Each year we visit the remotest village, Lesnica, in Slovakia as it’s where my wife’s father’s family is from. Whilst there we usually visit graves, visit her father’s log cabin home and compound where her uncle now resides, and then check on our little plot of land on a hillside just outside the village. This year we decided to go on Feisty and take the bare minimum camping equipment with us.
The weather switched between extremes – 35 degrees centigrade plus meant leather jackets, helmets, kevlar jeans and boots were a nightmare to wear, and then torrential rain and storm made the road all slick. Try as we might, we just couldn’t find one part of our land level enough to erect a tent – it’s a steep hillside which will need excavating if we ever get around to building a cabin on it, so we ended up camping near the Red Monastery, Cerveny Klastor, at the best campsite in Slovakia, Goralsky Dvor. I’m not a fan of paid, public campsites as I prefer my privacy in the bush but it was nice to have a bit of luxury and level ground for once. The amount of thought and effort that have gone into that place is astounding – they even have an onsite chainsaw carver who continually adds to the decor of the place.
Feisty is definitely not the best choice for long distances and the seat makes my arse hurt. I really need to get a new king and queen seat made for her.
On Sunday, my son Brano and my brother and his girlfriend travelled to the High Tatra Mountains to go on a hike. The weather was insanely hot – about 36 degrees Celsius, and the track was basically loose rocks all the way. Extremely hard going. It was a long day with lots of driving but was well worth it. The area is beautiful – the Tatra Mountains are the highest point of the entire Carpathian range and the geography is Alpine.
Despite bringing lots of fluids we sweated profusely. Luckily, a lot of the hike was through dense forest which shaded us a bit. The steep trail follows a fast white water creek. We encountered some brown bear scat on the track at one point, which really reminded us where we were and what might be lurking behind the trees…
We rounded the adventure off with a meal at Humno Restaurant in Tatranska Lomnica. It’s an expensive place but pretty cool – they’ve got a huge snow cat sticking out of one wall and a Cadillac Espanade hanging upside down from the ceiling. The waitresses are pretty and speak English and the atmosphere is very friendly.
It was good to spend some quality time with my son.
My eldest boy has just returned from ski camp. This is a photo he took on the bus as they passed the Tatra Mountains. With the socialist era flat blocks in the foreground, and the thick snow covering anything, it really sums up this country.
This stretch of back road is only a couple of miles from my village house in Eastern Slovakia. It’s the perfect motorbike road but today it was thick with snow and heavily pitted. Stunning views. Lots of wildlife.