A fast ride with a stony teen brought me into the village Martin. Almost hidden and secluded it lays, surrounded by tall mountains reaching high for the skies. Their pointed tips way above man and building, protected I felt. Secured, in this strange place, a place not hostile nor friendly, filled with odd glances and smiles. However gazing at the mighty power of Mother Nature, nothing is stronger that the feeling of.. love, love for beauty. Beautiful it was. Aside from the sideways with all houses, Martin has mere one road; leading in and out. The boulevard was a short walk, although with pretty ambiance. Grown weary from walking, my feet paced house to house for the old-fashioned “knock and ask” strategy to make up for the waking with many stares from churchgoers. I got the enormous garden with a dying pet dog wobbling around. No jest nor jape as the poor lad was really breathing his last breaths. I scruffed his head and pet his belly, to witness a faint and drooped smile as his exhausted eyes looked up. A moon’s shining later, after a welcomed shower, the lady of the house had given me my upcoming destination. To the mountains it is!
An hour wasted at a gas station, I figured a day spent walking on this mighty fine day with views 360° would not be such a bad idea. Thus I did, music on repeat and a broad smile painting my face. Once a ride was offered, however with a carrier on his bike missing I kindly dismissed. A train of thought later a minivan brought its wheels to stop. Having his tongue dipped in German, we had a language in common. Focused I listened and translated to learn I was a passenger on a prisoner’s bus on the way to pick some up. They would be brought to work from there. The caged men had time to wait though, as we stopped for a scoop or two of ice cream. No sunny day is complete, without ice cream. Then he took a left where I went right, so my feet were my mode of transport once again. For a while I paused, to sit and to smell, to touch and feel. The urge to be in touch with nature had grown after some days enclosed with busy traffic and many buildings. My thumb went up and an instant’s moment later a young student picked me up.
Rocking music playing, we sped over the highway that seemed no highway. The stud was not one to ever hold a thumb out for a journey, too fearful and lazy. He was a day away from Romania, for a college trip. After his tale was told, he turned up the radio. Rocking my head up and down, I ticked the time away gazing out of the window. Mountains tall and forests wide gave the eyes plenty food to chew away at. “Watch out for bears!” He spoke, “When you go climb the mountain, be careful. The last lift had warned me as well, explicitly forbidding me to use my tent. As I sauntered through Starý Smokovec, Vysoké Tatry I figured it exaggerated. To soothe my thought I entered the Tourist information desk. An answer not expected. A young girl trotted before me as soon as the door closed behind me. My finger pointed at my tent. She turned around as her colleague took over. About my age, she spoke the words I wanted to hear: “Illegal, but may you find a spot, use it!” After, she gave advice I in the end did not need use of. A few meters away, I hid my tent and prepared for the day to come.
Early I had woken to take my nutriments, a breakfast to fill, not please. Without any further introduction, I took on the first mountain on my path, the sun warming my back. A smile broad and sparkling eyes gazing over the far and vast surroundings with every ascended meter. Peculiarly, when hours passed and no lodge nor cabin, no change of direction or field had come on my path. Nothing but mountain and the top was no more than an hour, mayhap two away. My legs told me to continue, although when my eyes spied a different path down, one more promising, I got precarious. Could it be that I am hiking the wrong path, the wrong mountain? A thought popped up. A question with answer, confirmed the feared. In a facepalm, my hand left a white shadow on my burnt face.
Back on the right path, at least I hoped with fingers crossed, left and right mobs of people sauntered. One man, with a voice almost shaky, told me to not use my tent. After a meeting with a fox, hurrying he left the Tatras. Pleased to see so many people enjoy the lovely weather and Nature’s company, I dreaded the loss of an authentic feeling with man-made paths bearing support on the sides and ogling tourists all around. To my luck, I would find no such thing. Passing the cascades, a shy fox and forests tall and wide, it got more derelict. A night slept well and deep, without any bear visitors passed. The sun still stretching and yawning, I packed my stuff and continued. My morning meal was consumed over the comforting sound of a passing creek. With a sun blazing, I began yearning the touch of the water. Yet as I bathed, a realisation hit me of how much I had underrated the coldness of a flowing mountain creek. Refreshened and awake, definitely awake, I hiked for coming hours. Thick forests turned into long, hilled fields. Fields of colour. 50 Shades of Green with yellow tops. Spots of green covered the tall mountain tops that ringed the field. The small creek broke through, leaving sounds of splashes. Engulfed, incapable of keeping my eyes of the beauty, I progressed to the top. There I sat. A decision to continue or to return was easily made. However for coming hour I would enjoy the cool snow, the sights and the lovely warming sun. The sky was blue, as it had been all day, but soon I would learn that I had been cozened.
Check out the video of my hiking adventure! My first video ever!
Full Version is on my Facebook page.
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