
Awesome pics!

Wait, is this a bike trip? Or a hike trip?